Boston Scientific debuts teaching, R&D centers in China

Boston Scientific ($BSX) unveiled separate training and innovation centers in China this week, underscoring its focus on the surging country as a key part of its rehabilitation and renewed growth.

CEO Mike Mahoney

One initiative--a Shanghai branch of the Boston Scientific Institute for Advancing Science (IAS)--is designed to train medical professionals in China and in other Asia-Pacific countries. Physicians and other medical practitioners can seek training in areas including interventional cardiology, cardiac rhythm management, electrophysiology, endoscopy, peripheral interventions, urology and women's health. The Institute will also collaborate with Chinese universities and colleges on student courses, with an eye toward spurring med tech industry development. More than 700 medical professionals should pass through the center each year.

Boston Scientific will use its new Innovation Center in Shanghai to reach med tech experts another way. It will demonstrate the latest research in disease treatment practices, but also work with local customers and the company's R&D experts to develop China-specific medical devices and related technology.

"China is key to our ongoing global expansion," Mike Mahoney, Boston Scientific's president and CEO, said in a statement. "We believe that initiatives such as the IAS and Innovation Center will help us to continue adapting to the unique demands of the China market."

Both operations are smart moves. What better way to build a market for your products than by training your potential customer base how to use them, in the context of state-of-the art care and treatment practices? With its innovation center, Boston Scientific also has ways of tapping into the local talent pool that will pay off over time as initiatives spur the development of new products and ideas it can use to capture a larger market share in China.

Boston Scientific notes that it now has operations and R&D centers in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou (it opened its Shanghai ops in 1997). But the Massachusetts medical device giant is racing to build up a bigger research, manufacturing and product development presence in China along with many other competitors including Medtronic ($MDT), Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), Covidien ($COV), St. Jude Medical ($STJ) and General Electric ($GE).

- read the release