27.04.2023 / company news

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Today, we would like to introduce you to Patrick Burki, our Head of R&D. Patrick is a mechanical engineer with a strong background in product development for the MedTech industry, particularly in the area of orthopaedic trauma and sports medicine. He joined Bonebridge in July 2019.

In his role, Patrick manages the Research and Development team and is responsible for managing the design, development and maintenance of the whole Bonebridge portfolio. He works closely with the members of the Technical Commission to develop solutions for the surgical treatment of musculoskeletal trauma. “My goal is to ensure that every decision, from design to manufacturing, revolves around the company’s concept of reducing complexity. This is an element that I believe has the potential to make a positive difference in this field, now and in the future,” Patrick says.

When the opportunity to join Bonebridge arose, the idea of creating a product development process from scratch was very appealing to him. “I also got to have more control over important decisions and take full responsibility for projects,” Patrick says. “Working at Bonebridge has satisfied my interest to learn about the intricacies of starting a company, including the opportunity to interact directly with key opinion leaders and hospitals.” Patrick was the lead in taking Bonebridge’s first ever implant to the market – the SALGINA 2.5mm Volar Distal Radius Plate. “The whole process was very satisfying and we have continued to hit numerous company milestones since,” Patrick shares. “I believed in the company’s purpose right from the start. We have a team of dedicated people with a clear focus and we consistently pull on the same rope to work towards a common goal.”

Once you discover where Patrick was raised, it is no surprise to learn how he became interested in MedTech. Patrick was born in Solothurn, a small and beautiful baroque town located on the banks of the Aare river, at the southern edge of the Jura mountains. Solothurn and the nearby regions are known for their manufacturing industry, particularly their long tradition in the watch industry (Swatch Group) as well as the machine and medical device sector (Straumann, Mathys, Synthes). Patrick started his professional career with an apprenticeship in construction and design engineering at Synthes. He then worked as a development engineer in different fields for DePuy Synthes/Mitek Sports Medicine and obtained a BSc degree in mechanical engineering at the Bern University of Applied Sciences in Burgdorf. He subsequently joined 41medical – a think tank as well as design and development company that grew out of the former Synthes innovation team.

To this day, Patrick calls Solothurn his home: “It was a great place to grow up in. There were many kids in the neighbourhood and the sense of community was strong. All my friends and my family still live in the area, too. In the summertime, the Aare river near the Leporello bridge – which lent its name to the Bonebridge Olecranon Plate – is a great place to go swimming. In the winter, the Jura mountains are just around the corner for skiing, cross-country skiing and sledging. I like the feeling of the small-town center and the fact that it’s not too far away from Bern, where I can enjoy the bigger city vibe when I want to.”

In his spare time, Patrick is an avid cyclist – a passion he inherited from his father. “During a family vacation in the Provence region of France in 2015, my father and I cycled the Mont Ventoux,” he recalls. At 1,909 meters, it is the highest mountain in the region and is often nicknamed ‘The Bald Mountain’ due to its bare limestone topography. It was also made famous by its inclusion in the Tour de France races. “That happened to be my first time on a road bike. This experience sparked my interest in cycling. I proceeded to cycle different tracks around Switzerland, until I slowly began to develop a competitive appetite for it.”

In July 2022, he cycled stage 14 of the Tour de France – a distance of 209km with a total elevation of 4,888m. He trained several months to prepare for this big goal and didn’t expect to experience such an incredibly fun and motivating atmosphere on the day of the tour. “I completed the race with a moving time of 10 hours and 17 minutes, amongst a massive group of 16,000 participants. It was without a doubt one of best things I’ve ever experienced!”

Patrick conquering Col du Galibier, a Tour de France legend

Patrick conquering Col du Galibier, a Tour de France legend

Patrick exploring Barbados on his bike

Patrick exploring Barbados on his bike