A Look Forward to AdvaMed 2014 with Ray Briscuso


AdvaMed 2014, October 6-8 McCormick Place









This fall, for the first time ever, Chicago will host AdvaMed’s Annual MedTech Conference. The Medtech community in Illinois employes more than 11,800 direct jobs that support an additional 27,000 jobs, and it provides $9.5 billion in economic output. The medtech industry in Illinois is the only bioscience segment that demonstrated significant employment growth since 2007, driven mostly by increased commercialization and formation of new companies.

AdvaMed will be hosting a networking event on June 19th at Rush, visit our Calendar for more information. 

Ray Briscuso at the 2014 iBIO IndEx

At the iBIO IndEx conference last month I had the opportunity to sit down with Ray Briscuso, the producer of AdvaMed’s Annual MedTech Conference.

Ray, can you give me the quick download on this conference.

Sure – in brief, AdvaMed’s annual conference is a combination of about eight related events all staged at one place and one time to bring together the decision makers, investors, regulators and other key stakeholders from the global device and diagnostic industry. The conference is the convergence of meetings that include a world-class investors conference, a CEO Summit, a Regulatory conference, a Payment/Reimbursement meeting, a Legal/Compliance conference, combined with a healthy mix of international policy, e-health and DX/IVD (diagnostic and in vitro diagnostic) attention.

AdvaMed is the world’s largest medical technology trade association. Its nearly 400 members include more than 20 of the world’s 25 largest device manufacturers and 15 of the 20 largest diagnostic makers. Nearly 200 AdvaMed members are early-stage emerging companies. The leaders of these companies join non-members as well as regulators, media, investors and others annually at AdvaMed’s annual MedTech conference. Conference attendance is open to all industry stakeholders. You need not be an AdvaMed member to participate.

Just this year, our community in Illinois hosted the annual BIO International Convention for the third time. How is the AdvaMed conference different?

BIO has been organizing an annual industry convention for more than 20 years. The BIO conference is similar to AdvaMed’s, but it’s larger and with much more on an exhibition and economic development emphasis. The AdvaMed conference was established in 2007. Instead of expecting 13,000 attendees, we expect about 3,000; however, we attract a much higher percentage of CEOs and other C-level executives. Like BIO, AdvaMed is global. We offer highly relevant, expert-led educational content; software-enhanced, on-line partnering with on-site meeting suites; company presentations and world-class networking and plenary sessions.

Why did AdvaMed decide to host the conference in Chicago in 2014?

AdvaMed’s first five conferences (2007-2011) were all held in Washington, D.C. We originally wanted the conference to be near the FDA, CMS, Congress, the White House and other agencies that play such a critical role in the regulation and reimbursement of our products. As we have grown more and more international, we have realized that hosting a critical mass of industry leaders enables us to attract these key regulators from Washington, and that we are able to bring the conference to leading medical technology clusters.

Chicago is the perfect venue for us. Chicago itself, not to mention the immediate Midwest area, is home to leading global and next-generation innovative leaders, academic centers of excellence, and investors, including leading private equity, venture and angel capital.

AdvaMed’s board of directors and governance includes many Midwest-based executives from Abbott, Baxter, Cardinal, Hill-Rom, Hollister, Hospira, Siemens, 3M, AMS/Endo, Biomet, Boston Scientific, Greatbatch, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Roche Diagnostic, St.Jude, Steris, Stryker, Sysmex America and Zimmer.

We were also encouraged by the display of community support we witnessed extended to BIO, and we have an excellent working relationship with the State of Illinois, City of Chicago, iBIO and many other organizations and entities. It also helps that Chicago has one of the best airports serving cities around the world as well as other great meeting facilities and amenities.

What are some of the features of this conference that set it apart?

