Michael Hess

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2012
For outstanding systems design of implantable medical devices and for championing innovation in the medical device industry.

Medtronic Seeks Ideas with New Web Portal

Via Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal | January 21, 2011

If you’re a physician or inventor who’s dreamed up the next big innovation in medical technology, Medtronic Inc. wants to hear from you.

The medical device giant has launched an online idea portal, called Innovate with Medtronic, that allows individuals to submit product proposals to the company via a website.

Overall, the idea-portal concept isn’t new ­— a growing number of consumer-goods companies, such as General Mills Inc. and Proctor & Gamble Co., have developed similar websites in an effort to cull promising ideas from customers. However, Medtronic is one of the first companies in the highly regulated medical-technology industry to adopt the strategy.

The Web-portal idea grew out of a broader discussion among Medtronic officials about how to drive innovation at the company, said Mike Hess, the Fridley-based company’s vice president of innovative excellence. As part the effort, Medtronic had mounted a campaign to encourage its disparate business units to better network and collaborate with one another.