Results of semi-structured interviews revealed three common themes:
- Nearly all aspects of medical device development and supply are conducted throughout the region
- Few manufacturers are aware of the activities of others, and therefore are likely missing potential synergies and economies of scale
- Workforce shortages and access to capital represent major barriers to sustainable growth
From the results of this report, Region Nine believes South Central Minnesota is poised for growth in the medical device manufacturing sector, particularly in the components and services areas.
Region Nine, through funding provided by the federal Economic Development Administration, is leading the way in South Central Minnesota to establish collaboration among stakeholders in medical device manufacturing. MedTech Connect is part of two larger initiatives, Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership and the Minnesota Medical Manufacturing Partnership. In 2015, the Minnesota Medical Manufacturing Partnership was named as one of the 12 designees in the second round of the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership initiative. Led by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership is a multi-agency program designed to leverage economic development funds and accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing nationwide by supporting the development of long-term economic development strategies. Region Nine is expanding this designation to include the nine county region and further drive southern Minnesota to become a global leader in medical device manufacturing.
Region Nine has partnered with the federal Economic Development Administration and the City of Waseca to look at the potential for a manufacturing resource center for the region, which would position current manufacturers to increase collaboration while also becoming more competitive in this high-wage, high-growth marketplace.