New York devicemakers look to China for sales

Thanks to a federally funded initiative, the medical device industry in Buffalo, NY, is poised to tap the growing Chinese market.

A three-year program will help shepherd Buffalo's devicemakers into exporting their products overseas, using $700,000 in local and federal funding, The Buffalo News reports. Administered by the World Trade Center of Buffalo Niagara, the program will educate device manufacturers on China's regulatory world, offer help on getting ware on the market and aid device firms in finding funding for sales expansions, the newspaper says.

The burgeoning Chinese medical device market has caught the eye of device firms of all sizes, with heavy-hitters like Medtronic ($MDT) and Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) betting on its continued expansion, building production and R&D facilities there. And Buffalo's program is designed give the area's comparatively smaller companies a chance to get in on the action.

Rep. Kathleen Hochul (D-NY) said the program is just what the local life sciences economy needs, potentially bringing jobs to the region. "They do an incredible job locally, but if we're going to expand our economy, it's because we've found new markets," she told the paper. "Now, they're going to have resources available to them that they've never had before."

The opportunity is welcome news for Buffalo's sizeable medical device industry. Anchoring the area's cadre of company's is Stryker ($SYK), a firm in the midst of cost-cutting. In June, Stryker started a round of layoffs, cutting 107 jobs and planning to shutter two Buffalo-area facilities. Last year, the company cut 160 jobs in the region and closed two plants.

The region is home to about 250 medical device companies, the newspaper reports, and with the continued growth of the Chinese market for devices and components, Buffalo's firms are looking to cash in.

- read the Buffalo News story

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