This year, Wallonia is out in force at the international MEDICA trade fair. Thirty-six Walloon companies, including 30 companies led by Wallonia Export, will present their expertise and their innovative solutions across all sectors of the medical industry. In order to bolster its support for this strategic sector for Wallonia internationally, the Minister for the Economy and Foreign Trade, Willy Borsus, has also made the trip to the trade fair for a dialogue with the participants. Presentation.
MEDICA – COMPAMED: what is it? about?
Organised in Düsseldorf every year since 1969, the MEDICA trade fair is the essential global conference for operators in the healthcare sector. It is being held in hybrid form this year (in-person and virtually), along with its COMPAMED offshoot, which focuses on medical subcontracting, from 15 to 18 November 2021 in Düsseldorf.
This year, 3,673 exhibitors from 69 countries (2,935 for Medica and 489 for Compamed, respectively) will be present in the 16 halls of the trade fair, which are dedicated to medical devices and consumables: equipment, hospital devices, laboratory devices, devices for medical practices, emergency medicine devices, diagnostic tests, physiotherapy devices, orthopaedic devices, IT solutions, e-health, medical imaging and more.
In addition to the exhibition itself, the trade fair organises a conference programme focusing on a variety of themes, such as technological innovations in the digital field (e-health, Internet of Medical Things, AI, robotics for surgery), diagnostics (laboratory medicine, innovations concerning Covid-19) and protecting and securing medical data.
Who is representing the Walloon delegation?
Belgium is very well represented among the exhibitors proportionally speaking, with 87 companies, including nine companies from Brussels, 42 from Flanders and 36 companies from Wallonia, including 30 from the Walloon community and the Walloon Export and Foreign Investment Agency (AWEX). Six Walloon companies are exhibiting outside of the community, including two disinfection specialists: Ecosteryl and Huckert’s International.
This is the first time that AWEX has organised a stand in the Compamed section, which hosts suppliers of products/services for the medical sector. Companies like LASEA (which is part of the WSL incubator), Deltatec and Mirmex Motors will exhibit their products there during the trade fair.
The delegation's ‘e-health’ section comprises six companies, including promising start-ups like MintT, which uses AI to prevent falls for the elderly, Oncomfort, which specialises in digital sedation and has been refining its commercial approach since its initial participation in MEDICA in 2018 and Comunicare Solutions, a spin-off of the University of Liège, which has not yet launched a finished product on the market and for whom this is the first participation in the trade fair. Start-ups in the sector use the trade fair as a way to increase their visibility. For example, for Noatec, a company that produces cushions that stimulate dynamic seating, which is participating in the trade fair for the first time, ‘MEDICA allows us to find distributors for our therapeutic cushions at this stage. Since yesterday, we have made a dozen intriguing contacts each day.’
It should also be noted that several of our co-exhibitors are offering effective responses for fighting the pandemic, whether these are disinfection methods (Analis, UVMastercare), or screening tests (Coris Bioconcept).
The AWEX community also allows companies to get to know each other better, which sometimes leads to conversations about promising collaborations. This is the case with Interco, a manufacturer of specialist mattresses for hospital beds that prevent pressure ulcers in patients that are lying down, which has found shared interests in products from two e-health companies: MintT and Masana!
The international showcase offered by the MEDICA-COMPAMED 2021 trade fair is also an excellent opportunity for networking and B2B meetings via the digital platform that the organisers have established.
This Tuesday, 16 November, the Walloon delegation at Medica received a visit from the Walloon Minister for the Economy, Willy Borsus, who met many companies in the three halls themed around COMPAMED, DIAGNOSTICS and the EU PAVILIONS, including Wallonia and its e-health stand. He was able to speak with companies that are regulars at the trade fair and young start-ups that are participating for the first time.
The Minister specified that ‘Wallonia places innovation and creativity at the heart of its concerns and has established many players and initiatives that aim to provide effective support to the MedTech sector, in particular for the innovation initiatives of its companies. ’
MedTech companies are part of the Regional Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) that was launched by the Walloon government at the end of 2019.