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A leader in its field

02.07.2018 14:09

B Medical Systems

(From lft. to rgt.) The B Medical Systems team: Eric Groenendaels, chief operating; Gilles Ries, chief technology officer; Jesal Doshi, director strategy; Luc Provost, CEO; Nathalie Muller, advisor, PME Guichet Unique; Yves Karier, Ministry of Economy; Carlo Thelen, director general of the Chamber of Commerce; Pierre Koppes, president of Guichet Unique PME and Patrick Wolter, head of the Human resources department, Chamber of Commerce

B Medical Systems (formerly Dometic Medical Systems) has more than 35 years' experience in the medical technology sector. The company, formerly known as Electrolux Medical Systems, was founded in 1979 when the World Health Organization approached Electrolux in Vianden, Luxembourg, to create a solution for the safe storage and transport of vaccines around the world. In 2001, Electrolux Medical Systems became part of the Dometic Group, and was renamed Dometic Medical Systems. In 2015, the management team along with Navis Capital participated in a management buyout to independently own Dometic Medical Systems and the company was renamed to B Medical Systems.

B Medical Systems is a leading, innovative medical technology company providing life-saving products and solutions for the storage, transportation, treatment and management of blood, plasma, vaccines and pharmaceuticals around the globe. The business is focused on using reliable and innovative technology to help save lives at the lowest total cost of ownership. All the solutions and products from B Medical Systems are high certified. The products from the Blood Management Solutions range, e.g. blood bank refrigerators, plasma storage freezers, contact shock freezers and incubated platelet agitators, are intended for the storage or processing of blood components and therefore are classified as medical devices Class IIa.

The products from the Medical Refrigeration range, e.g. laboratory and pharmacy refrigerators as well as laboratory freezers, are classified as Class I devices. Today, B Medical Systems has more than 200 employees working in Luxembourg and across a worldwide network, and has a global sales network of c.120 factory-trained agents and partners across more than 130 countries whom are directly supported by 9 regional managers across all continents. The company has also an extremely strong Research & Development team comprising of 25 scientists and engineers. Clients are hospitals, armies, humanitarian institutions, like Unicef, Red Cross, Bill Gates Foundation ...

Interview with Luc Provost, CEO.

What projects are you currently working on?

We are currently working on the launch of more than 60 new patented products of which several are true significant innovations when compared to exiting technologies / products today. In the blood transfusion segment we have launched products which for the first time, allow to completely eliminate human error in certain operations and thus secure constant quality of blood components. In the vaccine world we have launched a solar refrigerator capable of maintaining vaccines within safe temperatures for more than one month even if there is absolutely no sunshine. In the vaccine world this is a revolution and will allow to save many more lives in regions which are subject to long rainy seasons.

What successes are you particularly proud of?

One success I am particularly proud of is to have changed this non-core, multi-disciplinary business of a large group ( Electrolux / Dometic ) into a very focused medtech company who's focus is to develop, produce and install life-saving solutions all over the globe. In 2015 when we succeeded the management buy-out with the help of Navis Capital Malaysia, it was obvious that delocalization to Asia had been considered and also very thoroughly investigated, but the Luxembourg know how and capacity to innovate was more important than the attractiveness of delocalization to Asia and since 2015, Navis have invested over 17 m€ in modernization and automation of the manufacturing plant of Hosingen to bring it to the highest standards. In just three years, time we have increased our R&D capacity from 4 to 25 FTE's, we have increased our production capacity of vaccine cold chain products by a multiple of 5 and we are in the process of multiplying our production capacity of medtech products by a multiple of 20. 100% of this through self-financing.

What are the biggest challenges your sector is facing?

The biggest challenges we face are the very high costs and lengthy procedures to develop and certify our products to be able to sell them in the different countries. This process can take up to 1.5 years only for the certification for some countries and this obliges our company to produce in parallel new products and old products which puts a lot of constraints on the business just alone the storage capacity we need in Hosingen is insufficient today. Another challenge are the competitors where very often we see copies of our products appearing very quickly on the market and therefore we have hired a full time legal advisor to strengthen our IP ( Intellectual Property ) protection which again leads to a very substantial cost.

If you could change one thing about your sector, what would it be? How could the Chamber of Commerce support you?

If I could change one thing about our sector it would be the simplification of the certification process in medtech products. Today the EU has already greatly simplified this process because we no longer have the French, German, etc. individual standards. Today we have the EU standards and this greatly helps the efficient access to markets through one single process. In vaccine cold chain it is even better because there we only have one worldwide, WHO PQS certification which makes it very efficient. The Chamber of Commerce could be very useful in helping us with aligning the reality of our very fast moving markets and the need for innovation that our company needs to provide. It would be extremely helpful if Luxembourg could support us in our efforts towards this innovation on one side as also with practical challenges such as site development / construction necessities to ensure our companies development in Luxembourg and our long-term possibility to remain here.

Photos: Pierre Guersing

B Medical Systems (formerly Dometic Medical Systems) has more than 35 years’ experience in the medical technology sector

B Medical Systems is a leading, innovative medical technology company providing life-saving products and solutions for the storage, transportation, treatment and management of blood, plasma, vaccines and pharmaceuticals around the globe

All the solutions and products from B Medical Systems are high certified

Today, B Medical Systems has more than 200 employees working in Luxembourg ...

... and across a worldwide network (Photo: GAVI_Christophe da Silva, source Twitter Gavi account)

The company has developped the New Health Center Kit is the first solar energy centre which charges automatically a battery with the excess of available energy from our solar generators

Products and solutions of B Medical Systems are available in 130 countries (Photo: Ethiopia Who)