Published on 10.09.2021
Meeting the challenge of the Deeptech Plan
The medical technology sector shows a powerful innovation dynamism in Europe, where it ranks second in terms of patent filings. The sector is highly diversified, ranging from diagnostics to implants, instrumentation, medical robotics and digital health, and is a major breeding ground for "deeptech" startups.
However, in order to develop, these startups must overcome multiple barriers: acceptability by users, clinical proof of efficacy, and problems of industrialization of small and medium-sized series, which slow down the transformation of their innovations into commercial solutions ready for the market.
Faced with this observation, and in line with the Deeptech Plan launched in January 2019 to make France a major player in disruptive innovation on an international scale, the Medtech Generator & Accelerator program was initiated in response to Bpifrance's 2nd call for SIA projects (SATT - Incubators - Accelerators), which aims to help startups emerge in this field and enable them to grow through dedicated support mechanisms.
A consortium for a new vision of deeptech entrepreneurship in Medtech
Supported by a network of experimental platforms, the MGA program brings together the support strengths of three Parisian university hospital institutes, Institut du Cerveau, Institut Imagine and Institut de la Vision, and Institut Pasteur, for a unique, integrated acceleration offer.
The MGA program is coordinated by Institut du Cerveau and operated by its incubator iPEPS - The Healthtech Hub. This incubator, created in 2012, supports some thirty startups developing solutions in the field of neuroscience and digital health, all of which are technology-intensive, at three sites (Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital - AP-HP, STATION F and the Chevaleret campus).
Institut du Cerveau, Institut Imagine, Institut de la Vision and Institut Pasteur are application research centers of international stature. The first three have been awarded the Carnot Institute label for their expertise in industrial collaboration and project maturation, and are also University Hospital Institutes (UHI).
In line with this ecosystem, the Medtech Generator & Accelerator program focuses on the fields covered by its partners, namely neurological diseases and genetic/rare diseases, which have great potential to be revealed. It offers startups privileged access to more than 1,800 scientific/medical experts in this sector and 60 dedicated technological platforms, as well as a vast network of alumni.
Optimizing the growth of startups through an innovative program
Focused on the use of medical technologies (Medtech) for neurological and genetic/rare diseases, this 2-year program will deploy tools ranging from initial training to accelerated clinical proof of concept.
The MGA program is organized around 5 action pillars to accelerate the creation of new startups and their development. Each pillar is organized into 3 levels that respond to the different needs of entrepreneurs and startups according to their maturity (excluding Lever 1 dedicated to entrepreneurship) and immediate needs. It will start in September 2021.
Pillar 1: Entrepreneurship training. This pillar offers new support by articulating and optimizing training tools that have already been tried and tested in the consortium's Institutes: flash program (Brain to Market Summer School), long immersive training (Bioentrepreneurs Launchpad), matchmaking for entrepreneurial team building (Team-up for startup). An e-learning platform will also allow access to the content of the training courses presented, to create a library of resources and to increase the flexibility of access and distribution.
Pillar 2: Access to European funding and markets. This completely new offer, based on the institutes' grants offices, will help develop entrepreneurs' capacities to obtain European funding and will train them in the specificities of European markets (the first markets targeted by French medtechs).
Pillar 3: UX/UI support. Iterative cycles of participatory innovation will be organized, in hospitals and with the support of prototyping structures, to guarantee the final acceptability of solutions.
Pillar 4: Clinical and regulatory strategy. From the beginning of the project until its passage into clinical trials, various supports will be offered to optimize the choice of therapeutic indications, understand the clinical workflow and identify upstream regulatory barriers.
Pillar 5: Removing technological barriers. Entrepreneurs will be guided towards the industrialization process of their products, while respecting the demanding framework of the medical technology field.
Fundraising, development of new patents and increase in competence expected
The set of tools pooled under the Medtech Generator & Accelerator (MGA) program aims to accelerate the development of medtech startups, to raise their level of proof (market, scientific, clinical and technological) through support that facilitates the de-risking of projects and increases their credibility for funders.
By 2026, the startups supported could collectively raise more than 250 million euros and create at least 500 direct jobs. The strength of the sector-based support offered by the MGA program should also double the success rate of these companies, as measured by their fundraising and the rise in the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of their products.
In addition, the proximity to the research and care ecosystem of the project holders will accelerate the development of new patents. Based on the activity of startups in this ecosystem, 280 to 300 new patents will be filed by startups benefiting from the MGA project by 2026.
Finally, thanks to the deployment of training programs (face-to-face and e-learning), this program will actively strengthen the skills of entrepreneurs as well as those of project leaders, with the aim of supporting the creation of around 40 new deeptech startups over the next five years.