THE BAJA CALIFORNIA MEDICAL DEVICE CLUSTER CONTINUES TO GROW
It is one of the most developed and productive sectors of the state’s burgeoning manufacturing economy. In terms of volume, the Baja California Medical Device Cluster ranks number 7th globally in the quantity of its output.
One of the principal reasons why the medical device industry has experienced such a positive growth trajectory in Baja California is the fact that a Medical Device Cluster organization was formed in the state in 2005. The organization supports companies in ways that serve to elevate their level of industrial competitiveness in the global marketplace.
The Baja California Medical Device Cluster is composed of key representatives of manufacturers in the industry and their suppliers, as well as individuals from academia and relevant government agencies. With the support of this organization, the medical device cluster in Baja California currently has grown to be the source of 50% of Mexico’s overall production.
Currently, Baja California is home to 75 manufacturers of world-class medical devices. Of this number 50 companies are formally affiliated with the industry cluster organization. These companies have generated approximately 71,000 direct labor jobs and have boosted the economies of the cities of Tijuana, Ensenada, Mexicali, and Tecate.
Some of the items manufactured in Baja California include pacemakers and their batteries, ophthalmic lenses, wheelchairs, catheters, defibrillators, urinary bags, electric thermometers, and many others. Baja California-based companies export these products to all corners of the globe. The main international customers of the Baja California medical device sector are the United States, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
QUALITY IS KEY
The medical devices manufactured in Baja California are produced under the auspices of the ISO 13485 international quality standard. This is because safety and quality are non-negotiable points in the medical device industry.
Companies in the Baja California Medical Device Cluster organization abide by regulatory requirements that are increasingly stringent throughout every step of the products’ life cycle, including service and delivery. Members of the organization are expected to demonstrate their quality management processes and to ensure that they follow best practices in everything that they do.
In order to strengthen the sector, Baja’s Medical Device Cluster proactively conducts events to identify and to develop domestic suppliers that can serve the needs of their member companies. One of the means by which Mexican supplier companies can meet potential customers is by attending the annual Medsummit. This 2020 event will take place at the Baja California Center on the 12th and 13th of August.
EDUCATION SUPPORTS THE MEDICAL DEVICE INDUSTRY IN BAJA CALIFORNIA
On the institutional level, the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC) now offers a degree program in bioengineering to its student body. To attest to the quality and educational level of the Baja California workforce, according to the Secretary of State Education, 14,000 students in Tijuana are enrolled in engineering or technical programs. The city has high schools and universities with programs that are related to the medical device and other prominent industries that include an emphasis on engineering, technology, and manufacturing.
In addition to meeting the requirements related to the ISO 13485 international quality standard, companies that manufacture in the Baja California Medical Device Cluster must also abide by internationally defined environmental and safety and health standards. To this end, the organization provides its member companies with continuous training opportunities to ensure compliance in these areas.