Ben Franklin News

Why the Medical Device Industry is a Good Bet in Lehigh Valley

Lehigh Valley has developed a critical mass of medical device companies because of this life science trifecta: talent, location, investment.

Talent: Medical Device manufacturing companies recruit talent from Lehigh Valley’s 11 colleges and universities – including Lehigh University’s prestigious engineering college – and other top research schools within short drive. Local schools produce nearly 4,000 graduates a year skilled in advanced manufacturing.

Location: Lehigh Valley has vaulted to the top of the emerging industrial markets list. It sits amid the Northeast with access to interstates, allowing it to easily move goods quickly and affordably. It touts Lehigh Valley International Airport (and is within 100 miles of six others) and the Bethlehem intermodal facility with 9,000 feet of track for conventional intermodal and more than 14,000 for Triple Crown Services. The region, which is within a day’s drive of a third of the nation’s population, is more affordable than nearby metropolitan areas like Bergen County and Philadelphia.

Resources: Lehigh Valley has a not-so secret weapon: the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania. The organization, which is headquartered at Lehigh’s Mountaintop Campus in Bethlehem, nurtures young technology companies. It links entrepreneurs with investment and support, including lab-quality incubator space at Ben Franklin TechVentures. It recently launched the new Ben Franklin Life Sciences Technology Network, which brings together clients and alumni, hospitals, university resources and economic development colleagues to create synergies and accelerate the sector’s growth.

“Ben Franklin’s investments, introductions, and links to resources are a crucial part of the support the region’s medical equipment companies receive for R&D and commercialization as they launch and continue to innovate,” said Laura Eppler, Chief Marketing Officer for the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania. More via LVEDC.