Great question – many people tell me that it is the access to CEOs, heads of business development and key government regulators that make the AdvaMed Annual MedTech Conference special. We are not a trade show; our exhibition hall is relatively small, yet inside it on a nearly hourly basis we run a series of “CEOs Unplugged” panels, and we annually feature about 25 of the industries top names and leaders. Another unique feature is that these CEOs and most speakers don’t just fly in, speak and leave. For the most part, industry leaders are with us and accessible over the course of the three days. This is also true for the executives in the areas of business development, corporate venture, private equity, venture and angel investing. We have a “Funding Forum Series” and other programs that attract and keep these important people at our conference and accessible to attendees.

What were some of the highlights from the 2013 conference?

I would have to say one highlight was the enhanced and significant presence of FDA officials and top regulators from key markets outside the U.S. In addition to having FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg speak, Dr. Jeff Shuren (director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health) hosted a CDRH town-hall style session that included four office directors. Our faculty included more than a dozen FDA and CMS officials, and we also hosted the top medical-device regulators from Brazil and Saudi Arabia, as well as numerous regulators from the EU and Asia.

This year’s “CEOs Unplugged” series featured the top device/diagnostic executives from Abbott Diagnostics, Abiomed, AMS/Endo Health Solution, Angiodynamics, B. Braun, Biomet, Boston Scientific, Cardinal Health, CareFusion, Covidien, C.R. Bard, CVRx, Edwards Lifesciences, Exact Sciences, GI Dynamics, Heraeus Medical, Kimberly-Clark, Integra LifeSciences, J&J, Luminex, Qiagen, Quidel, Roundtable Healthcare Partners, Sorin, Water Street and Zimmer.

We bestowed our first ever Lifetime Achievement Award to John W. Brown, the former CEO of Stryker, who then addressed the conference attendees. We also were joined by CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and the head of ANVISA, Brazil’s health surveillance agency.

What are your expectations for how Chicago can build upon the strong foundation that already exists for the conference?

We are looking for greater global participation. Chicago is a truly international business city, and we expect more international officials and executives. Because our conference chair is Lester Knight of RoundTable Healthcare Partners, a highly respected and tenured industry veteran, we expect more investors and a significant increase in participation from Midwest medical technology companies.

Hosting the 2013 Conference in Washington D.C. must have provided you with an opportunity to address some of the policy issues facing the industry.

Can you highlight those issues and discuss how the conference addressed them?

A great deal of attention was paid to the impact of the Affordable Care Act, Medical Device User Fee Act, Medical Device Excise Tax and other policy issues facing the industry. The theme of this year’s conference was the Value of Technology and attention was paid to developing evidence to ensure coverage, turning UDO (Unified Development Code) into patient engagement, post market surveillance and much more. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) separately spoke on multiple issues ranging from the device tax to the Asian and European Trade Agreements. All of the top issues were discussed at the conference, including Physician Payment Sunshine Acts and the tightening of public programs and private payer coverage standards.

Chicago and the Midwest have a strong MedTech community that is continuing to grow. How are you reaching out to the community to prepare for the 2014 conference?

We plan to organize several planning committees (program, international, academic, business development, customer/patient) as well as seven individual host committees in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.

We will be working with iBIO and the counterpart medical technology associations in their respective states to help us recruit volunteers to serve on these planning committees. Basically, our goal is to contact every single medical technology company in Illinois and the six surrounding states, as well as each MedTech investor, tech transfer/university office and industry stakeholder in the region.

We have worked together in the past on other conferences, and as you know we have a very engaged and active community. How can we help make this conference a big success?

The better the cooperation, the better the conference. We plan to empower our local host planning committees and to start work right away. We will have a structure in place shortly and have already recruited chairs for most of our committees. Everyone is welcome. We have room and a role for any willing industry-stakeholder volunteer.

Where can our community find out more information about AdvaMed 2014, and how can they become involved?

They can visit AdvaMed2014.com, call us at 202.434.7213 or email us at info@advamed2014.com. They can also reach us through iBIO!


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