UOC offers a flexible range of clinically proven solutions used to perform primary total hip and knee replacement, revision procedures, and oncology applications. The company is also one of the very few companies that offer clinical education, customer service, and product support for orthopedic surgeons and hospital staff as well. “Even in giant companies, they often have outsourced resources in some aspects but we have everything in-house, which is quite unique for a company of our size,” says François Bopp, president (Europe) of UOC. The company is headquartered in Taiwan with branch offices in the US, Europe, China, and Japan. Its products are currently sold in 38 countries such as Italy, Turkey, Spain, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Thailand, and Puerto Rico.
Your company comes from Taiwan and set up its European headquarters in the canton of Vaud, in Pully, in 2016: what are the reasons that made you choose Switzerland and the canton of Vaud for your business?
The financial part is the first reason for our choice, in particular the favorable taxation. We have thus set up our European activities in the form of a holding company. The holding company owns 4 subsidiaries, in Switzerland, France, England and Belgium. In addition, our Swiss subsidiary works with distributors in Spain, Italy, Greece, Ukraine, Moldova and Turkey. This network of distributors is expected to expand further in 2021.
The second reason is the image that Switzerland continues to have in the business world. This reputation for reliability, seriousness, punctuality, all without arrogance, is also an asset and a responsibility for us, it is obvious. Taiwan has a bit of this same image in Asia.
"Taiwan has a bit the same image as Switzerland in Asia"
What are the advantages of doing MedTech in Switzerland and in the Lake Geneva region?
Our production is located in Taiwan. This aspect has therefore not entered our reflection, even though the region has well-known skills in micromechanics, which is an important part of our production. Proximity to engineering schools such as EPFL in Lausanne or HEIG-VD in Yverdon, and the innovative projects that could emerge from them, is an important asset for the choice of the region.
How did Innovaud support you to set-up your business in the canton of Vaud in 2016?
Innovaud has shown competence, involvement and responsiveness in monitoring our arrival and set-up in the region.
UOC has just been named one of the best companies providing orthopedic services in Europe by the American magazine "Med Tech Outlook": what does this mean to you and UOC?
After four and a half years of activity in Europe, it was a nice surprise. Above all, this shows that anything is possible for those who enter the competition with good products, respect (and I would almost say, love!) For our customers, responsive service and logistics, and attention to people.
What are your future projects?
We are leading a very promising collaboration with a company from the North of the canton of Vaud, based in Sainte-Croix, Process Implants. As part of our project, Process Implants is working with the Yverdon-based engineering school HEIG-VD for the development of an articulated and robotic arm, for knee surgery. This is a project entirely funded by us that should have a global impact.
Our growth target is 30% per year over the next five years at a minimum. We look forward to the future.