GTMA is the UK's leading trade association for members representing the toolmaking, additive manufacturing, prototyping, precision machinery, metrology, tooling technologies working in technologically advanced sectors, including aerospace, medical device, rail and transportation, and marine.
In March this year the organisation took the decision to form a cluster of member companies interested in working in the medical sector, as it anticipated the need for an immediate response to the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing medium- to long-term growth in the global requirement for a wide range of medical devices, from syringes and wheelchairs to pregnancy test kits, pacemakers, and X-ray machines. Initially 40 companies joined this initiative, but the number has steadily grown and now stands at over 90.
Early activity of the new medical cluster was in response to the demand generated by the UK Government's ventilator call and specifically to provide a supply chain to make CPAP devices for University College London. Other projects have followed, and the GTMA expects the growth of interest in the medical sector to continue. Member companies have also been involved in the production of containers, hardware, fixtures and fittings, PPE and laboratory equipment.
As a result of the rising interest in the medical sector, the GTMA, based in Warwickshire, is actively building up intelligence and connections in the UK medical manufacturing supply chain and identifying commercial opportunities for its members.Largest medical device market in Europe
The UK is the third largest medical device market in Europe, and ranks at number six globally. From an estimated value of £7 billion in 2015 it now exceeds £12 billion, according to market analysts. A detailed and comprehensive report was published in 2019 by the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) which uses the phrase ‘MedTech’ to define the development, manufacture, and selling of medical devices.
It identifies that 84% of all companies involved in this sector are SMEs, 53 large companies with over £50 million turnover are driving the UK market forwards.
The report in full can be found at the Web site (www.ahsnnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/MedTech-Landscape-Review-AHSN-Network.pdf
According to a report from the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI), in 2009 there were over 10,000 different medical devices based on mechanical, electrical and/or materials engineering. They concluded that the UK is a net exporter and the sector employed 50,000 people at that time. As demand grows for ever more complex devices the alignment and capacity of the manufacturing supply in the UK is vital.
The GTMA intends to continue its penetration of this sector and raise awareness of opportunities to its members and expects to see the diversification of manufacturing supply chain companies continue. The exacting standards required by the medical sector are ideally suited to those companies currently operating predominantly in aerospace and other high-tech industries.
Manufacturers interested in joining the the GTMA Medical Cluster can contact Dr Alan Arthur ().