Crisisproof and Creative
They do still exist, the robust high-tech industries. The ones that are not suffering under a weakening global economy, international trade conflicts or the vagaries of Brexit. According to a survey by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the majority (81 percent) of European companies in this sector are counting on increasing their revenue in this and the next two years. Around two thirds of them are planning to take on new staff in the same period. There’s no sign of a negative mood.
The microtech industry’s biggest market will continue to be medical technology and the health economy. Over half of specialist microtech companies in Europe already supply products and systems for diagnostics and therapeutics. Digitalization is a constant theme of this, with smart miniaturized components cropping up in ever more medical devices. This development is reinforced by trends such as point-of-care testing at the medical practice or pharmacy around the corner, in the operating room or at the sick bed at home; personalized medicine, complex administration of medication, or devices for mobile applications worn on the body or implanted in clothing.
A customized sensor system for non-invasive blood-pressure monitoring worn inside the ear canal would have been unimaginable until recently. But – though sensors and algorithms may well dominate this brave new healthcare world – plastics have a firm place here. Be it as materials for innovative coatings that make medical equipment or implants more compatible, precise and reliable, microfluidic systems for rapid diagnostic techniques, or 3D-printed microoptics for quantum imaging. Who has the next multi-million dollar idea?
Dr. Clemens Doriat
clemens.doriat <AT> hanser.de
International Polymer Processing, the journal of the Polymer Processing Society, is a discussion forum for the world-wide community of engineers and scientists in the field of polymer processing.
The journal covers research and industrial application in the very specific areas of designing polymer products, processes, processing machinery and equipment.
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