New-look association to shape medical technology future

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Industry association Eucomed, which represents European medical technology firms, yesterday (14 April) appointed a new board to ensure that its governance structure reflects the sector's evolution into a diverse and highly innovative industry.  

Representatives of the orthopaedic, cardiovascular and ophthalmic surgery sectors will sit alongside industry bosses representing national associations and corporate divisions on the new board, which counts 15 members among its ranks. 

"Our old governance dated back more than ten years, which can be considered almost historic in an industry that is as innovative and fast-paced as ours," said Eucomed Chief Executive John Wilkinson, speaking after the association's Extraordinary General Assembly yesterday.

"This governance made it very difficult for us to adequately reflect the diversity of the sector in our Board of Directors," he added, outlining the thinking behind the move.

Eucomed's member companies harness some 500,000 technologies across 10,000 generic groups, which roughly fall into twelve product categories including anaesthetic and respiratory technology, hospital hardware, implantable technology and technical aids for the disabled.

The association's members produce a wide variety of products ranging from surgical instruments, radiotherapy units and syringes to hip replacements, toothbrushes, glasses and contact lenses. 

The Eucomed board, which counts employees of world-renowned companies like Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic among its members, has been revamped to reflect this diversity.

Representatives of other sector groups are set to join its ranks soon, with seats reserved for a total of six.

Wilkinson said the association also wants to give a larger voice to its network of national associations, which he described as key to Eucomed's hopes of acting effectively across the continent in the years to come.

Members attending yesterday's meeting were encouraged to liaise with the new board to ensure that the sector's diversity and interests are truly reflected in Eucomed's work. 

The board will work with the Eucomed team to draw up a new strategy for the industry in the months and years to come.

Background

Membership of business associations can help businesses to ensure that their views and concerns are heard in the European policymaking arena.

Eucomed, which describes itself as "the voice of the medical technology industry in Europe," seeks to improve patient and clinicians' access to modern, innovative and reliable medical technology. 

It represents around 4,500 designers, manufacturers and suppliers of medical technology used in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and amelioration of disease and disability.

The European medical technology industry invests an annual €5.8bn in R&D and employs close to 530,000 highly-skilled workers.

Over 80% of the sector is made up of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

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