A*Star launches inaugural MedTech Convention to showcase MedTech projects

Chairman of A*Star, Mr Lim Chuan Poh, gives his welcome speech at the MedTech Convention 2013. -- PHOTO: A*STAR
Chairman of A*Star, Mr Lim Chuan Poh, gives his welcome speech at the MedTech Convention 2013. -- PHOTO: A*STAR

The latest in medical technology (MedTech) has gained a new platform - the MedTech Convention organised by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star).

Held for the first time since the launch of the MedTech programme in 2009, the convention will see some 500 participants sharing the latest on research and development and business development in the field, and tour an exhibition of MedTech projects and capabilities by A*Star and its partners.

"We are encouraged that the MedTech Convention has been over-subscribed and I believe this shows the rising importance of medical technology to our economy," said Associate Professor Tan Sze Wee, deputy executive director of the A*Star Biomedical Research Council.

The MedTech field, which leverages on Singapore's strengths in engineering, manufacturing and biomedical sciences, has been growing in the Republic. Over the past decade, MedTech output in Singapore has tripled, reaching US $3.43 billion (S$ 4.39 billion) last year. About 9,000 jobs have also been created here in the MedTech field.

Participants at the two-day MedTech Convention that started on Monday will hear from industry leaders, such as Dr Bijan Dorri, chief technology officer for Healthcare Systems, GE Healthcare and Dr Frederic Moll, chairman and CEO of Auris Surgical Robotics and the founder of Intuitive Surgical. Attendants will also be asked to weigh in at the plenary sessions on topics such as Asian trends in MedTech, clinical trends and challenges and product development and commercialisation.

Chairman of A*Star, Mr Lim Chuan Poh, also outlined MedTech initiatives undertaken by A*Star, such as the Biomedical Engineering Programme, which promotes regular interaction among clinicians, health practioners, engineers and scientists, and funds a "portfolio of MedTech projects" relevant to the clinical community.

He said: "These initiatives have catalysed the growth of private sector activities and public-private partnerships on the sector leading to a richer and more robust MedTech ecosystem."

audreyt@sph.com.sg