U of M celebrates selection of Minnesota MedTech 3.0 as federal Tech Hub

UMN College of Science and Engineering partnered in the proposal concept

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (10/23/2023) — The Biden-Harris administration has announced that Minnesota MedTech 3.0, a collaborative effort involving the University of Minnesota led by the Minneapolis Saint Paul Economic Development Partnership (Greater MSP), has been selected by the U.S. Department of Commerce as one of its inaugural Tech Hubs. 

Minnesota MedTech 3.0 emerged from a strong field of roughly 200 proposals around the country to earn one of only 31 designations announced today, designations that will open new opportunities for federal support to accelerate innovation and discovery.

"As one of America's leading research universities, the University of Minnesota has created a strong foundation of discovery and innovation for Minnesota's leadership in medical technology -- from the Visible Heart Lab in partnership with Medtronic to the Bakken Medical Device Center's Innovation Fellows Program, helping train the next generation in med tech," said Jeff Ettinger, Interim President of the University. "We are honored to know the U of M will be an important contributor to the effort outlined today. We are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work with public and private partners to advance Minnesota as a global leader and to bring Smart MedTech innovations to bear on behalf of all patients."

Under Greater MSP’s leadership, Minnesota MedTech 3.0 will bring together research institutions like the U of M, Minnesota hospitals, medical device manufacturers, and other experts and contributors to integrate artificial intelligence, data science and device manufacturing. 

"Minnesota has been the historic home for medical technology in the United States. As we evolve to include more information and data into our products and processes, this designation cements Minnesota's future as the go to place for medical technology," said Andrew Alleyne, Dean of the College of Science and Engineering. “The U of M College of Science and Engineering is proud to have partnered in the formulation and execution of the MedTech 3.0 concept. Now, we are excited to play a role in delivering on the promise, building new businesses and impacting health outcomes for all."

The designation as a Tech Hub endorses the region’s plan to supercharge a critical technology ecosystem and become a global leader over the next decade. Minnesota has long been a recognized leader in medical devices and technology, and the selection of Minnesota MedTech 3.0 for this designation reflects the state’s leadership, as well as its potential to drive economic growth through research and development of new innovations. It also reflects the diligent advocacy of Minnesota’s elected leaders – in particular U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who has long supported Minnesota MedTech 3.0 for this designation and, prior to that, worked to pass the CHIPS & Science Act that created the Tech Hub program.

"We are eager to work with the many partners who successfully brought this designation to the state of Minnesota," said Jakub Tolar, Dean of the Medical School and Vice President for Clinical Affairs. "Innovation, like medicine, is very much a team endeavor and we look forward to expanding our relationships that build on the legacy of innovation coming from the Medical School."

Minnesota MedTech 3.0 will tap into the expertise and experience of the U of M Medical School, the U of M College of Science and Engineering and a number of others across the University community to support the economic development focus of the Tech Hub program, which is geared toward strengthening local and national economies and security through regional investments nationwide. These resources will help transition research advances into everyday life and develop the workforce the country needs in the decades ahead. Designated Tech Hubs are eligible to apply for direct federal funding as part of the program’s next phase to support their work.

"The University of Minnesota, as Minnesota's only comprehensive research university, is well positioned to provide the transformative fundamental research advancements and the talented transdisciplinary workforce that will be needed to deepen our medtech industry and continue to maintain leadership position in the global markets," said Shashank Priya, U of M Vice President for Research. "The University already graduates students and postdoctoral scholars with deep expertise and skills in areas like engineering, medicine, data science, robotics, public health, smart materials, and more. We stand ready to amplify our work in partnership with government, industry, non-profits, and other members of the ecosystem to create new research advancements, training and education pathways, and entrepreneurship programs that will allow students and postdoctoral scholars  to build the cross-disciplinary expertise that the medtech industry has told us it needs."

The Tech Hubs Program is designed to drive technology and innovation-centric growth by enhancing the capacity in local regions to manufacture, commercialize and deploy critical technologies while creating local jobs for workers at all skill levels. More information is available at TechHubs.gov.