Headquartered in Erlangen, Germany, Siemens Healthineers AG is a global leader in medical imaging, lab diagnostics and hospital IT solutions. It holds 23,000 technical intellectual property (IP) rights, of which more than 14,000 are granted patents. About 10% of its revenue is reinvested in R&D. In 2021, Siemens announced that they will be expanding in Ottawa.
Boosting Manufacturing Capacity in Ottawa
In a June 2021 media release, Mathias Ganzmann, then VP of Site Operations, Siemens Healthineers, announced a 24,000 sq. ft. expansion project in Ottawa to consolidate its R&D and operations teams into one location. The objective was to boost the manufacturing capacity of its Ottawa Centre of Excellence for Blood Gas Testing to meet increasing demand for point of care medical technologies across Canada and in over 70 markets worldwide.
During the announcement, Ganzmann said, “In all, with the expansion, we now have the square footage to support new high speed printer lines for epoc cards, which will almost double our current capacity, while also allowing for new product development and manufacturing.” Ganzmann has since advanced to the role of CEO Epocal Inc. and Site Head for the Siemens Healthineers Ottawa facility.
The epoc® Blood Analysis System is a handheld, wireless medical instrument that enables healthcare providers to complete real-time, lab-quality blood analysis at the patient’s side. It includes a single test card that delivers results in under a minute. Results reflect each patient’s immediate condition, not their condition 30 minutes ago.
The instrument can test for:
- certain medical conditions such as kidney disease, heart failure, diabetes, hemorrhaging, chemical poisoning, a drug overdose, or shock, among others
- electrolytes and metabolytes, to assess kidney health, blood sugar levels, and levels of electrolytes such as potassium and sodium
- lactate (sepsis)
- creatinine (kidney function)
- blood urea nitrogen (kidney and liver function)
Reflecting on the decision to expand Siemen Healthineers’ manufacturing capacity in Ottawa, Ganzmann says, “We have always been a proud member of the community and are thankful that the company has seen the benefit of our access to highly skilled and motivated employees, the close network of local high-tech suppliers, and the ongoing support from the City of Ottawa through Invest Ottawa.”
To help finance the 2021 expansion project, Invest Ottawa’s Global Expansion team helped Siemens Healthineers apply for $2.5 million in funding from the Ontario Together Fund. The Ontario Together Fund is a provincial COVID-19 government funding program launched in support of “innovative ideas that meet the challenges brought on by the ongoing pandemic.” Successful applicants are innovators and entrepreneurs who have the capacity to contribute to improving Ontario’s domestic supply chain capabilities, promoting the province’s MedTech ecosystem, and building up the province’s manufacturing sector.
Local Focus, Global Success
To complete the project, Siemens Healthineers kept its focus as local as possible. It hired architects from Ottawa and all construction was completed by Canadian companies. The machinery purchased for the new high speed card printer lines were manufactured in the Ottawa region.
Today, Siemens Healthineers employs more than 400 technical experts in Ottawa. “We are projecting a continuous increase in our local workforce in the coming years,” Ganzmann says. “We are proud of the skills and expertise of our staff.”
“Canada, and Ottawa, continue to be known for technology, skills, and a favourable innovative business environment. The investment in our Ottawa facility has been a critical step toward enabling the growth of our medical technology business by ensuring we have the manufacturing capacity in place to support continued development,” he adds.
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With the highest tech concentration in North America, Ottawa is home to multinational giants such as Siemens Healthineers, homegrown successes, and high-growth startups backed by a boundless entrepreneurial spirit. Find out more here.