Sirim launches MDIC to enhance medical device R&D

KULIM, Oct 30 — Sirim Bhd, a leader in technology and quality solutions, today launched the Medical Device Innovation Centre (MDIC) to grow research and development (R&D) capabilities for the local medical device industry.

Sirim president and group chief executive Datuk Ahmad Sabirin Arshad said the setting up of the centre will help the industry find new innovations in medical devices to fulfil present and future market demands.

“The setting up of MDIC will enable cooperation with various smart partners encompassing medical device producers, the ministry and government agencies, international innovation centres and university research institutes. It will also aim to enhance access to the medical device markets and create a community of joint practices that manage and commercialise new technologies,” he said at the launch of MDIC in Kulim Hi-Tech Park here.

The launch of MDIC was officiated by Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali. Sirim chairman Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali was also present at the event.

Ahmad Sabirin said MDIC was established following feedbacks obtained by Sirim from the medical device industry and related government agencies which among others raised issues and challenges faced by the industry.

The main challenges posed by all levels of the industry are limited resources in conducting product R&D due to lack of financial resources, infrastructure facilities, and highly skilled workers.

Meanwhile, multinational companies are facing difficulties in securing human resources with specific expertise to achieve their technological direction.

There are about 50 major local companies and 120 small and medium enterprises which focus on latex-based products such as surgical gloves, disposable products, and furniture used by hospitals, according to the Sirim chief.

“The issue of market access is faced by all categories of the industry, especially the stringent rules of European and US markets. All categories of the industry are worried about the lack of technical and local talent to fulfil their needs,” he said.

Three major programmes will be implemented by MDIC involving advanced technological innovations for local SMEs, Industry 4.0 technologies adopted by large local companies, and major vendor projects to be joined by multinational companies and local SMEs.

Sirim will strengthen the country’s medical device ecosystem through testing, inspection, and certification as well as business strategy services in order to help local companies penetrate global markets, he said.

“MDIC will also implement manufacturing innovation incubator, open laboratory and ‘teaching factory’ which will enable a network of public and private collaboration to be realised,” he added.

Ahmad Sabirin said in view of the pandemic faced by the country, MDIC can be a platform for information and experience sharing to enhance the medical device industry through technology and innovation, apart from supporting its ecosystem via infrastructure facilities and services. — Bernama

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