Eighty percent of the U.S. pharmaceuticals industry is headquartered in the region, where firms collaborate with research and medical institutions to develop and commercialize many of the innovative drugs, diagnostics and medical devices currently going to market.
The State's competitive edge is enhanced by an experienced and skilled workforce, access to state-of-the-art academic and research institutions such as the Delaware Biotechnology Institute (DBI), the Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biology and the University of Delaware's Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering (consistently ranked among the top ten nationwide by U.S. News and World Report), lab space availability, a supportive business community and high quality of life for bioscience professionals.
Around the world, demand continues to grow for products, services and technologies in the area of bioscience as countries step up their efforts to cure disease, address food production and develop sustainable fuels.
Delaware companies are finding opportunities in China, Germany, Japan, and South Korea. Current research indicates that Canada, Mexico, Germany, Belgium and India offer real potential for bioscience products and services.
- Canada's medical device market ranks 9th in the world, with 80 percent of the market supplied by imports, principally from the U.S. The market value is projected to reach $8.3 billion by 2018.
- Canada imported $5.5 billion in medical equipment and supplies from the U.S. in 2013.
- The greatest demand is for devices, instrumentation and equipment for orthopedics, prosthetics, and patient aids.
- Mexico is Latin America's top importer of medical devices and one of the top importers of U.S. medical device equipment worldwide. Last year, Mexico imported $3.5 billion in medical devices from the U.S.
- Public investment is expected to drive economic growth in the country in 2015, which will likely have a positive impact on medical device imports.
- The best product prospects include electro-surgery equipment, surgical lasers, patient monitors, suction pumps, ultrasound and respiratory therapy equipment, and X-ray equipment. The most modern and specialized devices are regularly sought by large public and private hospitals.
- One of the strongest West European markets for U.S. exporters, Germany has the third largest medical device market in the world, valued at $25.6 billion. Medical device imports supply 70 percent of the total, with U.S. imports reaching 18.2 billion in the twelve month period up to June 2014.
- Twenty percent of Western Europe's population lives in Germany. There are 2,000 hospitals, 2,000 medical supply stores, and 1,200 rehabilitation centers, which are driving an increasing demand for preventative, outpatient, and home care equipment and devices.
- Delaware companies manufacture some of the products in greatest demand, including diagnostic and therapeutic equipment, minimally invasive surgical equipment, lasers, new diagnostic and imaging devices, specialized wound care, miniaturized electro-medical equipment, preventative diagnostics and medical products, innovative physiotherapy devices, cardiovascular and endoscopy products.
- Belgium is another top market for medical devices, which is expected to reach $2.9 billion in 2018. Government initiatives to improve access to treatment for chronically ill patients will contribute to this growth.
- Belgium produces less than 10 percent of its own medical equipment, importing the rest. The U.S. currently supplies 20 percent of the market share. It is also a key distribution hub for the European Union.
- The best prospects for the Belgian market include digital radiography, orthopedic products, homecare products, obesity and diabetes products. Products and treatment for chronic diseases are also in high demand, as are medical software, Health IT solutions and innovative technologies and equipment offering cost savings.
- India is ranked among the best markets in Asia for likelihood of success for the export of U.S. medical devices, diagnostics and equipment, with the market expected to reach $5 billion next year. The country imports 80 percent of its medical devices and market barriers are low.
- The country is also experiencing a boom in medical tourism; hospitals and hotels are forming alliances, with this industry reaching $3.9 billion this year.
- There are opportunities for Delaware companies offering high tech, specialized medical equipment, products and systems, including cancer diagnostics, medical imaging, ultrasonic scans, medical and surgical instruments, electro-medical equipment, ophthalmic instruments and appliances, diabetes treatment, dental implants and equipment, orthopedic and prosthetic appliances.
- There is also increasing demand for diagnostic kits, reagents, hand-held equipment for operating rooms, and diagnostic equipment.