Covidien to establish R&D center in Shanghai

Covidien ($COV) has announced the creation of its flagship R&D center for China in Shanghai. As a result of the new center, the 25-member R&D staff that Covidien currently employs in Shanghai will increase to more than 300 once the 100,000-square-foot facility is completed.

The center, which will be fully functional by July 2012, will house two of Covidien's emerging market R&D organizations: tailored products and breakthrough platforms. The tailored products organization will identify and develop products customized to meet the needs of China and other emerging markets. The breakthrough platforms organization will use the skill sets and expertise of employees in Asia to create and develop new medical device technologies.

"At the core of our R&D facility will be our Laboratory and Operating Theatre Simulation Suites that will enable healthcare professionals to visit the center and be involved in the actual design and development process of future medical devices," explains Dong Wu, VP, China R&D, Covidien, in a statement. "This collaborative approach will help us create products that are best suited to the needs of doctors in China and in other countries in Asia and, therefore, will be more likely to produce better patient outcomes."

Covidien isn't the only company making inroads in China. Back in June, Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) opened an innovation center there to develop medical devices and diagnostic products for Asia's emerging markets--primarily China and India. St. Jude Medical ($STJ), Medtronic ($MDT) and Thermo Fisher ($TMO) also have either proposed or announced the opening of facilities or headquarters in China this year.

- see the Covidien release