Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

You deserve a medal! Best events for the medtech sector to get a pat on the back


Every day, all over Europe, people use at least one of the 500,000 medical device products available – from high-tech MRI machines and surgical robots, to contact lenses and condoms. In Europe, the medtech sector enjoys a rapid rate of innovation as industry products usually only have a lifecycle of 18-24 months before an improved device replaces them. This entrepreneurial and quickly growing field has much to celebrate and, increasingly, there are formal ceremonies to recognise the achievements of the industry.

Medtech Awards

The winning experience

Many companies hesitate at the idea of applying for awards because of fear of wasting time – or losing. And smaller companies may feel discouraged about their chance compared to larger ones. But the benefits of even applying for these competitions far outweigh any perceived disadvantages.

A nomination can create a huge networking opportunity, giving companies a higher profile and more recognition in the industry. Awards are also shown to improve employee motivation, offering recognition for the hard work and achievements of the staff. And while winning awards can help appreciate a company’s strength, with the losing of awards comes a better understanding of where improvements might be needed.

There’s a generous selection of awards available, from national to pan-national, and with all these competitions, the size of the firm is irrelevant – it’s quality, not quantity that matters. Here is a selection of the awards programmes available right now…

International competitions

The European Business Awards has been shining a light on the continent’s most innovative businesses since 2007 and offers firms the opportunity to tell the world their success story and achievements, while also attracting talent. In 2016, the Icelandic healthcare consulting firm and Oslo Medtech member, Thula, was nominated as National Champion in Innovation. Though they did not win, according to the firm the nomination alone helped promote the medtech firm’s dynamism and broad experience in the field of healthcare solutions and integrations. Other categories in the competition include Employer of the Year, and Champions in Customer Focus and Growth Strategy.

Registration for the 2017/18 year is now open.

The Medical Design Excellence Awards is the premiere awards program for the medtech industry. Since its inception in 1998, the MDEAs have aimed to recognise significant achievements in medical product design and engineering that improve the quality of healthcare delivery and accessibility. The competition accepts entries worldwide for companies and individuals involved in the design, engineering, manufacturing or distribution of finished medical devices in up to twelve product categories. You’ll have to wait until next year for this one, though, as the Awards Ceremony for 2017 was held on June 13th 2017 in New York City.

The TechTour Healthtech Summit offers a showcase of the top 20 medtech and 20 digital health companies in Europe. A selection committee made up of senior business leaders from various backgrounds reviews applications and selects 40 growth companies based on the uniqueness of their technology, the strength of their business model, and their capability to execute on the business plan and the quality and track record of their management. The 40 presenting companies then have the opportunity to network with key international investors who can assist them with global expansion plans. The 2017 top 40 digital health and medtech companies were presented at the Healthtech Summit on June 27, 2017.

The Start-Up Academy featured at Medtec Europe is a competition offering start-up businesses the chance to showcase their latest innovations to potential partners across the medical device industry. Companies from all over Europe may apply for the chance to have a free exhibition stand at Medtec Europe in Germany April 17-19 2018. Winners also receive free demonstration slot as part of Medtec’s seminar content. For more information on the Start-Up Academy competition for 2018, please contact

AXA PPP healthcare now hosts the AXA PPP Healthtech and You Awards. These awards offer six categories for the best health technology, including The Trending Award, The Future award, AXA PPP Health Tech & You Challenge, The Professional’s Choice, The Healthtech and Age award and the Wow! award. These awards aim to celebrate innovators and products that already have made a huge difference to people’s lives or have the potential to do so. Winners for the year 2017 were announced in London on April 27th and included Entia’s Affinity finger prick blood test monitor for patients in chemotherapy and a MIRA Rehab’s platform that turns physical and cognitive therapy and exercised into video games.

Why design more than matters in medtech – KOLs discuss the future

In this next article, McKinsey & Co’s Thomas Nilsson and Benedict Sheppard speak with three leaders about how the discipline is improving medical products and driving innovation.


You can now register your interest for the 2018 Healthtech and You Awards.

Country specific awards


As one of Europe’s largest medtech hotspots, Ireland is home to over 450 Medtech companies employing up to 29,000 people. These companies have a chance to gain recognition as the Irish Medtech AssociationEnterprise Ireland, and IDA Ireland have their own awards competition, the Irish Medtech Awards. The awards recognise firms’ achievements and reward their performance for helping make Ireland one of the best places in the world for medtech innovation. The competition offers five awards: Company of the Year, Emerging Company of the Year, Academic Contribution to Medtech, Partner/Supplier of the year, and eHealth Innovation of the Year. The 2017 Irish Medtech Awards will be launched in September and held at the Medtech Rising CEO Conference in Galway on December 6th and 7th.


As well as celebrating innovation and achievement in UK life sciences, The OBN Awards, now in their ninth year, reward a diverse range of the sector with their awards including biotech, medtech, synthetic biology, digital healthcare and investment. This year they’ll be launching a brand new category, Best CRO, which looks to recognise the critical support services provided by Contract Research Organisations across the pharmaceutical, biotech and medtech industries.

The 2017 OBN Awards will be held on October 5th in Oxford.

The Medilink UK National Awards hosted by the national support organization for the Life Sciences sector, Medilink UK, took place at the Med-Tech Innovation Expo in the Ricoh Arena, Coventry in April this year. These awards celebrate the very best of the UK Life Sciences and Healthcare Technology sector and their technologies, business achievements and international success. Throughout the year, each of Medilink UK’s eight regions in England and Wales hold their own healthcare business awards where they accept applications in five categories: Start-up, Export Achievement, Collaboration with the NHS, Innovation and Outstanding Achievement. Winners go onto the Medilink UK National Awards. To apply for the healthcare business awards, contact your regional ‘Medilink’ organization.

In September, the Biotech and Money Assembly and Awards Gala Dinner will be held in Merchant Taylors Hall. The event gathers 250 people in the industry to celebrate the funding, finance, and investment successes of the year. It’s an amazing networking and business development opportunity, where more than 80 companies are offered a spot and 11 award winners are chosen that night by a live vote. Categories include Best Life Science Spin-Out, Young Company, Private Life Science Growth Company, Private Finance Raise, Life Science Deal, Life Science IPO, Public Finance Raise, Public Life Science, Life Science Communication Strategy, Private Life Science CEO, and Public Life Science CEO. Click here to secure your place at the Gala Dinner on 14 September 2017 at the Merchant Taylors Hall in London


The medical technology sector is booming in Switzerland as the country holds a higher GDP in the sector than any other. Three healthtech organizations, Fasmed, the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI), and Medical Cluster now come together to host Swiss Medtech Day in Bern, Switzerland. The event includes the CTI Swiss Medtech Awards, which aims to recognise three outstanding CTI Medtech projects, which are first chosen by an expert team then voted on by the audience. The winner of the 2017 award was announced on June 13 at Swiss Medtech Day.

North America and France

Each year, Business France and the Galien Foundation hold the MedStartUp Awards, which rewards new transatlantic partnerships in the life sciences industry by inviting North American and French companies to apply as a team and work to submit a collaborative business proposal. From there, four winners are chosen based on the categories of Best Collaboration with Academia Leading to a Breakthrough Solution, Best Innovative Trial Design, Best Use of Health Patient Engagement Technologies, and Best Collaboration Leading to a Breakthrough Therapy or Diagnosis. Winners receive a $25,000 value prize eligible for any Business France services in North America. The award winners for 2017 will be announced in October 2017.

About the author

A graduate from the University of California Los Angles, Lauren is currently based in Strasbourg where she is studying French and working in medical communications.

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