Medtronic has established "Medtronic EUreka", billed as "the European Idea Submission Portal from Medtronic." Designed to foster a dialogue between potential inventors or engineers and Medtronic, it links new product ideas with Medtronic's research, development, engineering and, most importantly, experience commercializing medical technologies.
In line with Medtronic's established medtech capabilities, the areas principally of interest by Medtronic are those serving needs in:
- Heart and vascular disease
- Neurological disorders and chronic pain
- Spinal and musculoskeletal disorders
- Urologic and digestive disorders
- Ear, nose, and throat disorders
- Surgical navigation
- Core Technologies
The technologies underlying Medtronic's market success include:
- Electrical stimulation
- Mechanical devices
- Drug and biologics delivery
- Diagnostics and remote monitoring
- Imaging and navigation
- Power systems and controls
- Microcircuit and software systems
Potential inventors or entrepreneurs with ideas to submit to Medtronic will gain the expertise of the premier organization developing and commercializing medtech products worldwide. If Medtronic elects not to pursue a particular idea, either because Medtronic believes the idea lacks sufficient merit or because it falls outside of Medtronic's core markets and competencies, the inventor/entrepreneur is then free to either develop it himself (for later resubmission to Medtronic or simply independent development) or find another corporate partner.
Of course, should Medtronic "pass" on an idea, inventors must reconsider whether the idea is indeed worth pursuing.
Medtronic, in conjunction with Sofinnova Partners and European-based contract medical device manufacturing specialists, has also established the MDStart incubator "to accelerate the development of revolutionary medical device technology ideas in Europe to create entities ready for future financing or licensing. MD Start offers inventors an opportunity to transform their medical technology ideas into reality, through the investment of engineering, legal, and commercial expertise." Ideas submitted to Medtronic EUreka may ultimately be passed along to MDStart for development (if agreed upon by the inventor).
On face value, both Medtronic EUreka and MDStart could be argued as representing tacit admissions by Medtronic that it needs outside help to feed its R&D pipeline. However, given the prodigious rate of innovation by Medtronic (one need only see Medtronic's monthly patent application and acceptance rates), these initiatives by Medtronic to further bolster the generation of ideas proves why Medtronic has maintained a lead in innovation in medical technology markets.