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  • 1 University of Economics, Prague, Czechia
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This case study of the medical technology sector in Czechia places a major focus on the position of Czech firms, particularly SMEs, in global production networks and their internationalization. The medical technology (MedTech) industry is on the rise in Czechia, although in relative terms it is part of a relatively less important category. Three types of MedTech firms have been identified in Czechia: branches of TNCs, mostly domestically-owned innovative SMEs, and local SMEs focusing on low-value production. Despite there being several innovative and successful firms, production is dominated by low-value disposables and medical and surgical products. Apart from exports, other forms of internationalization are rare and occur mostly among a number of innovative firms. With a few exceptions, production facilities are established in neighboring post-communist countries. The low levels of internationalization are mostly related to the nature of local SMEs as well as the limited ambitions of local firms. With more sophisticated products Czech SMEs could focus more on Eastern European countries outside the EU, where Czechia has historical economic ties and the regulatory requirements are likely to be less strict. An industry move towards connected health solutions is also an opportunity for start-ups focusing on health applications.

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