The first workshop of the MDevNet project took place last Friday, bringing together representatives of companies, R&D organizations and other stakeholders involved in the industry of technology-based medical devices. Altogether, more than 60 people gathered for lively discussions, presenting a wide spectrum of perspectives and experiences.
The day’s first speaker was Pedro Almeida, member of Fraunhofer Portugal’s Executive Board, who highlighted the importance of reinforcing channels of cooperation, and promoting knowledge transfer processes between entities in this ecosystem.
Throughout the workshop, several representatives of companies that are involved or have already gone through the process of developing and enhancing R&D results shared their experiences. Among them was Prof. José Manuel Costa, of Biognosis Lda, who underlined the importance of finding the right partners to achieving one’s expected outcomes. Hugo Ferreira, CEO of NeuroPsyAI, also shared his experience and described his company’s struggles in having a device certificated. Manuel Pacheco, CEO of PLUX Wireless Biosignals SA, also took the stage to present the positioning of his company’s products within the regulatory framework.
The debate, which counted with the participation of Autoridade Nacional do Medicamento e Produtos de Saúde, I.P. (INFARMED), Serviços Partilhados do Ministério da Saúde (SPMS), F3M Information Systems S.A., Sensing Future Technologies Lda and both Criam and Nuada, Lda, highlighted some key issues, such as the need for better training in regulatory literacy, namely regarding the requirements associated with the certification of medical devices. These regulations and requirements, argued most, should be considered at the early stages of R&D processes, ensuring compliance early on and thus adding value to results.
Participants also stressed the need to create better processes and structures to ensure a more agile cooperation between the entities involved in the process of research, development, regulation and test of technology-based medical devices. Another point from several others brought up during the event was the value of being able to identify and reach out to the right partners, which is why being aware of the expertise and objectives of other entities in the field is key.
The MDevNet initiative aims to contribute significantly to the effectiveness of the technology-based medical devices industry in Portugal, by bringing together a collaborative network to promote best practices and a learning environment for companies, R&D organizations and other stakeholders involved in the technology transfer processes in this industry.
This was the first of a series of workshops, which will not only provide important input for the subsequent tasks that will be carried out in the project, but also function as dialogue platforms for the participants of the MDevNet network.