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23rd June 2023

Istanbul roadshow: Retrospective – Part 2

June 20th 2023, saw the Med-Tech World Istanbul Roadshow begin to remarkable success bringing delegates a wealth of industry-leading knowledge focused on the medical sector in Turkey and Malta as well as the influence these have on global markets.

In addition to Erman Turan’s incisive keynote address, the Med-Tech Roadshow in Istanbul brought numerous other panels, discussions and presentations to the Ferko Signature Assembly.

Building The Malta Med-tech and Beyond Ecosystem

Moderated by the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of 2C Project House, Asli Ogay, the day’s first panel featured the indispensable knowledge of some true leaders in the Maltese industry.

Malta Enterprise

Kurt Farrugia, CEO of Malta Enterprise, began by giving an overview of his organisation’s objectives.

Describing it as a one-stop shop, Malta Enterprise facilitates numerous businesses’ setup and day-to-day operations. Ensuring smooth landing while providing the right contacts for companies visiting Malta.

Initially working in the manufacturing sector, Malta Enterprise has since expanded into emerging technologies, with its main objective being to build an ecosystem for pharma technologies.

CSA Group

Charles Scerri, Chairman and CEO of CSA Group then set out his firm’s mission to support companies in Malta by assisting compliance efforts when setting up their operations.

The CSA Group aims to make it as frictionless as possible for investors to begin their operations by allowing them to outsource administrative tasks and focus on their core projects.

Speaking on the local market climate, Scerri, explained how Malta is a highly attractive location for starting a business. Echoing the earlier keynote, he cited effective regulatory support and highlighted the crucial access to the European market.

Dr Dylan Attard

Istanbul Roadshow: Retrospective - Part 2.
Dr Dylan Attard, CEO Med-Tech World Summit.

CEO of Med-Tech World Summit, Dr Dylan Attard also addressed the panel, highlighting Malta’s potential to become a hub for medical technology.

Dr Attard recognised the advantages of Malta’s central Mediterranean location and European trade status for business expansion.

Med-Tech World Summit has today experienced three successful years of events and gained increasing support from entities like Malta Enterprise to name but one.

Malta’s unique situation

The panel then discussed the particular details that make Malta such a magnetic location for the inception of medical technology companies.

Scerri began by identifying the major stakeholders in the Maltese ecosystem, Malta Enterprise, the Medical Authority and the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA), who provide certifications, enact approvals and even issue regulatory support.

The ecosystem in Malta is impressively abundant in funding schemes and initiatives, including research and development grants, start-up financing and skill development programs.

The well-integrated community on the islands was also deemed a significant factor, allowing easy access to relevant stakeholders and support services.

Other beneficial factors were also mentioned, including the cost of living, availability of skilled employees, residency programmes for entrepreneurs and a lenient tax regime. What is even more enticing is a government that is actively working towards a more business-conducive environment.

Overview: Turkish University R&D landscape

After the conclusion of the first panel, Eda Tanoğlu, Manager of Acıbadem University’s Technology Transfer Office, took centre stage to deliver an intriguing overview of the challenges facing research and development (R&D) across the University landscape in Turkey.

Identifying the primary aim of creating a continuum between research, development and commercialisation, Tanoğlu highlighted the main stakeholders in the Turkish R&D ecosystem. A network that includes various entities such as ministries, funding institutions, incubation centres, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

In a breakdown of this ecosystem’s structure, Tanoğlu pointed out the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), which promotes and funds research and development in the country.

Exploring the Turkish Med-Tech and Beyond Ecosystem

Istanbul Roadshow: Retrospective - Part 2.Building on the previous discussion around Malta, the final panel included key figures in Turkey’s local Med-Tech sector. This was moderated by Didem Altop, Ogay’s Co-Founder and Managing Partner at 2C, Project House.

Tolga Güngör, Co-Founder and COO of NonNocere was the first to address the panel, giving a detailed overview of his company’s operations, aimed at incorporating high technology into training with the distinctive use of virtual reality (VR) technology.

He explained how modern VR technology can create realistic surgical scenarios that, as the organisation’s name suggests, can avoid harm to actual patients in training.

Dr. Özge Akbulut

Following this, the panel shifted attention to Dr Özge Akbulu, Associate Professor in materials engineering at Sabanci University.

Dr Akbulut began her journey in 2014 by developing tactile breast models for surgical training, turning out to be a highly successful endeavour, becoming an industry leader with a staggering 80 per cent of the market share.

Dr Akbulut currently serves as CSO at Fark Labs, Turkey’s pioneering gender-led investment platform. She also actively engages in fostering innovation through collaborations with prominent engineers.

Her expertise lies in efficiently translating scientific concepts into practical business ventures and products. She describes this approach as “innovation as a service,” benefiting not only her own endeavours but also those of others.

Ageing Science

Dr Perinur Bozaykut then outlined her research efforts focused on unravelling the intricacies of the ageing process.

Utilising innovative techniques to explore the intricacies of ageing with the intention of developing interventions aimed at extending lifespan.

Despite the recent surge in interest and investment, Dr Boyazkut pointed to the lack of reliable human models for testing theories, an issue she believes will be solved with the new phenomenon of biobanks.

Consisting of 3D structures derived from stem cells called organoids, these biobanks are intended to mimic the original tissues and are capable of supporting drug discovery.

It is hoped integration of these technologies can bridge the gap between animal models and human applications, improving translation rates and reducing gender disparities in drug development.

Med-Tech World Summit in Malta: Join us

Be sure to mark your calendars for the upcoming Med-Tech World Summit on October 19th and 20th at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Malta. This highly anticipated summit will offer a platform for further exploration and discussion of cutting-edge advancements in the field of medical technology, fostering collaboration and shaping the future of healthcare.