New Platform Connects Providers, Healthcare EntrepreneursBy Miriam Bello | Mon, 10/26/2020 - 11:24
Q: What role does Pragmatec play in the healthcare ecosystem?
A: Pragmatec is a private technology transfer company with almost 10 years of experience. The company has focused on helping entrepreneurs and researchers get their innovative developments to the market. Pragmatec has recognized the importance of connecting companies depending on the different needs of society or the industry and this is why we have focused on finding partners that can be beneficial to the project we are supporting.
Four years ago, Pragmatec decided to direct the company toward the healthcare industry, specifically the medical devices sector due to the significant number of projects we had in our portfolio. This is a very complex sector that requires deeper support regarding technology development and transfer as medical devices take longer to develop and to reach the market. Therefore, returns are slower. Still, the social implications of these projects make them a very attractive focus for the company.
From our work so far, we see that Mexico has a high potential to develop technology for medical devices targeting the global market. Pragmatec has witnessed developments that target cancer, cardiovascular monitoring or mobility impairments and COVID-19 diagnosis.
Q: What is the innovation behind your Techmatch service for medical devices?
A: Mexico is well-positioned as a manufacturing hub for medical devices. We are the leading exporter to the US thanks to our geopolitical position and the free trade agreements both countries have established. Moreover, Mexico has a manufacturing capacity for electronic devices and technology applications that has allowed leading brands to establish their plants in the country.
Entrepreneurs, universities and researchers also stand out with projects of their own. Many of these initiatives require support and this is where Pragmatec enters. First, we worked with a limited base of projects and then we scaled up our capacities to work with more actors to offer integral market, financial and entrepreneurial advice.
There are five topics that medical device developers should constantly be aware of: innovation and developing technology with a global impact; intellectual property (IP), as they are working with an intangible asset; regulatory measures, as they are linked to the development of the device and impact its marketing strategy; market and business models to adapt technology to a varied market with many players; and, finally, investment. Because developers are targeting a long-term projects, the investment needs to be incremental and substantial.
With these main concepts identified, Pragmatec organized a congress where we discovered that many startups or projects were hunting for providers to support the different stages of their process. This drove us to create Techmatch: a platform that links projects with specialized providers. We like to work with developers on their projects. However, we know that we do not have all the knowledge and expertise they require, which is why we delivered Techmatch, which is an open-source support platform. The requirements to put a project on the platform are simple: location of the project, medical device category, description of the device, technology readiness level and contact. For providers, the platform requires RFC, website, contact and three value services that the company can offer to the industry. Techmatch is a market place tool as developers can see providers but providers cannot see the projects.
To compliment the platform, we created a map that portrays providers and projects anonymously. We have captured investors looking to work with the projects they see in the platform and Pragmatec links them with the project according to what the investor is looking for. Every proposal that a provider makes through the platform has to be validated first. For many startups or projects, reaching out or having contact with some of the providers we have linked them to would be laborious so we are very proud of how we have supported them through this free service. By the end of the year, we are hoping to have 100 medical devices projects on the platform.
Q: How is Pragmatec increasing its market penetration?
A: Public resources have been significant for many healthcare-based entrepreneurial projects. However, due to the changes in the political environment, this economic support no longer exists. This must not stop innovation. Pragmatec intends to promote and motivate initiatives through platforms like Techmatch and this has driven us to grow our database of projects and providers. This provides continuity to the innovation environment that is being created in Mexico.
Pragmatec is a private technology transfer and commercialization office focused on growing the innovation ecosystem in Mexico through identification, development, collaboration and marketing of innovative projects with global impact