ISOPTT: Increasing the SMEs Own Potential for Transnational Technology Transfer

ISOPTT: Increasing the SMEs Own Potential for Transnational Technology Transfer

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Success Cases: Clustering

MEDICON e.G. – an example of a sucessfull cluster in SW- of Germany

In Tuttlingen, situated in a picturesque rural part of southern Baden-Wuerttemberg between the Black Forest and the Swabian Alb, about 500 mainly small and medium-sized companies are engaged in the business of medical technology (mainly surgical instruments). Because of its strong spatial concentration and its remarkable world market share of about 50 percent in the field of surgical instruments this region is called the "world centre of medical technology". The history of this region shows, that the cluster had to meet several challenges in the past 130 years. Especially in the time of the worldwide economic crisis in the 1930s and later in the confusion of the Second World War the craftsmen in Tuttlingen who all produced surgical instruments for the world market were threatened. In this situation a lot of them joined forces in several associations and co-operatives.

MEDICON e.G. is one example of a co-operative which was founded in 1941 through the merger of 6 companies specialising in the production of surgical tools. The small specialised crafts enterprises ensured their economic survival through joined sourcing of materials, joined administration and offering a joined product range. Merging the warehousing and the distribution activities enabled the firms to specialise and to increase their negotiation and market power at the same time. MEDICON achieved sustained success and currently produces over 20,000 products at 16 MEDICON production facilities in the Tuttlingen region. The emphasis is very much on a traditional approach and every product is made in Germany. All in all, MEDICON and its subsidiaries have a 400 employee-strong workforce and serve more than 120 countries world-wide.

The case of MEDICON e.G. in the surgical instrument cluster of Tuttlingen illustrates, that joining its forces provides competitive advantages and sometimes even secures the economic survival.

Internet: http://www.medicon.de/


ISOPTT: Increasing the
SMEs Own Potential for
Transnational Technology
Transfer