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NARLabs Navigates Traditional Industry Transform to Medical Industry
Promote Taiwan Biomedical Technology to Global Market

Taiwan biomedical technology is developing rapidly. At the same time, the transformation strength of traditional industries cannot be ignored either. Instrument Technology Research Center (ITRC) of National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs) successfully assisted ThinTech Materials Technology Co. (TTMC) to be Taiwan first manufacturer passing preclinical animal test for biomedical grade 3D metal printing powder. Integrated with Tongtai Machine & Tool Company's 3D metal printing equipment, Taiwan is viewing to manufacture 3D printing medical material locally. "Taiwan Biomedical Technology Advance to Global Market Launching Ceremony" and "NARLabs / Tongtai Machine & Tool / China Steel / TTMC 3D printing Joint Laboratory Opening Ceremony" are held today (July 14th, 2016) to declare the collaboration to promote Taiwan biotech medical equipment into global market!

Taiwan is leading the world in information and communications equipment. Facing industrial upgrading in 21st century, government has targeted medical equipment for next national key industry development. According to Business Monitor International (BMI) statistics, global medical equipment market is valued at USD3,239 billion in 2015, and estimated up to USD3,825 billion in 2018. Attracted by high profit and high value, not only leading international manufacturers continue investment in R&D, but also many new companies around the world invest in the industry. With advantages of Taiwan complete health care system and excellent medical technology, ITRI integrates medical material industry supply chain, and conducts cross-industry alliance cooperation. Taiwan has the great opportunity to set off next wave of new industrial miracle.

Industry, Government, Academy, Research and Medicine Mobilization, Show Taiwan Biomedical Technology Strength

Combining the local culture of Hsinchu County, ITRC presented "Taiwan Biomedical Technology Advance to International Market Launching Ceremony" and "NARLabs / Tongtai Machine & Tool / China Steel / TTMC 3D printing Joint Laboratory Opening Ceremony" in a movie premier manner. Dr. Mi-Ching Tsai, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Ching-chun Chiu, Head of Hsinchu County, Dr. Peter Sher, Chief Operating Officer of NARLabs, Chi-Hsiang Tu, Director General of Hsinchu Science Park Bureau, and ITRC, organizer and strategic alliance partners including, Tongtai Machine & Tool, China Steel, TTMC , INTAI technology, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Medgaea Life Sciences, UL international safety certification company and more than 80 biomedical company representatives all gathered together to support the activity and witness an important milestone in Taiwan biomedical technology.

Dr. Mi-Ching Tsai, Deputy Minister of MOST, remarked that global elderly issues are heating up. The increasing needs of biotechnology, medical, and health care industry drive the rising value of the medical equipment industry. MOST observed the rapid development of domestic medical material and would make every effort to connect upstream academy and research with downstream industries, and establish financial subsidy approach to inject funding gap to enhance Taiwan's biomedical technology industry innovation.

Head of Hsinchu County, Ching-chun Chiu, noted that, "Hope, Brightness, Science & Technology City" has always been the main goal that Hsinchu County Government commit to achieve. With strong demands from all circles, and Hsinchu County Government's endeavors, Hsinchu Biomedical Park was settled in Jhubei, Hsinchu County. In the future, with the efforts from MOST, NARLabs, manufacturers and Hsinchu County Government, biomedical industry cluster effect will be formed to create economic efficiency and to promote the vigorous development of Hsinchu County.

Director General of Hsinchu Science Park Bureau, Chi-Hsiang Tu, pointed out that in order to promote new Taiwan industrial economic value and to accelerate domestic biotechnology industry, government has adjusted national policy and regulations to establish a "new medicine development" and "high-end medical equipment" Biomedical Park in Hsinchu, hoping to set up a complete biomedical industry cluster. Today the lab of 3D laminating technology manufacturing system configuration is completed and will be the most complete biomaterials laminated printing platform. It provides medical materials industry one-stop service and acts strong support to the industry in research and development. The successful development will be just around the corner.

NARLabs Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Peter Sher, remarked that biomedical technology applications have been increasingly widespread. The business opportunities and values cannot be missed. NARLabs will construct a complete biomedical technology research and development service platform to support Taiwan biomedical technology development, including biomedical service platform and animal experimental lab, which can effectively shorten biotech medical material prototype development process to achieve product launch goals.

Traditional Industry Involve in Medical Material Industry, 3D Printing Technology Arise

3D printing technology has been viewed as the future economic development hope by USA President Obama and is also considered to be the core of "third industrial revolution". Since the end product can be directly output, coupled with the rapid customization feature, 3D printing technology is widely applied in medical industry and becomes the most popular new technology. At present market, imported machines and 3D printing powder are majorly used. To enhance Taiwan medical materials 3D printing industry development, "NARLabs Medical Instrument Value Creation Alliance" established in 2014 and headquartered in ITRC, actively expands the industry value chain integration, in which Tongtai Machine & Tool and TTMC are key strategic cooperation partners.

