Medical Technology Innovation Ecosystems: Factors influencing the formation of new companies

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


This thesis focuses on how the medical technology (MedTech) innovation ecosystems contribute to the formation of start-ups. An innovation ecosystem involves collaboration and the exchange of resources in order to stimulate its own development and change over time. The MedTech innovation ecosystem is characterized by a large number of innovations, which are more concentrated in the pharmaceutical industry, biotech, medical devices, and healthcare information technology fields. Existing ecosystem studies offer a fairly diverse understanding of the formation goals, development parameters, and other parameters, which are often inaccessible to an external observer. Understanding the internal processes typical of successful MedTech innovative ecosystems contributes to the adaptation of best practices for developing innovative ecosystems, reducing the financial, time, and human resources spent, and developing the economy. As a result of the activity of innovative MedTech companies, customers receive new equipment, methods of treatment, and rehabilitation of patients, reducing the costs and workload for medical personnel.

The MedTech innovation ecosystem is explored in four Papers and an extended summary in this thesis. Since the study aimed to increase knowledge about how MedTech innovation ecosystems contribute to an increase in the number of start-ups, qualitative research strategy and content and within, cross-case, and narrative methods of analyzing the collected information were chosen. The studied phenomena were investigated from the point of view of subjectivity, that is, the interpretation of the past events of the participants and their personal view of the actions taken.

The results of the study were the identification of two key parameters that contribute to the formation and successful development of MedTech innovative start-ups, namely the provision of public support and the possibility of cooperation. Public and private support includes financial resources at various stages of company development, including support for basic and applied research, provision of grants at the stage of company formation for marketing research, a grants search, company registration, other loans, and grants for company formation. Nonfinancial types of support include providing access to the infrastructure of the innovation ecosystem, which includes laboratories, specialized equipment, training courses, entrepreneur support programs, etc. Collaboration involves leveraging the internal connections of the innovation ecosystem and providing access to other innovation ecosystems to work on projects that cross the interests of several areas, as well as MedTech innovation ecosystems in other countries.

This thesis brings more clarity to the process of formation and development of the MedTech innovation ecosystem and proposes a model of a successful ecosystem that could be claimed by policymakers who make decisions about the development of the industry. Moreover, the thesis offers several successful cases that consider the non-obvious benefits that start-ups from innovative ecosystems can receive and use as an additional benefit for their development.
Original languageEnglish
  • Hellström, Magnus, Supervisor
  • Wikström, Kim, Supervisor
Print ISBNs 978-952-12-4100-0
Electronic ISBNs978-952-12-4101-7
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


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