MassRobotics, Festo, Mitsubishi Electric, MITRE, and Novanta to Support Second Cohort of Healthcare Robotics Startups

MassRobotics and its corporate partners are looking for applicants for the second Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst program.

The Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst is seeking more startups.
MassRobotics, Festo, Mitsubishi Electric Automation, MITRE, Novanta, and Celera Motion Control are seeking young companies to aid with the Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst Program.

After the success of their first program, MassRobotics and its corporate partners are calling on more startups to apply to their second Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst program. MassRobotics, Festo, Mitsubishi Electric Automation, MITRE, and Novanta said the program will provide companies the connections, guidance, and resources they need to grow.

Mentors from the organizing companies will guide the selected startups and help them connect with potential customers, investors, suppliers, marketers, and more.

In addition, the selected startups will exchange milestones with the larger Healthcare Robotics Working Group, an Eastern U.S. cluster of corporate, academic, government, startup, and venture capital volunteers.

MassRobotics marks startup catalyst success

MassRobotics is a collective effort of a group of engineers, rocket scientists, and entrepreneurs to create vibrant robotics and Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem in Massachusetts.

The Boston-based organization's mission is to help create and scale the next generation of successful robotics and connected devices companies. It provides entrepreneurs and innovators with the workspace and resources they need to develop, prototype, test and commercialize their products and solutions.

In the first Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst program, the selected companies included Bionomous from Switzerland, Eureka Robotics from Singapore, Assistive Technology Development in the U.S., and Kinarm in Canada. They all achieved significant milestones, including but not limited to funding, sales, signing a global partnership, and territory expansions.

The Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst program focuses on startups in the areas of clinical care, public safety, laboratory, supply chain automation, out-of-hospital care, and quality of life. It also addresses continuity of work and education, as well as training and support for healthcare professionals.

Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst QR code

The Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst program is seeking applicants. Source: MassRobotics

Mitsubishi Electric among healthcare robotics leaders

The partner organizations making this call for applications are all leaders in the healthcare robotics space, according to MassRobotics.

“We look forward to collaborating with startup companies for innovative solutions and technologies to succeed our customers,” stated William Nguyen, Ph.D., development manager at Mitsubishi Electric Automation Inc.

Mitsubishi Electric Automation is part of a $40 billion global company offering automation products including programmable logic controllers (PLCs), variable frequency drives, operator interfaces, motion control systems, computer numerical controls (CNC), industrial robots, and servo amplifiers and motors.

The corporation's philosophy includes a commitment not only to providing superior solutions and service to Mitsubishi Electric customers, but also to contributing to the local community and creating a rewarding environment for its employees.

Mitsubishi and MassRobotics

Mitsubishi Electric Automation won a “Most Engaged Partner Award” from MassRobotics for its work with the first cohort of the Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst. Source: MassRobotics

Novanta and Celera Motion participate

“We are proud to support MassRobotics in its critical mission to create advanced robotics, particularly in the medical field,” said Matthijs Glastra, CEO of Novanta Inc.

With its almost 50 years of business in Germany, Novanta is a leading provider of high-performance medical technology and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the industry. The Bedford, Mass.-based company said its more than 2,400 employees worldwide in North America, Europe, and Asia are working to develop innovative products. 

“As a Boston-based company with technology development and manufacturing in Massachusetts, Novanta is uniquely positioned to be a leader in developing robotics talent for the region,” added Brian Young, chief human resources officer at Novanta.

Novanta’s commitment to the catalyst program includes leaders from its Celera Motion Control unit, a provider of motion control components and subsystems for OEMs serving a variety of markets. It will collaborate with MassRobotics and other companies, organizations, and research institutions to create new innovations across a wide range of applications, especially in medical robots.

“We’re excited to be part of the Boston area’s robotics community that is leading the next wave of technology,” said Kalpana Singh, president and general manager of Celera Motion. “Together, we are simultaneously fostering and benefiting from our area’s incredibly innovative culture. The future is very bright for our industry, and we can’t wait to see what we’ll accomplish together.”

Festo looks to provide opportunities

The Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst program's organizers are eager to find opportunities for the selected companies within their network, MassRobotics said.

“Being part of the catalyst program facilitates collaborations between the startup and industry partners in our network and opens up opportunities to conduct tests and trials at medical facilities in the U.S.,“ said Nuzha Yakoob, head of technology and innovation at Festo.

Festo is a global, independent, family-owned company with headquarters in Esslingen am Neckar, Germany. The company supplies pneumatic and electrical automation technology to 300,000 customers of factory and process automation in over 35 industries.

The medical technology and laboratory automation sector is becoming increasingly important, said Festo. Its products and services are available in 176 countries.

With about 20,000 employees in over 250 branch offices in 61 countries worldwide, Festo achieved a turnover of around €2.84 billion in 2020. Each year, around 8% of this turnover is invested in research and development.

In this learning company, 1.5 % of turnover is invested in basic and further training. Festo Didactic SE is a leading provider of technical education and training and offers its customers worldwide comprehensive digital and physical learning solutions in the industrial environment.

“The great success of the first cohort of the catalyst program encouraged us to continue with this great approach,” said Alfons Riek, vice president of technology and innovation at Festo. “It’s not about offering financial resources, which are available in many places.”

“This unique program provides resources, which startups do not find easily such as access to a worldwide business network, domain knowledge, engineering, and a dedicated mentoring team that supports the growth of the startup and helps meet the startup’s timelines,” he added. “We are so glad that also other industry partners joined the program under the umbrella of MassRobotics.”

MITRE part of public-private partnerships

The MITRE Corp. said its “teams are dedicated to solving problems for a safer world.” Through public-private partnerships and federally funded research and development centers, the company said it works to tackle challenges to the nation's safety, stability, and well-being.

“MITRE is excited to join MassRobotics, Fetso, Mitsubishi Electric Automation, and Novanta to accelerate and lower barriers to entry for startups with healthcare robotic solutions,” said Russ Graves, director of bridging innovation at the company.

“We are excited to see Festo, Mitsubishi Electric Automation, MITRE, and Novanta come together to collaboratively work to support our efforts to find global disrupting applications and startups in such human-care fields like healthcare, including life science, biotech, and medical devices,” said Juan Necochea, manager of strategic partnerships at MassRobotics.

The recording from this year's informational webinar is available online (see last year's below). Startups can apply until Sept. 9, 2022 at this link:

Healthcare Robotics: Startup Catalyst informational webinar. This webinar will share information about the program: who is eligible, selection criteria, benefits of the program, timeline.

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