BATESVILLE, Ind. and SINGAPORE, Aug. 24 Hill-Rom(NYSE: HRC) has formally opened its Asia-Pacific Innovation Center inSingapore. Today, the company hosted an event to commemorate the opening. Theselection of Singapore as the site for the Asia-Pacific Innovation Center wasfirst announced in November 2007.
"Hill-Rom is pleased to celebrate the opening of this important additionto our global R&D footprint," said Peter H. Soderberg, president and CEO ofHill-Rom, who was present to host. "Our Innovation Center in Singaporerepresents an acceleration of our efforts to embed increasingly sophisticatedand differentiated micro-electronics and software in our products. We alsosee the opening of this Center as an important step in globalizing ourproducts and presence."
Attending the opening event as the guest of honor, Mr. Lim Siong Guan,chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board, said, "We congratulateHill-Rom on the opening of its Asia-Pacific Innovation Center. Asia presentsnew growth opportunities for the medical technology industry with its growingageing population and rising affluence. Against this backdrop, Singaporepresents a strategic location for companies to tap on Asia's growth by forgingstrategic partnerships with our base of global industry partners, researchinstitutes and hospitals. These partnerships will position Singapore as a one-stop location for companies to test-bed and develop cost-effective, efficienthealthcare systems and solutions for the regional and global markets."
The Asia-Pacific Innovation Center is now the home base for new Hill-Romteams focused on research & development projects for global applications ofvarious Hill-Rom products. Teams in Singapore are developing projects thatinvolve microelectronics, embedded software, and electro-mechanical systems.These projects are integral to the technical development of new Hill-Rom bedsand therapy surfaces.
"Innovation and partnering are key levers for a successful medicaltechnology company like Hill-Rom," said Abel Ang, chief technology officer forHill-Rom. "That's why we saw Singapore as a perfect location. Not only doesSingapore offer great technical talent, but also it provides an environmentwith sophisticated health care institutions and a strong government supportiveof growth. As our R&D Center ramps up, we are looking to collaborate with ourAsian partners to advance and test new bed technologies and business modelswith the intent of raising the standard of care offered to patients andcaregivers worldwide."
The Singapore Center is part of Hill-Rom's previously announced strategicfocus on R&D aimed at ensuring that Hill-Rom products uniquely meet thecurrent and future needs of caregivers and the patients they serve.Announcement of the Center in Singapore followed an earlier 2007 addition of aBatesville-based Global Innovation Center which added approximately 80 newIndiana-based jobs. Hill-Rom also has R&D work ongoing at sites located inMontpellier, France and in Pluvigner, France. The Singapore Center iscomplementary to these world-wide efforts and will serve as a naturalextension for Hill-Rom's current investments in its Suzhou, China location.
Soderberg explained that Hill-Rom has an ongoing commitment to its homebase in Indiana but also recognizes the need to leverage opportunities in theAsia-Pacific region as well as to tap into the talents and strengths of aglobal workforce. Singapore, with its regional reputation for advancingtechnology development and innovation, its similarities to North America interms of its health care environment and its proximity to the broader Asia-Pacific region made it a natural choice.
The company plans to have 17 associates based at the Asia-PacificInnovation Center by the end of this year and plans additional expansion overthe next five years. The Hill-Rom Asia-Pacific Innovation Center in Singa