December 16, 2021
By Mike Graney
In November, I attended Medica, the world’s largest medical device trade show, in Düsseldorf Germany. While exhibitors and attendees were down from years past, our South Carolina team met with about 30 companies.
We saw renewed interest in medical diagnostics, health IT, telehealth, and the more MedTech side of the business. Device manufacturers seemed less plentiful. It will be interesting to see if this was a one-year aberration and we return to trend in 2022, or if it portends more lasting changes. Manufacturers around the globe are facing supply chain snarls and difficulty maintaining a robust workforce. I am optimistic these will ease by Q4 2022 when Medica returns, with the enduring caveat … as long as COVID-19 does not worsen.
During the trip, I spoke to CRDA’s lead generator based in Germany. We have been planning 2-3 trips to Germany alone during the first half of 2022. Almost immediately after that conversation, the Omicron variant was detected. European countries and regions, which were already experiencing rising caseloads, reenacted more stringent COVID protocols, including lockdowns in some places.
Bad news for this Road Warrior, who will typically cross the pond 4-5 times per year to target European companies interested in Charleston. My team and I have our bags packed. We will be ready to travel domestically and internationally when circumstances are favorable for business development missions. Our forecast remains that pent up demand will drive economic development activity once the COVID situation normalizes.
If you’re looking to start, expand, or locate an innovation-based business, or you’re seeking a place to advance your career, I invite you to reach out and get to know Charleston economic development.