MInD - Medical technology International and Digital

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) promotes international cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). MedicalMountains has received BMBF-funding from nationwide funding program to promote the cooperation of regional clusters and networks with international partners. This led to the project "MInD – Medical technology International and Digital".

Digitalization and additive manufacturing technologies are future-oriented megatrends in medical technology. These technologies offer economic opportunities with high potential for innovation for the companies of the medical technology cluster in Tuttlingen. However, the use of digital and additive technologies is still not sufficiently available in the cluster of traditional medical technologies. The trend, however, shows that digitalization and 3D printing will be the key technologies in the product development of the future.

MInD-project promotes the adaptation of digital and additive technologies into the R&D activities of the cluster and acts as a "door opener" to market-oriented, international cooperation.


In the course of MInD-project, international innovation network is going to be set up in order to develop future-oriented know-how and to expand the possibilities of the cluster's SMEs for international cooperation. As a result, the regions’ innovation competences are improved and international competitiveness is sustainably increased.

In the coming years, the companies of MedicalMountains Cluster will implement international research, development, and innovation (R&D&I) projects together with the companies from the target regions of Finland and the USA. For the implementation of these projects the companies have three years, in which further funding is available. The aim is to develop new innovative products, solutions or services for the regional SMEs and to compensate the lack of know-how of the new megatrend technologies.

Digitalization is one of the most important future themes for economy.
Automatization, flexibility and individualization of existing company processes with the help of digital technologies and innovative business models is growing at a rapid pace and penetrates the entire value chain and companies of all sizes. This megatrend offers not only many opportunities, but also many challenges. MInD-project offers the possibility to make the most of the digital advantages.

A possible project approach could be, for example, the optimization of instrument management in hospitals. The goal of inventory, tracking, maintenance, authentication and the plagiarism protection of instruments and devices is to be pursued under the keyword "intelligent instruments", which ultimately serves to increase the patient's protection. A further innovation field and possible project approach is the "unraveling" in the operating theater by means of cable-free operation possibilities of devices and instruments and wireless data transmission between different operating devices and instruments. In addition, the generation of intelligent human implants with additional digital functions is a field of action for the development of "implants of the future".

The innovative field of additive manufacturing technologies i.e. 3D printing enables product innovations and / or new manufacturing processes, which produce faster, individual and personalized solutions.
The processes are used for the parallel production of very small components in larger unit numbers, for single pieces, as well as for small series production or individual production of parts with complex geometries. An additional function integration is possible. For the future of medical technology, these innovative technologies offer economically meaningful perspectives in the production of models, samples, prototypes, tools and final products.

Possible project approaches include, for example, the generation of more personalized implants with personalized features as well. An enormous potential for innovation is the development of support models for surgeons in order to simulate interventions and make them more predictable.

The University City of Oulu, Finland is an internationally renowned location for high technology, especially for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
Known as the founding site of former Nokia Telecommunications, the ICT Cluster has emerged from the spin-offs and independence of former Nokia employees. Immense know-how has been settled in Oulu.  The Northern high-tech city of Oulu is a pioneer in wireless communication expertise and is now mastering digital innovations in Life Science and Health Technology industries, offering innumerable project approaches for R&D&I co-operation. Oulu is an exceptionally fast-growing, young educational region, now known as the boomtown of the North. The existing long-term partnership between MedicalMountains and the ICT Cluster in Oulu forms the basis for the initiation of concrete collaborative projects between the actors of both clusters.

The Minneapolis - Saint Paul metropolitan region in Minnesota, the USA has developed a new cluster around 3D printing in recent years.
The region continues to grow and expand the competencies surrounding additive manufacturing technologies. The region is also known as the location of Stratasys’ headquarters, the world's largest manufacturer of 3D printers and 3D production systems. Due to the specialization of many production technology and industrial companies in the region, the use of additive technologies is already widespread. Among other things, the targeted training of students in the "Digital Fabrication Lab" at the University of Minnesota has contributed strategically. 3D printing technologies are already being researched on-site for use in the health sciences. Scientists have, for example, started to explore the use of generative printing technologies for the manufacture of tissues and organs. In this innovative region patent applications are above the national average. A long-term collaboration between MedicalMountains and representatives of the Minneapolis - Saint Paul region is the basis for the generation of concrete R&D&I -projects.

Until October 2017: Generation of project approaches and agreement of project partners
Until December 2017: Development of a technological roadmap and development of an internationalization concept together with the partners of the R&D&I -projects
Until December 2018: Preparation and support activities for R&D&I co-operation and adaptation of the internationalization concept

Visionaries' Workshop - Tuttlingen meets Oulu
Medical technology and digital expertise forming the future
When: Tuesday, 14th of March & Wednesday, 15th of March, 2017
Where: Hofgut Hohenkarpfen


Photo gallery:

Visionaries' Workshop - Tuttlingen meets USA
Medical technology and additive manufacturing for future-oriented innovations
When: Thursday, 6th of April & Friday, 7th of April, 2017
Where: Hofgut Hohenkarpfen


Photo gallery: