The surgical device industry is continuously growing and evolving. According to data from GlobalData, the orthopedics market is expected to grow to $66 billion by 2023 from $52.8 billion in 2017. In South Carolina, medical devices are an anchor of the state's fast-growing and globally respected life sciences industry, according to executives with SCBIO -- the Palmetto State's life sciences industry organization and champion.
In response to this upward trend, surgical device companies are seeking more employees with a specialized skillset, and thanks to a new partnership with Arthrex Inc., Clemson University students will be equipped to answer the call.
A global leader in minimally invasive orthopedics, Arthrex already works with Clemson on a number of research projects. Now it’s expanding its engagement with the university through a new, two-year pilot program developed with the needs of the surgical device industry in mind and a generous gift of ten $7,500 scholarships.
“Arthrex is one of the university’s valuable strategic partners, and this opportunity to work together to create programming unique to Clemson speaks volumes about what the company thinks of our talented faculty and students,” said Clemson President James P. Clements. “This partnership is another example of Clemson’s ongoing commitment to the state of South Carolina, and I am grateful to Arthrex for its generous gift, which will enable our students to work with a world-class company to develop skills that are vital to the surgical device industry.”
“Arthrex takes great pride in its commitment to education and we are pleased to help develop the next generation of highly skilled professionals like Arthrex Technology Consultants who work with orthopedic surgeons to provide trustworthy technical product support,” said Arthrex President and founder Reinhold Schmieding.
In October 2017, Arthrex announced plans for a new $40 million facility in Sandy Springs, South Carolina. Surgical devices will be manufactured in the 290,000-square-foot facility, which is scheduled to open this summer. The new location is part of Arthrex’s efforts to expand its manufacturing base into South Carolina to create new products and jobs in America.
The pilot program will span two years and comprise a series of courses, Arthrex internships and additional learning opportunities for rising third-year students majoring in bioengineering, marketing and health sciences departments.
MKT 4950 Developing and Selling Medical Devices is the first course being offered in the series and will begin in fall 2019. Taught by Ryan Mullins in the College of Business, course material provides students an introduction to the health care industry with a focus on the development and marketing of surgical device innovations. Mullins was selected to develop the course as the Provost’s Inaugural Innovation Fellow, a program created to encourage faculty on campus to support corporate engagement efforts.
“Our collaboration with Arthrex helps us create a new type of focused course,” said Mullins. “We will walk students through real case studies at Arthrex to understand how surgical devices get translated from marketable idea to surgeon or physician adoption. This helps us illustrate the challenges inherent to both the health care marketplace and marketing of new offerings, which is not taught anywhere else.”
Students who are enrolled in the course may apply for the scholarship and additional programs offered as part of the two-year series of courses. Those who would like to participate in the entire program will take Student Affairs’ Certified Student Leader Program in the spring and an internship with Arthrex in the summer. Students outside of the participating departments can also intern with Arthrex by working with their advisers and the career center.
This partnership was developed through Clemson’s Office of Corporate Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives. Additional details regarding the scholarship, internship and second-year courses will be available soon.