Strengthening Minnesota’s Medical Alley

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Minnesota has long been at the forefront of the medical device field. Breakthrough technologies such as the first pacemaker and in-ear hearing aid were developed here.

Over the years, the state has cultivated a cluster of 700 medical device companies. Top-notch firms such as Medtronic, 3M Healthcare, UnitedHealth Group, Boston Scientific, and Smiths Medical call Minnesota home. The cluster generates billions of dollars in revenue and employs 30,000 people.

Cutting-edge research and strategic partnerships have moved the industry forward. The state ranks No. 2 in the country for medical technology patents and has the No. 1 concentration of medical tech workers in the U.S.

The Minnesota Medical Manufacturing Partnership (MMMP) is playing an instrumental role in the sector’s continued success. MMMP is a regional public/private partnership, which includes St. Cloud, Mankato and Rochester as well as Greater Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The infrastructure, talent, and resources available in this 23-county area have already earned it the nickname “Medical Alley.” MMMP leads a concerted effort to grow the medical device industry by supporting entrepreneurs, strengthening the regional talent base, and leading global branding efforts.

Great River Energy’s Economic Development Services Manager Tom Lambrecht sits on MMMP’s Infrastructure & Site Development Committee, which seeks to better understand the supply chain and the real estate and transportation needs of those suppliers.

The MMMP region includes 12 of Great River Energy’s member co-ops and almost 1,400 acres of property that is shovel-ready and poised for the medical device cluster’s expansion.

“The more we know about Minnesota’s medical manufacturing cluster, the better able we are to aid in its expansion,” said Erin Sparks, economic developer at Great River Energy.

Great River Energy works to identify member-served sites within the MMMP region that possess location factors known to be important to businesses in the medical device cluster. Once sites are identified, Great River Energy markets these opportunities at important industry events such as the annual Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) conference.

Now in its 23rd year, the MD&M Minneapolis conference brought 5,500 professionals and 600 suppliers together for networking and educational opportunities. Industry experts spoke about the latest trends and technology.

Sparks noted that these events are significant as they demonstrate Minnesota’s leadership and global competitiveness in the medical device industry.

“MD&M Minneapolis provides a great opportunity for us to meet with companies we already serve to discuss potential expansion plans, as well as companies looking to establish a presence in the Minnesota market.”

Category: Advanced Manufacturing