A very large medical device development center is being set up in India, with 3D printing taking a big place in the venture.
The government of India observed that while their country contains 16% of all humanity, only 1.7% of medical devices are developed there. They wish to change that ratio, and their strategy is to set up an all-in-one development center.
The “AMTZ”, or Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone, will be strategically located on the east coast near shipping, rail, road and air transport. The site is a massive 270 acres, with plenty of space for many activities. But what’s inside the center is more interesting. The large site will include:
- Common manufacturing facilities
- Technology transfer (from intellectual property owners)
- Financial support institutions
- Specific medical manufacturing units
- Export facilitation
- Central warehousing
- Centralized testing facilities
- Regulatory and certification support
That indeed sounds like an all-in-one arrangement, as a startup company or established company could set up in AMTZ and take advantage of all those services – and perhaps even collaborate with others doing similar work.
The centralized manufacturing feature is of most interest to me, as it will apparently include USD$6M in 3D printing gear, according to a release from think3D, India’s largest 3D print sales organization.
The deal between AMTZ and think3D is to establish a “world class 3D printing facility” within the site. This will include not only 3D printing equipment, including machines employing different 3D printing processes, but also a 3D design facility. This likely includes software, training and equipment to perform 3D CAD work.
The equipment will include 3D metal printers as well as SLS, SLA and bioprinting capabilities. They will also include a reverse engineering facility.
What is important to me about this development is that the organizers have empowered the 3D printing by placing it within a very specific context and providing all other required elements for success.
With the recent blast of press releases announcing new “3D print centers” in various locations, it’s good to see that someone has thought more deeply about how this would actually work. It’s a lot more than just dropping a bunch of 3D printers in a workshop.
3D printers are not useful unless they have something to print, and by creating a facility that can indeed create the opportunities for vertical innovation, they are likely to be successful.