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Singapore: Medtech Companies’ Strategic Base In Asia

  • As the world’s gateway to Asia, Singapore is home to over 30 globally renowned medtech players including Johnson & Johnson, Baxter and Medtronic

  • Dedicated infrastructure such as the Medtech Hub, Biopolis and Tuas Biomedical Park

  • Singapore manufactures 10% of the world’s contact lenses, 70% of the world’s microarrays, and about half of the world’s thermal cyclers and mass spectrometers

Asia’s fast-growing healthcare markets, which are expected to expand from US$246 billion (2009) to US$349 billion (2012) (Frost & Sullivan, 2010), present tremendous growth opportunities for global medical technology (MedTech) companies. As companies look out for a strategic base in Asia to drive their business expansion in the region, Singapore presents a choice location with its base of globally-oriented talent who are attuned to Asia’s needs, strong track record in high quality medical device manufacturing, and commitment to drive MedTech innovation to address Asia’s unmet healthcare needs.

Today, more than 20 leading MedTech companies that include all of the top 10 MedTech companies have established regional and international headquarters in Singapore. Notably, Siemens Medical Instruments has established its global headquarters that also includes its global supply chain control tower in Singapore. Most recently, Medtronic opened its international and regional headquarters in Singapore in October 2009.

Singapore has a strong industry base with 30 global MedTech companies investing in global and regional manufacturing facilities in Singapore. They manufacture about S$3 billion worth of medical devices and life science instruments. Today, Singapore is a global leader in medical technology manufacturing and accounts for 10% of global supply of contact lens, half of the world’s thermal cyclers and more than 50% of the world’s microarray.

Leading companies such as Becton Dickinson, Siemens and Medtronics have also co-located regional/international headquarters office at their  manufacturing facilities, thereby establishing Singapore as a strategic  homebase to drive business expansion in Asia and global markets.

In addition, companies are extending into innovation activities that include value engineering (e.g. AB Sciex) and product development (e.g. Welch Allyn), as they seek to leverage Singapore’s scientific and engineering capabilities to address Asia’s unmet healthcare needs. Singapore is committed to grow our capabilities in MedTech innovation through key initiatives such as the Singapore-Stanford Biodesign Program, which was launched in January 2010 and will leverage Stanford University’s pioneering biodesign program and Singapore’s network of local / regional institutes, to nurture next-generation Asian medical device innovators.


Manufacturing Base

Singapore offers key engineering capabilities that enable medical technology companies to engage in product reengineering and scale up their manufacturing operations. The strong base of high-quality,  ISO13485-certified suppliers in Singapore’s medical technology sector has extensive experience in working with medical technology MNCs, adhering to strict standards of IP protection and regulatory requirements stipulated by US FDA and European EMEA. Their capabilities include electronic product conception, manufacturing and supply chain management; plastic components moulding; metal forming and casting; ceramics; surface treatment; as well as cleansing, packaging and sterilisation.


As a microcosm of Asia, Singapore provides an ideal base for companies to develop new technologies and product innovations, test-bed new solutions and systems for the regional and global market, as well as to nurture the growth of R&D and commercialisation activities.


Companies can collaborate with scientists in Singapore’s public-sector research institutes to work on developing new medical technology innovations and applications. These institutes have established strong capabilities in various technologies across multiple disciplines such as bioimaging, cell biology, materials engineering, microelectronics and nanotechnology that can be translated into novel applications for life science instruments and medical devices.

Key Plug-And-Play Infrastructure

Singapore is committed to invest in infrastructure to help medical technology companies defray heavy capital investments and create flexibility in cost. The Medtech Hub is the first specially built facility for the medical technology industry in Singapore and is set to host an integrated ecosystem of local and international medical technology companies, such as manufacturers, suppliers and service providers, and providing shared utilities. As the medical technology industry is a highly regulated one, the Medtech Hub will provide common sterilisation, shared corridor facilities and a warehousing facility that comply with Good Manufacturing Practice and Good Distribution Practice guidelines. This will help companies reduce costs and risks in manufacturing their products to meet the regulatory requirements.

As global medical technology companies seek to navigate the diversity and complexities of Asia’s regulatory landscape and clinical needs, Singapore will play a key role in being Asia’s gateway. Besides having talent access in the region, companies can also rely on a stable probusiness, pro-innovation environment that will help drive both innovation and top-line growth in Asia.

Singapore is committed to being the “Biopolis of Asia”, a leading international biomedical sciences cluster. The government has so far invested over S$5 billion in building up industrial, human and intellectual capital in this area, and seeks to develop the sector ever further. With the region’s healthcare needs yet to be fully met, medical technology companies can look forward to more growth opportunities to enhance their economic presence.

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