New program helps entrepreneurs and businesses develop medical products in El Paso area | Local News


A new initiative from the Medical Center of the Americas aims to strengthen and diversify the region’s representation in the global supply chain.

On Wednesday, the MCA Foundation announced the launch of the Devise Product Realization Hub. The program is funded by the US Economic Development Administration.

The Currency hub is housed in the Cardwell Collaborative building in Central El Paso. And its services for entrepreneurs, startups, suppliers, and manufacturers include product research, design and development, project management, and manufacturing support. It will also help businesses navigate regulations and conduct market assessments.

The partners of the MCA Foundation include the Fab Lab of El Paso, BIO El Paso-Juárez and the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center of UTEP.

Emma Schwartz, president of the MCA Foundation and CEO of BIO El Paso-Juárez, said that while the region is a manufacturing powerhouse, it still lags behind in areas such as research and product development.

“Until we can develop our own innovations and develop our own products, we will not be able to integrate our local supply chain and eventually lose our competitiveness,” said Schwartz.

Schwartz said the MCA Foundation and others have been talking about creating something like the Currency hub for years.

Jackie Butler, senior director of operations for the MCA Foundation, said the mission of the Currency hub is to help innovators and manufacturers increase production of their products, especially in the medical technology industry.

“We hope to enable existing manufacturers to integrate into research, design and product development opportunities here in the community by providing educational resources and training and scale-up opportunities that are so much needed in this community. highly regulated industry, ”said Butler.

The head of the product development lab established at the Cardwell Collaborative will be able to provide assistance with 3D modeling, material selection, prototyping, testing, technical writing and regulatory process, said Philip Morton, manager. from the product development lab to the MCA Foundation.

“Our big goal is really to offer additional engineering resources to establish businesses, entrepreneurs and startups,” Morton said. “If you need another engineer, another pair of hands to develop a product, to work on other projects to help you grow, that’s what we’re looking to do.”

Last week’s announcement is part of a long-standing effort by the MCA Foundation and local leaders to develop a large medical and biomedical research campus in the heart of El Paso.

The Cardwell Collaborative building comprises 60,000 square feet with room for biomedical research. The MCA has also made efforts to bring more trials and clinical trials to the region.

Tenants within the MCA footprint include Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, University Medical Center, and El Paso Children’s Hospital, as well as local high schools like Jefferson and Silva, the city’s public health department and a health center. well-being of veterans.

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