ALBIS Healthcare goes Italy

Blog post   •   Nov 02, 2018 14:16 CET

Although ALBIS PLASTIC has been in the international plastics distribution and compounding business for more than 50 years, Italy remained uncharted territory for a long time.

On July 1, 2016, they finally bridged that gap when ALBIS PLASTIC Italia S.r.l. opened its doors in Gallarate, Lombardy, as the most recent addition to the ALBIS family of subsidiaries. It wasn’t long before the first customer orders were confirmed—granulate deliveries for automotive and packaging applications, among others—and on January 1, 2018, ALBIS Italia obtained distribution rights for the INEOS Styrolution and LyondellBasell product portfolios.

ALBIS has already established itself as a multi-faceted provider within the fragmented Italian plastics market... but within the medical technology sector, ALBIS hasn’t yet become a household name.

New, yes, but hardly beginners: a highly experienced Italian healthcare sales representative and the global ALBIS healthcare team experts have set out to conquer the Italian market.

One of the first steps on this journey involved speaking at the September edition of Happy Hour Tecniche del Biomedicale in Mirandola.

Unlike in Northern and Central Europe, business relationships in Italy are often established through personal contacts and recommendations, networks and acquaintances. It was one such customer recommendation that opened the door for ALBIS to give a presentation entitled PLASTIC & COMPOUND SOLUTIONS YOU NEED FOR YOUR MEDICAL DEVICES.

“Happy Hour” normally conjures up mental images of people getting together for a few drinks after work, but at this meet-up, which was funded by the City of Mirandola with additional support from sponsors, the drinks weren’t front and center—they only came into play near the end of the Technical Happy Hour.

This unique series of one-hour seminars focuses on various medical technology-related topics, and offers participants a chance to network, share knowledge and discuss their experiences. Over 80 such events have taken place over the past six years, with up to 40 participants attending each of the loosely structured late-afternoon events. The event series was launched by Paolo Poggioli, a medical technology expert with numerous industry contacts, and serves to help medical technology companies build their networks within the district.

The Mirandola region, in the northern part of the province of Modena, is a hub for medical technology—online information indicates that it is the second-largest such hub in the world. At present, more than 100 companies are headquartered in the Distretto Biomedicale Mirandolese, employing a total of around 3500 employees. The first two companies came to the region back in 1962, and began producing disposables for IV sets. Nowadays, the Mirandola biomedical district is one of the world’s most important locations for medicine, with global corporate subsidiaries as well as Italian small- andmedium-sized companies calling it home; among others things, district companies produce disposables and medical products for use in dialysis, cardiac surgery, transfusion, parenteral nutrition, and gynecology.

ALBIS PLASTIC’s presentation at Technical Happy Hour was received very positively by participants, and its presentation met with a great deal of interest.

In fact, the response was so enthusiastic that ALBIS spontaneously developed the idea to organize its own event, the Healthcare Lounge Italy.

The ALBIS HEALTHCARE LOUNGE is a tried-and-true model of success. The event series began in 2014 with ten participants in the Dusseldorf area; in 2017, nearly 70 customers and interested parties attended from all over Europe.

Besides being a forum for presentations related to “medical grades” (polymer raw materials for use in healthcare applications), the series also focuses on lectures and information on topics like changes to legal and regulatory framework conditions within the field of medical devices.

Speakers hail from a variety of fields. Some are global polymer producers who develop plastics especially for use in medical devices, or whose product portfolios include diagnostic applications or pharmaceutical packaging; others are ALBIS customers and OEMs in the medical-technology sector, and still others represent test laboratories or consulting and development offices.

In 2018, this successful concept was presented outside of Germany for the first time. To give participants the benefit of short travel distances, organizers selected Medolla, in the Mirandola region, as the event location for the first “Healthcare Lounge Italy” on November 6.

ALBIS experts will be presenting, as will Italian-speaking speakers representing LyondellBasel and IneosStyrolution, two of ALBIS’s longtime supplier partners.

Since medical-technology companies are finding themselves subject to ever more stringent requirements, such as the new Europe-wide Medical Device Regulation MDR 2017/745 or changes to ISO 10993, regional events like the Healthcare lounge offer a great deal of added value by both providing new information and creating an opportunity to discuss experiences.

ALBIS PLASTIC is committed to its goal of not merely positioning itself on the market as a materials supplier, but also supporting its customers through in-depth knowledge and a global team of healthcare industry-specific experts.

Ulrike Schwerig
Marketing Expert Healthcare

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