For the Record with Ludovic Labat, CEO, Neo-Bionica

October 27  

Ludovic Labat, Ph.D., is the CEO of Neo-Bionica, an advanced MedTech contract engineering and manufacturing consultancy headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and serving clients in countries around the world.

As a business leader, Ludovic has over 20 years’ experience in the medical device and technology industry in Europe, the US, and Asia Pacific with a range of global companies including Fortive, Danaher, Siemens, Tektronix, and Invetech. He has a record of proven success in bringing innovations to market and generating profitable growth in global high-tech and medical device markets.

In your own words, what does Neo-Bionica do?

Neo-Bionica is a design engineering firm providing commercialization and manufacturing services for neurotechnology and bioelectronics. We enable innovators in this field to bring their solutions to market, ultimately improving the lives of patients. We provide an end-to-end service for our clients, including design engineering, prototyping, and manufacturing of wearable and implanted medical devices.

What sets Neo-Bionica apart from other engineering firms?

What distinguishes Neo-Bionica is our wide-ranging expertise, spanning from in-depth knowledge of the science and physiology behind these devices and applying that expertise to the practicalities of product design, manufacturing, and distribution. This encompasses the design of implanted devices, fabrication technologies, and meeting stringent regulatory and quality standards. This comprehensive suite of skills positions us uniquely in the field. Additionally, we pride ourselves in developing extremely ‘user-centric’ designs as we believe this approach significantly enhances the potential for commercial success of a device. 

Neo-Bionica is only two years old. How have you built the organization so quickly?

There are two key factors at play. Firstly, we benefit greatly from the foundational work in neurotechnology and bioelectronics carried out by pioneers in this field, including our founders and institutions like the University of Melbourne and the Bionics Institute. Their decades of innovation provide a solid basis for us. Secondly, we’ve assembled a team of highly experienced professionals, many of whom have backgrounds at established companies like Advanced Bionics, Epi-Minder, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, and others. This collective expertise in both technical and business aspects equips us to deliver value to our clients from day one.

Could you tell us a bit about your own professional journey and how you came to lead Neo-Bionica?

Over the past two decades, I’ve focused on developing products, primarily in the medical field, with experience in test and measurement as well. My insight from this journey is that successful companies hinge on a robust collaboration between those who understand the market, clinical needs, patient perspectives, and those who can deliver innovative solutions. This principle guides my approach at Neo-Bionica, where I aim to blend my technical expertise with a deep understanding of market dynamics to empower our clients and drive the company forward.

What motivates you to lead in the startup space – not only as a startup yourself, but servicing a wide portfolio of startup clients?

Working in the startup space, whether it’s at Neo-Bionica or in previous roles is akin to being part of an innovation hub within a larger organization. It’s about a group of passionate individuals rallying behind a vision and putting in the effort to make it a reality. This environment, although challenging due to inherent uncertainties, is incredibly rewarding. It requires a fundamental belief that the healthcare solutions of the future are being shaped today by innovative startups and forward-thinking groups. That conviction is what drives me.

Looking ahead, how do you envision the neurotech industry evolving in the next five to ten years, and how does Neo-Bionica plan to thrive in this landscape?

The neurotech industry is at a turning point. Recent breakthroughs have addressed significant clinical and technical challenges, leading to broader adoption. Innovations like closed-loop systems and advancements in electronics miniaturization, combined with the integration of artificial intelligence, are reshaping the field. Neo-Bionica’s vision is to be at the forefront of this transformation. We aim to support innovators by not only understanding the clinical and physiological aspects, but also ensuring that the products we help develop have robust supply chains and processes to meet high-volume demands.

What do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities for the neurotech industry in the next five to ten years?

One of the primary challenges will be scaling up, moving beyond niche, high-cost solutions to serve broader populations It’s about making these technologies accessible to a wider range of patients, including children. This requires addressing technical barriers that limit widespread adoption. At Neo-Bionica, we’re heavily invested in adapting to these needs, focusing on innovations such as high-resolution arrays and miniaturized implants located optimally for maximum clinical impact. This commitment sets us up to the meet the scaling challenges head-on.

How does Neo-Bionica prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are deeply ingrained in Neo-Bionica’s culture. We recognize that collaboration is fundamental to success in this industry. As a spin-off from research institutions, our company brings together clinicians, researchers, and business-minded individuals, along with private investors. This inherently leads to a diverse and inclusive environment. Personally, I hold inclusion and diversity dear, not only as a business leader but as a global citizen. It’s crucial to me, and it’s important to the people around us. We believe that diversity of thought, experience, and background enriches our work and helps us to better serve our clients.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work? How do you unwind?

A significant part of my life revolves around my family. We share a love for sailing, which provides a unique opportunity for bonding and learning together. Being on the water offers an environment for meaningful conversations and teaching important values. Additionally, I find inspiration in the curiosity and perspectives of my children, as the contemplate the world and its future. It’s a source of joy and motivation for me.

Success message!
Warning message!
Error message!