New Healthcare Campus in Germany opens doors to international research
projects and North American companies

BOCHUM, Germany, Oct. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - The German federal government has announced the creation of a new Healthcare Campus for the North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) region. The government is injecting 70 million euros into this project, inspired by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The new campus, slated to begin construction this year, will bring together the healthcare facilities dispersed throughout NRW in the city of Bochum. It will also offer opportunities to North American and international companies in the telematics, telemedicine, medical technology, health services research and manufacturing.

The NRW's agencies for trade and industry promotion plan to provide targeted support to innovation in medical research so that new products developed on campus - including those developed by international companies - can be quickly introduced into the market. "For medium and large North American and international healthcare companies looking to expand operations in Europe, this new campus offers countless opportunities for partnerships and talent sharing," said David Scrimgeour, the Munich-based consultant responsible for coordinating business development for the Bochum region. "For smaller companies and startups, the campus atmosphere will give them a unique opportunity to participate in ground-breaking research work," continues Scrimgeour.

The health industry represents one of the most important and largest market segments in the German national economy. The development of medical technology represents a significant part of this market. Germany ranks second only to the U.S. when it comes to numbers of patents and global market share. About a third of the revenue of German medical technology manufacturers comes from products that are less than three years old. North Rhine Westphalia is already regarded as one of the leading health industry regions of Germany. With its new Healthcare Campus, the state government is closer to expanding this reputation to one of the best in Europe and in the world.

Breeding ground for startups from all over the world

"The new campus will give innovative healthcare companies from everywhere in the world the chance to grow quickly and surely," says Dr. Bernd Rosenfeld, initiator of the BioMedicineCentre (BMZ), one of the flagship facilities in the new campus. "As an example, the BioMedicineCentre offers comprehensive consulting and services from the establishment of contacts to potential scientific, industrial and financial partners, to the provision of conference rooms for corporate events."

Phased expansion guarantees sustainable development

Construction of the Healthcare Campus for NRW in Bochum will proceed in several phases. The following institutions will either be moving to the Campus or be building facilities there:

    
    -   the first German Applied Sciences University for the health
        professions, which will have 1000 state-of-the-art places for
        training midwives, speech therapists, occupational therapists, nurses
        and aged-care practitioners
    -   the NRW State Institute for Health and Work (LIGA) - public-sector
        consultants on health-related questions
    -   the BioMedicineCenter (BMZ) - 5,200 square meter facility offering
        modern laboratory and office space for innovative high-tech companies
        in medical technology, biomedicine and the healthcare service sector
    -   the Center for Telematics in Health Services (ZTG) - extending the
        regional telematics infrastructure
    -   MedEconRuhr - to provide consultancy for the health industry network
        in the Ruhr region
    -   NRW Healthcare Cluster Management (CGW) - to help companies
        developing application-oriented medical technologies better network
        with one another
    -   Healthcare Strategy Center - to promote the initiation of future
        projects and initiatives as well as international networks and
        cooperative ventures.

    The new Healthcare campus will create approximately 500 jobs in Bochum and
have a budget of approximately 75 million euros. Construction is slated to
begin this year.

    To view "North Rhine Westphalia at the heart of Europe", please click:
    http://files.newswire.ca/783/nrw_in_europe(2).pdf
    

About North Rhine Westphalia

With an export volume of Euro 174 billion, the State of North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) is ranked 18th worldwide and is thereby considered equivalent to Spain and Saudi Arabia.

NRW is the location of choice for investment in Germany. According to the German Central Bank, almost a quarter of all foreign companies in the country are located in NRW. The investment conditions in Germany - and thus in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia - have considerably improved since the implementation of the fiscal reforms of 2000 (effective since January 1, 2001). For joint-stock companies as well as general partnerships, Germany is no longer a highly taxed nation.

North Rhine Westphalia is positioned at the heart of Europe and borders directly on both the Netherlands and Belgium. It is also the most highly and densely populated of the 16 Federal states of Germany. 18 million people live within an area of 34,086 square kilometres (529 persons/square kilometre) - almost as many as in the State of New York, and more than the national populations of the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hungary or Sweden.

About the Bochum area

More than 15,000 companies already appreciate the advantages of Bochum's location at the heart of the Ruhr valley. The benefits of the city's position are further reflected by the high export ratio of the businesses operating here, at over 50 percent. With around 40,000 students, the Ruhr University of Bochum together with four further universities of applied sciences promise investors and steady supply of qualified graduate employees and well-trained managerial staff.

SOURCE FUSE COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS INC.

For further information: For further information: Contact for journalists (in Canada): Annie Boucher, Fuse Communications and Public Affairs, 1605-71 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, ON, Canada, K2P 2G2, T. (613) 863-3702, E. boucher@fusecommunications.ca, Web: www.fusecommunications.ca; Contact for Investor Relations: Jim Podolak, President, JWP Strategy International Ltd., 223 Colonnade Road South, Suite 204, Ottawa, ON, Canada, K2E 7K3, T. (613) 228-9280, F. (613) 228-0985, E. jpodolak@jwpstrategy.com

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