Chairman of Tongtai, J.H. Yen, pointed out that most customers of Tongtai are from locomotive, aerospace, and mold industries. Recently, they successfully developed the metal powder additive manufacturing equipment AM250, and had a chance to begin with biomedical industry with 3D printing technology. However, for those traditional industries hoping to step into medical equipment industry, in addition to technical ability, in fact, there is much difficulty to be overcome. Through technology introduction and medical clinical support from NARLabs, a biomedical supply chain can be built in Taiwan. Through joint laboratory officially opening, expanding global marketing channels, Taiwan medical equipment brand can be promoted to global market.

ThinTech Materials Technology Co. (TTMC), invested by China Steel Group, has always been known for their high-end target supply production and mainly provides all kinds of metal, alloys powder, ceramic target supply for domestic 3C industry development. With technical support from China Steel, TTMC has built up strong R&D ability. Rong-Yuan Hsieh, TTMC general manager, noted that the requirements of purity and avoiding contamination for 3D printing biomedical powder are very high. Coupled with operational requirements of printing, powder manufacturing technology standard is relatively high. With four key technologies: high quality raw material purity control, vacuum melting, molten pollution control, molten gas atomization, TTMC successfully developed CoCrMo biomedical grade metal powder in March and pass the test, conducted with a series of ISO10993 biocompatibility testing of medical devices in NARLabs and Medgaea Life Sciences' TFDA-GLP certified laboratory. TTMC became Taiwan first manufacturer to pass biomedical preclinical animal trials for 3D printing with CoCrMo metal powder and invest in biomedical industry with leadership.

Biomedical Industry Cross Communication, Create New Business Opportunity for Taiwan Medical Materials

In the experience sharing session of the movie premiere, Director of China Steel, Cheng-Chang Ou, appointed that the government has listed biomedical industry to be one of next key development industries. China Steel has been connected with Taiwan economy for half a century. Facing country's development demands, China steel must not be absent. Especially 3D printing applications in medical equipment products have continued to develop around the world. Therefore, raw materials, production, and products are all key current issues. To meet the high-end product applications, China Steel has embarked on titanium plate production and already has a certain degree of technological innovation, and is actively working on biocompatible verification. With the integration and cooperation from MOST and NARLabs, dynamic industry supply chain market can be anticipated.

Chairman of INTAI Technology, Yong-Fang Tsai mentioned INTAI Technology was focusing on high-end medical equipment development currently. In addition to OEM minimally invasive instrument, through technology improvement, INTAI had established own brand for orthopedic implants over the years. In order to expedite high-end medical material development, INTAI recently invests in the minimally invasive surgical products and equipment and also strengthens system integration and medical software to develop surgical navigation systems to create greater industry value.

Managing Director of Medgaea Life Sciences, Dr. Chih-Chun Hong, remarked that biomedical industry is a rising star in Taiwan, and security control before the medical equipment launching is the most critical part. The joint lab of biocompatibility between Medgaea Life Sciences and ITRC for preclinical animal experiments research organizations plays an invisible force behind biotechnology industrial development. He expected the establishment of joint lab can shorten manufacturers’ product development time and help Taiwan medical equipment products quickly passing ISO 10993 biocompatibility international regulations and certification and ensure the quality of animal testing meeting with international requirements and strictly control product safety.

Dean of Office for Operation of Industry and University Cooperation of Kaohsiung Medical University, Dr. Mei-Ling, noted that Kaohsiung Medical University has long been concerned about 3D printing applications in medical materials. Medical materials industry needs to face patent, regulations, trial and pre-clinical studies and product launches issues, however, through the integration of NARLabs Medical Instrument Value Creation Alliance, as a member of the alliance, Kaohsiung Medical University will endeavor to assist manufacturers in clinical trials and promote Taiwan's medical materials and products into global markets.

UL international safety certification company General Manager, Jiade Tang, said all countries around the world is facing health care problems and challenges past few years. Rapid development of science and technology also create tremendous opportunity for medical technology industry growth. Taiwan's medical equipment technology has been fully recognized. Industry's rapid response capabilities, continuing academic innovation, plentiful human resources from medical community and government policy support are all the key strengths to promote Taiwan biotech medical industry into global stage. UL synchronizes with global trends, concerns regulation developments, initiates 3D printing technology guideline and ICT safety testing standards, participates in international standard-setting association, and develops human gene engineering and other medical regulations. UL looks forward to supporting Taiwan medical products to successfully get Taiwan, European Union and the United States inspection registration application, and accelerate product sales at home and abroad after obtaining certification.

Open the Door to Biomedical Technology, Hand-in-hand to Global Market

The main objective of NARLabs Medical Instrument Value Creation Alliance is bridging biomedical research institutes with medical equipment manufacturers, building a complete cross ministerial support system and combining service energy from industry, government, academia and research institutes and medical community.

Director General of ITRC, Dr. Jer-Liang Yeh, noted we must determine to localize raw materials and equipment in order to root medical material industry in Taiwan. TTMC and Tongtai Machine & Tool are two outstanding local manufacturers. Through mutual technical cooperation to establish layer manufacturing joint lab in Hsinchu Biomedical Park, it will greatly benefit to Taiwan medical materials industry.

Over the platform of NARLabs Medical Instrument Value Creation Alliance, starting with 3D printing medical material, NARLabs anticipates to affiliate with more domestic medical equipment manufacturers to create more diverse high-value-added products, and promote Taiwan medical materials industry to the world stage.

2016/10/20 updated