• Costa Rican team has developed one-of-a-kind technology in the market for breast implants.
• Company expects creation of 100 new jobs in the medium term.
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica., Sept. 5, 2014. During a visit to the medical device manufacturing plant of the company Establishment Labs in Coyol de Alajuela, Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis, accompanied by the general director of the Costa Rican Development Initiatives Coalition (CINDE), Gabriela Llobet, were able to observe how Costa Rica's talent has become part of the international medical industry by designing, producing and marketing next generation breast implants, successfully competing in 42 countries around the world.
Under the breast implant brand Motiva Implant Matrix®, a group of Costa Ricans led by founder and general manager Juan Jose Chacon Quiros, has been successfully competing in the European and Japanese markets. They are poised to also enter an additional 7 markets - Portugal, Ireland, Poland, France, Slovakia, Morocco and Hong Kong - it was announced.
From its Costa Rican facilities, Establishment Labs is involved in every stage of the production of breast implants, including a patented radiofrequency technology. Motiva Implant Matrix® is the only implant in the world that uses built-in microchips to ensure the device's safety and access to product traceability information.
Costa Rica's President Luis Guillermo Solis underscored the importance of continuing to attract companies by means of foreign direct investment in order to create areas of action for Costa Rica's human talent.
"Establishment Labs is an example of how foreign direct investment is able to extract the best Costa Rican human talent by devising and producing in this case next generation medical equipment, and, in turn, allowing other companies to enjoy the benefits of the foreign direct investment," said the president. The company, which began operating in 2009, has to date 70 associates, who have been responsible for the development of new technologies in the medical device industry.
Gabriela Llobet, general director of CINDE, said, "Costa Rica is known worldwide as a highly competitive seat of medical equipment manufacturing, clear proof of which are the 57 companies from the life sciences that provide jobs to some 17,200 people in our country."
Since the start-up of Establishment Lab's operations, exports have grown significantly, increasing from 6,000 implants in 2011 to 16,000 in 2013. The forecast for 2014 is to export more than 40,000 implants. The company currently exports to 42 countries, and it has trade agreements in more than 50 countries, in which health registrations are pending approval.
The increase in production can also be demonstrated by the number of associates who work in Establishment Labs. At the end of 2013, the company had 35 associates, with the number having risen to 70 today. Plans are for a second shift beginning in January 2015, which will increase the number of associates to 85. Establishment Labs has plans in the near future to increase the plant's size by 2,500 square meters and hire an additional 100 workers.
The company is collaborating with Manchester University in the development of a new surface for medical devices designed to improve their biocompatibility, using nanotechnology to replicate the nano-structure of the skin of geckos, among the most complex in Mother Nature.
Among the company's other breakthroughs is the introduction in the breast implant industry of a patented safety surface called BluSeal®, which allows doctors to verify with the naked eye the presence of a safety barrier in implants that prevents the problem of the silicone gel leaking as happened years ago with other industry brands.
Establishment Labs also announced that thanks to the support in direct foreign investment of its strategic partner INVERMASTER, it has acquired the assets of the company Axis-Three of Great Britain with the aim of incorporating this innovative 3D technology into its range of products. Starting September, work will begin on upgrading the 3D software with Costa Rican engineers, and it is expected that the assemblage of the 3D equipment will be brought to Costa Rica next year.