Eight companies, most of them members of the Luxembourg BioHealth Cluster, participated in the Luxembourg pavilion at MEDICA on 12-15 November 2014. Their presence gave them the opportunity to market their products and services at this the world’s biggest medical trade fair. The Cluster was there to help them extend their network of clients, distributors and partners.
"Everyone comes to MEDICA," says Nina McKechnie of Fast-track Diagnostics. "We have over 35 distributors of our infectious disease detection kits all over the world, and during MEDICA we get to speak face-to-face to about 20 of them. We are also able to make contacts with potential new distributors."
Distributor contacts are also the focus of Marie-France Fassotte-Stenimetz of Laboratoires Réunis, who is busy providing information about her firm to fair visitors. The company develops molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases and genetic preventive testing. "We produce test reports in a number of different languages, and are looking for distributors from different countries," she explains. "MEDICA provides an opportunity to make introductions which can be followed by further contacts and negotiations of potential partnerships."
Fast-track diagnostics and Laboratoires Réunis have joined the Luxembourg pavilion organised at MEDICA by the Ministry of the Economy together with Ai Mediq, Ceodeux MEDITEC, Dometic Medical Systems, DuPont de Nemours Luxembourg, IEE and Neo Medical Systems. They all consider it important to be here. "We have been attending MEDICA for the four or five last years, and it is particularly useful,” Ms McKechnie points out. “More or less all companies in the world are here, so it is a good opportunity for us to check out what happens on the market, what new technologies are out there, and keep up with the competition."
Launching new products
MEDICA overflows of the latest products in the medical field, and Fast-track Diagnostics is displaying its recently developed test for detecting the Ebola virus. Sergei Nossoff, Chief Financial Officer at Ai Mediq, proudly demonstrates another brand new Luxembourg-based product: the ReOxy, an innovative medical device for the cardiologic rehabilitation and prevention markets. "We started sales early this year," Mr Nossof explains, "and we are now looking for distributors all over Europe. MEDICA is a great place for this. We have already connected with a few different distributors, which is extremely important for our business development."
The CEO of Neo Medical Systems, François Scalais, is working on the development of a system that provides 3D laparoscopic images in operating rooms without the drawback of traditional 3D glasses. "We are still at the prototyping phase so we don’t try to reach customers yet," he says, "but have targeted appointments with specific partners. Being at MEDICA is a major step to be in touch with suppliers and partners and in the future to find distributors and vendors."
To further promote the joint stand, a "Luxembourg Day" was organised on 13 November with Secretary of State of the Economy Francine Closener visiting the stand for an official reception. Ms Closener highlighted the significant progress made in biotechnologies in the Grand Duchy over the past few years and the government’s commitment to further develop the sector.
"We have two main reasons for organising a Luxembourg stand at MEDICA," says Patrizia Luchetta of the Ministry of the Economy. "Luxembourg is small, so having one joint stand provides better visibility for our companies and increases their opportunities to attract business. Since participation at MEDICA is expensive, we also want to make it easier for companies to come by helping them share the costs." The effort seems successful, since the number of visitors on the stand is high and the exhibitors are busy with answering questions and discussing with partners.
In order to offer other companies that those exhibiting an opportunity to visit MEDICA, the Luxembourg BioHealth Cluster organised a group visit on the Luxembourg Day. Simone Hammes-Ganz from Stëftung Hëllef Doheem is one of those who took advantage of this initiative. "I’m here to discover what is new in the medical sector, such as technical aids and equipment that can be helpful for our patients," she says. She has also been introduced by BioHealth Cluster Manager Thomas Dentzer to a German organisation looking for a partner to launch a new technology to be used in home care. Their possible collaboration will now be discussed in further detail.
Towards new markets
A more unexpected exhibitor at the stand is IEE, the well-known producer of sensors for the automotive market. "The main part of our business is of course in cars," IEE’s Camille Goedert confirms, but he emphasises the need to diversify, in particular after the dramatic drop of the car market in 2008. The company has developed a sensor for shoes that could measure the pressure distribution on the sole and provide information on how users walk or run. This sensor could be used for medical or sport applications. "We don’t have a finished product yet, but this kind of exhibition is an excellent opportunity to present our ideas to health professionals, get their feedback and from there know where to go."
"MEDICA allows you to showcase your innovations and products, either to sell them or to find companies with who you can collaborate to further develop them," Dr Dentzer agrees. He is pleased with the high number of visitors and meetings at the stand. In addition to supporting Cluster members, he has also made contacts with several foreign enterprises interested in establishing activities in Luxembourg. "The next step will be to follow up all interesting leads and try to initiate concrete projects," he concludes.
Back to all news
For further information, please contact:
Dr Thomas Dentzer
Luxembourg BioHealth Cluster Manager
+352 43 62 63 875