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Australian product innovation agency IDE Group recently opened its new European headquarters in CIC Rotterdam, from where it will serve its European partners. IDE Group has a solid track record in developing MedTech innovations in partnership with various associates such as Bayer and ResMed. Rotterdam’s central location in Europe and its access to top talent made it a logical, strategic choice for IDE. During the LSH010 breakfast in the Rotterdam Science Tower, IDE Group received a cornerstone to commemorate the opening of its office. The stone was presented on behalf of Alderman of Economic development, Barbara Kathmann as well as collaborating partners InnovationQuarter, Rotterdam Partners, NFIA and Life Sciences & Health 010, all of which supported IDE Group in setting up the new headquarters.

Nederland, Rotterdam, 28/03/2019
#LSH010 Ontbijt in de Science Tower.
foto Jan de Groen

Enabler and accelerator of MedTech innovations

IDE Group was founded in Sydney (Australia) in 2003 by Richard Sokolov and George Sidis. The agency partners with larger MedTech companies to accelerate product innovation and currently has 50 employees.

While major medical device companies are not lacking in good ideas or funding, they are often incapable of changing gears quickly and unable to develop solutions that fall outside of their current systems and procedures. IDE therefore works with these parties to complete product development successfully and within agreed time frames.

Incubator for new innovations

IDE assists startups and facilitates the transfer of knowledge and technology from universities and hospitals. The agency provides a team of experienced designers and entrepreneurs who help develop products and then build companies around them. This is also how the new business Atomo Diagnostics, founded by John Kelly and IDE, came to be. The medical startup shook up the market for diagnostic testing with a new, user-friendly HIV test that makes accurate diagnostics available at extremely low cost. This attracted the attention of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and an HIV self-test was subsequently developed in collaboration with both these organisations. IDE is a partner throughout the entire development process, which involves building a business and supplying a product.

Alderman of Economic development in Rotterdam, Barbara Kathmann: “Rotterdam is growing economically, and the digital services economy is playing an important role in this. The arrival of IDE in Rotterdam underlines the innovation climate of the city. Newly established, progressive entrepreneurship is good for the economy of the city and given the background of IDE, I assume that they will be a good link between Rotterdam’s talent, innovations and entrepreneurship.”

Close to high-quality talent

IDE works closely with technical universities in the Netherlands and has several Dutch staff on its Australian team. In addition, the company has direct contact with clinical experts and various professionals at Erasmus University Medical Center, which is a source of ideas for new application directions based on clinical practice. These collaborations make Rotterdam a logical destination for IDE’s European headquarters. The city’s central position and the excellent infrastructure, linking Rotterdam with the rest of Europe, also means it’s the ideal location from which to grow the agency’s European business.

Willem Mees van der Bijl, director of IDE Netherlands, says: “As a TU Delft graduate, I know the merit of the university’s technical education programmes as well as how much they are valued by companies around the world. Great new ideas come from Erasmus University Medical Center and YES!Delft is the place to find the right entrepreneurial people. I’m very excited about this collaboration!”