Ian Bolland caught up with Filippo Mansani, head of innovation and high-tech capital goods at the Italian trade agency, to learn more about his visit to the Med-Tech Innovation Expo, along with 18 companies that make up the Italian pavilion at this year’s show.
This year’s Med-Tech Innovation Expo will feel a little different than last year. Not only because of the return of live events before the last performance, but also because of a strong Italian presence, which brings even more international flair to this year’s exhibition.
Explaining one of the main reasons for the decision to exhibit with such a large presence at Med-Tech Innovation Expo, Italian Trade Agency’s Filippo Mansani pointed to the established relationship between the UK and Italy in terms of trade and collaboration in the life sciences.
“If you look at the net exchanges between Italy and the UK, one of the most commonly imported and exported things between us is pharmaceuticals, medical devices and machinery.
“Medtech is one of the main sectors for the Italian ecosystem and for our exports, especially to the UK. We have a really mature medical technology ecosystem in Italy.”
As part of this ecosystem, Mansani highlights the work being done in research and development by universities and the many spin-offs that are emerging from these institutions. Mansani also noted that the willingness of so many companies to attend this year’s show shows a desire to expand beyond national borders.
“We have several clusters around the main companies dealing with the pharmaceutical and medical sector.
“They see the UK as one of the main markets to explore potential collaborations with local partners.”
The 18 companies accompanying the Italian Trade Agency come from across the industry trying to meet different needs and may also have different goals of what they want to get out of their Expo experience.
“It will be different for every company. Some of them are more established so I guess they are more aimed at potential clients or partners and those in the early stages might be more looking for investors.”
Four start-up companies, for example, delve into different areas. One is focused on developing miniaturized devices to support urinary incontinence (UI), another company, iVis, is looking for a strategic partner to expand its 4D suite platform for corneal refractive and therapeutic surgery, as well as companies to develop Ad -Hoc solutions can offer production. The start-ups within the pavilion demonstrate the wide range of Italian medical technology.
All companies have launched at least one product in different areas. Specialties include packaging, sterilization, connecting manufacturers and retailers, infection control and much more.
The COVID-19 pandemic saw an urgency for certain types of medical devices and technologies, and Italy was no different, as Mansani said it had helped accelerate the transformation of ideas into products — particularly in the digital health space.
Regarding the sector in Italy, Mansani again referred to the ecosystem and the ideas coming from the universities, but also to the government support and initiatives that are available.
“We share research centers and the market is growing. We have really important applications for various cross-industry activities and roles in the medical, pharmaceutical and life science fields.
“We have new funds that the government launched during the pandemic, which is also boosting venture capital. There is even more attention on the investment and corporate side and a willingness to implement new trends and new technologies.”
The Italian commercial agency has also supported companies with matchmaking events to enable them to make new connections and develop new deals and partnerships. Attending the Med-Tech Innovation Expo is an opportunity for the companies to engage in quality networking, Mansani points out when asked what would make a successful show for the trade organization and accompanying companies.
“These companies want to network and explore new trends and developments in the market, particularly in the UK. The main thing is to network and discover new trends.”
Mansani also hinted that each region of the country has the capability of FDI strategies to attract new talent and new incentives to do business in the sector.
“These can be, for example, start-up visas or specific investors in your company who are based in one of the regions of Italy,” says Mansani, explaining the possible incentives.
He explained that similar schemes were offered in the UK, such as international collective and corporate investment schemes.
Alluding to the prospects and challenges faced by companies in the sector, Mansani focused on the prospects for Italian start-ups and their challenges in securing investment, highlighting a particular obstacle.
“In Italy, funding is available up to Series A fundraising, after which companies will need to explore other funding avenues, opportunities and partnerships.”
In addition to the opportunity to meet with several companies from Italy, visitors will also have the opportunity to learn from the Italian commercial agency about new trends from the country and how to access the market at stand E10.
The 18 companies represented in the Italian Pavilion at Med-Tech Innovation Expo are:
- Hakomed Italy
- LED spa
- Discharge Srl
- Fifth Genius
- Viktor Electromedicine & Physio
- IRCA Spa (Zoppas Industries)
- EC Srl
- Ric3D Srl
- DM packing group
- AMD Engineering Srl
- 1Flex technology
- Food4Future Srl
- Ivis Technologies
- biochemical system
The Med-Tech Innovation Expo will be held June 8th-9th at the NEC in Birmingham. For more information and to plan your visit, visit www.med-techexpo.com.