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Innovation in Action

000 Ways We Improve Health [Bio Science Image]

When it comes to research, development and manufacturing of medical devices, Minnesota is the envy of the world.

An Innovative Force and Economic Powerhouse

Over the decades, this dynamic industry cluster has been responsible for an astonishing number of breakthrough technologies and treatments. The implantable cardiac pacemaker, mechanical heart valves, and implantable infusion pumps are just a few of the homegrown innovations that have saved and improved lives everywhere. 

The medical device industry is also an extraordinarily important pillar of Minnesota's economy, employing nearly 30,000 people in the state alone and generating billions in revenue. Such industry powerhouses as 3M Health Care, Abbott (St. Jude Medical), Boston Scientific, Medtronic, and Smiths Medical are just a few of the prominent companies that are located in Minnesota or have a significant presence here.

Defining the Industry

insulin pump The medical device industry produces instruments, apparatuses, implants, machines (or their component parts and accessories) and certain chemicals that are used to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure diseases in human beings or animals. 

Medical devices can range from something as simple as a tongue depressor, a cold pack or a pair of crutches to highly complex programmable cardiac pacemakers and laser surgical devices. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration groups devices by medical specialty into 19 broad classifications. Cardiovascular, orthopedics, ophthalmology, general surgery, neurological products, and imaging are a few examples.

Minnesota has one of the strongest and most diverse medical device clusters in the world.

Investing in the Industry

Its long history of innovation and success means Minnesota's medical device industry tends to attract a large portion of the state's venture capital investment. In 2017, Minnesota received $495 million in venture capital investment according to PwC. Of the total, investors pumped almost half into the state's medical device and health care industries.

Powerful Partnerships

mayo clinicThe partnership between innovative companies, the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic (both recognized leaders in the biosciences) creates an ideal environment for turning  new ideas into commercial success.

University of MN bannerMayo Clinic works with health care and medical technology companies.

The University of Minnesota's Industrial Partnership for Research in Interfacial and Materials Engineering (IPRIME) is a unique corporate membership-sponsored program where companies can use students, faculty and equipment for research.

The University's Institute for Engineering in Medicine, Medical Devices Center and Visible Heart Lab combine health sciences and engineering to develop talents and products and provide a place to test new medical devices.

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