Medtronic cuts ribbon on $10M Irish R&D shop

Medtronic ($MDT) is opening up a $10.2 million R&D operation in Galway, Ireland, planning to put local minds to work developing new cardiovascular devices.

As the Irish Times reports, Medtronic has outfitted the state-of-the-art center with a virtual operating room and 3-D printing technology, allowing the company's engineers to collaborate with Irish academics and speedily develop and try out new therapies. The R&D center is the second of its kind in Europe, the company said, mirroring similar operations in the U.S., Japan, China and Switzerland.

The focus on innovation is nothing new for Medtronic, CEO Omar Ishrak told the Times, and the company's latest R&D expansion follows a global push to develop new technologies and business models.

This month, Medtronic debuted its new Hospital Solutions business, under which the company manages cath labs for healthcare systems, promising to cut costs and improve care. In August, the company opened the doors on what it calls the Global Center of Excellence for Business Model Innovation, a Singapore-based think tank where Medtronic plans to design, test and scale new business models for the developing world.

All three developments fit within Ishrak's long-held strategy to drive future growth for the world's largest devicemaker, focusing on developing vital new technologies, expanding in emerging markets and grabbing a share of the fast-growing healthcare optimization market.

So far, things are working out. Last quarter, the company grew its overall revenue about 2% to $4.1 billion, thanks largely to a spike in international sales. Medtronic's cardiac rhythm management unit has fared better than its lagging competitors', staying flat at about $1.2 billion, and the company is steadily growing its vascular and neuromodulation businesses.

- read the Times story