Lifesciences and Medtech growth

Ireland’s position as a global leader in the Medical Tech and Life Sciences sectors is underlined by the fact that 14 out of the world’s top 15 leading multinationals now have operations in Ireland.

Companies such as Boston Scientific, Medtronic, J&J/ DePuy, Stryker, Becton Dickinson, Baxter, Abbott and Cook continue to expand the sector, with many making significant ongoing investments.

“2018 saw a terrific combination of announcements from new names and existing companies,” explains Rachel Shelly, IDA’s Head of Medical Technologies Division, citing announcements by Edwards Lifesciences in the Mid West, the arrival of Quidel to Galway, expansions by Bausch and West Pharmaceuticals in Waterford, plus Avery Dennison in Longford.

She adds that innovation is also thriving, as seen by Becton Dickinson’s new global R&D centre in Limerick and Agilent Technologies Ireland opening of its purpose-built R&D extension to its Little Island facility in Co Cork.

“Today, over 74% of companies are engaged in R&D. There are 32,000 people directly employed in IDA client companies, and two of IDA Ireland’s Med Tech companies, Boston Scientific and Medtronic, are among the top five employers in Ireland.

“Companies like Abbott, Baxter, Stryker, Boston Scientific, Teleflex Medical, Medtronic, J +J, and Braun all have multiple Irish sites. There is also a strong global business services mandate, with 25% of our companies are engaged in such services,” she adds.

The Government’s policy and investments in STEM and support for innovation are also credited for the ongoing growth, coupled with client companies investments in the talent they are securing in Ireland, for the sector’s evolution from manufacture of class I non-invasive devices to today’s highly innovative Class II invasive devices and class III combination drug devices.

Martin Shanahan, IDA Ireland CEO, said that the very substantial contribution being made by the Life Sciences sector to Ireland’s economy is growing year on year.

“These are global companies operating at the highest level, using cutting edge technology and innovative processes to develop next generation medicines and medical devices to treat illnesses and medical conditions worldwide.”

He cites the example that the 25% of the world’s population that have diabetes rely on injectable devices manufactured in Ireland – that is over 30 million people. In addition, 50% of ventilators worldwide in acute hospitals are Irish made, 33% of the world’s contact lenses are manufactured here, 80% of global stent production is carried out in Ireland, as is 75% of global orthopaedic knee production.

“As a small island nation and against a backdrop of intense competition from other locations, geopolitical uncertainty and other challenges, we have developed a reputation in the sector that we can be justifiably proud of.”

Source: Irish Examiner