Medical Device

Coined the Orthopedic Capital of the World®, Kosciusko County in Northeast Indiana represents 50% of the global orthopedic market for total joint replacements. The cutting-edge medical device industry makes up more than 22,000 jobs in Northeast Indiana, 125% above the national average, and produces $19 billion in revenue. Innovation runs deep in Northeast Indiana, with two of the nation’s largest orthopedic suppliers founded in Warsaw—DePuy Synthes, the first orthopedic manufacturing business in the world and orthopedic arm of Johnson & Johnson, and Zimmer Biomet, a global leader in musculoskeletal healthcare headquartered in Warsaw with locations in more than 25 countries. Collectively, they employ more than 5,500 in the region. The state of Indiana boasts one of the highest concentrations of life science companies in the U.S. which are fueled by an educated talent pool from biomedical engineering and orthopedic regulatory affairs programs at 10 regional colleges and universities. From Paragon Medical to Micropulse and Medtronic Spinal & Biologics, the region is constantly innovating and evolving to create the latest life-changing technologies to improve patient outcomes.

Our industry leaders include Zimmer Biomet, DePuy Synthes, Fort Wayne Metals, Medtronic and more. 

Top Facts about the Medical Device Industry in Northeast Indiana

  1. DePuy Synthes was the first orthopedic manufacturing business in the world founded in Warsaw, Indiana in 1895.
  2. AcceLINX™, a musculoskeletal health business accelerator in Northeast Indiana, provides industry-specific support to inventors and entrepreneurs to enhance business success.
  3. Northeast Indiana represents 50% of the global orthopedic market for total joint replacements.
  4. OrthoWorx supports talent development, talent attraction, innovation and entrepreneurship to ensure the region’s position as The Orthopedic Capital of the World®.
  5. There are more than 100 medical device and technology companies in Northeast Indiana.
  6. Northeast Indiana produced $19 billion in medical device revenue in 2020.

Medical Device Talent

  1. In Northeast Indiana, the medical device industry employs more than 22,000 residents, which is 125% above the national average.
  2. Grace College launched the nation’s first graduate program in orthopedic regulatory and clinical affairs in 2018.
  3. Trine University’s Biomedical Engineering grew over 2,000% since the launch, with over 60% of graduates starting their careers in the region.

Business Climate

  • Indiana has one of the highest concentrations of life science companies in the U.S., employing more than 59,000 state residents.
  • In 2021, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. awarded WishBone Medical with $1.5 million in conditional tax credits.

Investments in the Medical Device Industry

  • Paragon Medical is investing $16 million in a 35,000-square-foot manufacturing addition that will be operational by the end of 2022.
  • Fort Wayne Metals completed a $50 million expansion in 2020.
"We liked the strategic location of Columbia City in Northeast Indiana because we have both north and south connectors. We also had connections and relationships with local industry. That mix of industrial, agricultural and medical fit really well with our core competencies." - Jeff Blakley, operations director at Sterigenics.

Click here to download a PDF to learn more about doing business in the Orthopedic Capital of the World®.

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Medical Device - Major Employers

Source: Development Counsellors International (DCI), 2021

Medical Device - Employment and Wages

Source: Emsi 2021

A Value Chain of Benefits 

There are logistical advantages and cost savings when joining Northeast Indiana’s medical device industry. In the Fort Wayne area, we have innovative firms that make up the medical device value chain. Our medical device value chain has a place for new business—your business. What is Northeast Indiana’s medical device industry capable of? Here is the full list:

  • CNC machining
  • Contract manufacturing
  • Healthcare information technology
  • Heat treating
  • Injection molding
  • Milling
  • Prototyping
  • Sterilization
  • Swiss turning
  • Surgical lights
  • Absorption medical nonwovens

Northeast Indiana supplies the following markets:

  • Orthopedic implants
  • Surgical instrumentation
  • Implant cases
  • Orthotics
  • Cardiovascular
  • Endoscopy
  • Implant sterilization
  • Medical-grade wire
  • Orthodontics
  • Injection molding and precision plastics

Innovation Through Entrepreneurship

As a region we are relentlessly reliable, standing on our conviction that through hard work and determination we can achieve virtually anything. It’s this mentality that has seen some of the nation’s greatest medical-technology advancements come to life here. 

Our region recognizes innovation as a key driver of success in the medical device industry and embraces medical entrepreneurship. Read some of our region's success stories below:

  • The OrthoWorx Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative facilitates the creation of an innovation pipeline, linking regional and state universities, researchers, clinicians and inventors to create new products, technologies, companies and services that drive the expansion of the orthopedic cluster. This initiative also seeks to foster entrepreneurship and create the resources required to encourage, create and support new-company formations. 
  • Regional innovation through entrepreneurship was key for Micropulse. Founded in 1988 in Columbia City, Micropulse manufactures implants, instruments and sterilization cases for the orthopedic and cardiovascular market.
  • Fort Wayne-based company Fort Wayne Metals is an industry leader in the production of fine-grade medical wire. The company creates products for the orthopedic, vascular therapy, cardiac-rhythm management, endoscopy and orthodontic markets from biocompatible metals such as nitinol, titanium and other high-performance alloys.
  • Drawing on more than two decades as an industry leader from its Canadian facility, Iotron Industries expanded to the U.S. market with the opening of its new state-of-the-art IMPELA® electron-beam processing facility in Columbia City in 2012. The $15.3 million facility provides contract sterilization, materials modification and microbial reduction for the orthopedic, medical device, agribusiness and commercial-defense industries.
  • OrthoPediatrics is the only company focused exclusively on pediatric orthopedics and committed to the cause of improving the lives of children with orthopedic conditions. In the hands of skilled surgeons, their products can relieve the pain of children who are confined to a wheelchair, while enabling others to walk for the first time.

An Educated Workforce for the Future

Northeast Indiana not only supports businesses in our reliable and steady medical device industry, but we also focus on developing a pipeline of talent for employers. We know that as the workforce gains confidence and ability, it translates to energy and momentum that builds within the region and the industry. 

OrthoWorx’s Education & Workforce Development Initiative enhances the local educational offerings to meet the academic needs of students and employers and to make the community more attractive for the recruitment and retention of employees.

Beyond OrthoWorx, our higher-education institutions fill the talent pipeline for this industry. 

Just take a look at our training and higher-education institutions:  

  • Purdue University Fort Wayne offers a Bachelor of Science with a biomedical engineering concentration. 
  • Purdue University, located within two hours of Northeast Indiana, is a leader in undergraduate and graduate programs with the success of its Weldon School of Biomechanical Engineering.
  • Ivy Tech Community College is the nation’s largest statewide community college and offers the Orthopedic Quality Standards and Technical Skills Certificate Program for students seeking advanced manufacturing skills development. The program is offered at the 20,000-square-foot Orthopedic and Advanced Manufacturing Training Center (OAMTC) for CNC machining in Warsaw.
  • Trine University in Angola offers undergraduate programs in design engineering technology, chemical and bioprocess engineering, and a graduate program in biomedical engineering and biomaterials.
  • Grace College, located just west of Northeast Indiana, was the nation’s first college to launch a graduate program in orthopedic regulatory and clinical affairs. It also offers numerous health science and engineering undergraduate programs.
  • Indiana Tech’s undergraduate program in biomedical engineering focuses on mechanics and includes the use of electrical sensors for the brain-machine control interface and the development of simulation programs.

Content on this website was republished with permission from Orthoworld.

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