For more than 30 years, Invetech has partnered with global leaders in life sciences to create breakthrough healthcare solutions. The Australian Export Awards finalist tells us how it brings clarity and speed to commercialisation of breakthrough diagnostics and therapies.
It’s been a stellar year of growth for healthcare solutions company Invetech. Andreas Knaack, President of Invetech, points to the people that made it happen.
Invetech is no stranger to success. For more than 30 years, the company has partnered with global leaders in health and life sciences. Together, they have created breakthrough solutions that millions rely on every day.
Invetech has completed more than 5,000 projects alongside the world’s foremost therapeutic and diagnostic companies. From the start, its mission has been to bring clarity and speed to commercialisation.
‘We came to market as a handful of engineers over 30 years ago,’ says Andreas Knaack, President of Invetech. ‘Today, we are more than 300 people realising healthcare innovation with some of the world’s most incredible companies. It’s remarkable, and so rewarding.’
To meet the needs of its growing market, Invetech has development and manufacturing centres in Australia and North America. The company exports to the US, UK, Canada, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Israel and countries throughout Europe.
‘Export is absolutely key,’ says Knaack. ‘We realised 25 years ago that we had to go abroad to grow.
‘Today, exports are over 90% of our business. The Australian market is important. But being effective outside of Australia is key.’
Despite COVID headwinds, Invetech achieved export growth of more than 50% in the last financial year. Securing major projects with global clients was crucial.
Knaack points to a project for a UK- and US-based diagnostics company. The company detects infectious diseases at the point of care, including COVID-19. This project saw Invetech complete a diagnostic instrument and associated disposable development in a record 8 months.
Another recent achievement was working with one of the world’s top 5, Europe-based pharmaceutical companies. This project involved designing and providing several machines and disposables for one of the company’s autologous cell therapies.
Knaack’s major motivation for applying to the Australian Export Awards was recognition for his team.
‘The last 24 months have been anything but easy,’ he says. ‘But we’ve grown more than 50% in an export market, from an Australian base, without being able to see our customers face-to-face.
‘Our people made that happen. Their ingenuity, their energy, their tenacity, and their ability to plough through these COVID-19 years is second to nothing. They deserve the recognition.’
The awards applications process was an important time for reflection, especially in the face of the pandemic.
‘It made us take a step back and think about what actually made us successful,’ says Knaack. ‘What came out were 3 things: our people, our agility, and our strategy.
As a 2021 finalist, Knaack has some advice for aspiring exporters.
‘I would first ask: “What's your right to play?”. Be clear about your right to play in the target market that you’re going into. Just because it’s big, doesn’t give you a right to be there.’
Knaack advises exporters to be clear on their strategy.
‘Strategy in the sense of, “What game are you going to play?”. Understand the roots of the game. Understand the players, the teams. Who are you up against? What’s their strategy and how can you get around their strategy and win?’
Knaack also encourages other businesses to apply for the award.
‘If you've got a good story to tell, do it,’ he urges. ‘Don’t do it for yourself. Don’t do it so much for your marketing. Do it for your team.’
Invetech is gearing up for another stellar year.
‘Invetech is in the best position it’s ever been in the history of the company,’ says Knaack confidently.
‘We are uniquely positioned in very exciting markets that are providing steady growth and opportunity. In addition, we are launching 2 new products in the next 12 months, building on the growth over the last 2 years. It couldn’t be better.’
On being a finalist, Knaack says the entire team is ‘over the moon! I almost can’t express in words what it means to the team to be recognised. They so deserve this.’