2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of Medtronic’s very first European production facility in Kerkrade. We have several festivities planned for our anniversary year.
We are looking back from the moment at which the pacemaker plant with 50 employees was opened on 6 June, 1969, until 2019
– 50 years later – with Medtronic Netherlands having become one of the largest employers in the South of the Netherlands in the meantime, with around 3000 employees working in five facilities.
Take a look at how Medtronic in the Netherlands developed from the humble beginnings to the impressive company it is today, with employees who have already been guided by our mission for 50 years.View the 1969 - 2019 timeline
The story of Medtronic is one of men and women- Earl E. Bakken, co-founder of Medtronic, who passed away last year.
who have dedicated their lives and careers to helping
real people overcome pain and disability to lead more normal, happy lives.
50 years of Medtronic in the Netherlands in retrospect
A selection of anecdotes and memories of (former) Medtronic Netherlands employees below.
Thank you! This is such a gift to- Tinie Haagsma, first Medtronic Netherlands employee and Executive Assistant to
Earl Bakken, that it is going so well here and that so much is being done for the patients and for the employees. I think Earl would have been incredibly proud about what is happening here.
Earl Bakken for 20 years
First Medtronic building in Kerkrade - 1969
Open House after the opening of the Kerkrade building in 1969
Great first years with the cafetaria being located in a wooden shed.- Jo Merkun, former Finance employee and General Manager of the Kerkrade, Eindhoven and Düsseldorf sites
In the beginning, the Kerkrade distribution center was as big as my last Medtronic office in Düsseldorf.
First ICD implant: the entire team had been working on it flat out, and when the actual moment arrives and the patient is doing well, then you feel so proud and happy: that feeling is beyond any imagination.- Marie-Jeanne Kramer, Executive Assistant to Leo Kretzers at the Bakken Research Center
I still consider the time when I was involved in production activities (pacemakers, heartwires and hybrids) my most beautiful period. There was a sense of unity in the team. We laughed an awful lot, but we also cried sometimes. I made many friends in those days.- Tiny Jacobs, administrative assistant/receptionist at Cardiac Surgery Operations in Kerkrade
If you wanted to reach someone within Medtronic, you had to go through the people operating the telephone switchboard; and if you had left your desk, an announcement would be heard through the whole building:- Anja Damrow, Technical User Support Analyst (Accounts Admin) at IT in Heerlen
'Mrs. Anouk Jansen, please call extension 9'.
on 2 June 1989, Earl Bakken was named Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau by the Governor of the Province of Limburg Dr Kremers because of his great contributions to society in this region?
Proud of the things we developed and accomplished in a difficult region of this country. Medtronic's arrival boosted employment levels in the Province of Limburg, and many of us have had to chance to develop, which helped to improve career prospects.- Auke Poutsma, former Sr. Manager RA/QA & EHS Benelux
besides pacemakers, also cardiac and neuro leads, temporary heartwires, hybrids and balloon catheters were built in Kerkrade in the eighties and nineties?
I foster many great memories when thinking about my time at Medtronic, but the moment when Earl called me to congratulate me on my 40th working anniversary, is still the most special one.- Appie Boekholt, former Packaging & Labeling Design Engineer at EOC
The first implant of the world's first dual chamber pacemaker, Model 7000 Versatrax. Invented and designed in Kerkrade together with teams from the US, this pacemaker turned out to be a great success.- Miel Wehrens, former ICT manager at BRC
Designing pacemakers: a special feeling which often reminded me of a question asked by one of my mentors in the Province of Utrecht, Prof Meijler: 'Would you recommend this device to your mother if she was your patient?'- Fred Lindemans, former General Manager of the Bakken Research Center
European and Medtronic EOC operations were seriously impacted by the closing down of the European air space in 2010 because of an ash cloud resulting from an Icelandic volcano eruption? And that during this time, Medtronic delivered over 500 emergency shipments via couriers, and that the Boeing 747-200 chartered by Medtronic covered a distance of over 12,000 km and carried over 52 tons of cargo?
As part of the Mission in Motion program, every Medtronic employee has the opportunity to personally contribute to the community. As a company, we offer several initiatives for this.Learn more about Mission in Motion
Test your knowledge of 50 years Medtronic in the Netherlands
Do you know all the answers to the questions below?
QUESTION 1: Which Minister for Economic Affairs turned the first sod for the Kerkrade extension on 13 Mai 1977, which would double the premises?
QUESTION 2: How many employees worked at the Medtronic Bakken Research Center when it moved to Maastricht in 1987?
QUESTION 3: Which model Pacer Cardioverter Defibrillator (precursor of the ICD) was developed by the BRC in 1990?
QUESTION 4: Who kicked off the Kerkrade distribution center extension in December 1995?
QUESTION 5: How many people worked at the CardioVascular Operations facility when General Manager Gerrit Harder left in October 2009?
QUESTION 6: In which year did the Dutch Diabetes junior team win the Medtronic Junior Cup Diabetes which was organized by the Diabetes sales team?
QUESTION 7: Which busses (numbers) take you from the Eindhoven central station to the Eindhoven sales office at the Cederlaan?
QUESTION 8: When was the European Experience Center Kerkrade (EECK) set up at Cardiac Surgery Operations in Kerkrade?
QUESTION 9: How many therapy groups did Covidien have at the time of the merger with Medtronic in February 2015?
QUESTION 10 : How many employees exactly work at the Service & Repair Center Of Excellence on 1 Mai 2019?
Send your answers to email@example.com before 30 June.
We will announce the winner in one of the View-NL editions later this year.