The 250 medical technology companies in Ireland which consists of both domestic and FDI companies, export â‚¬7.2b worth of product annually and employ 25,000 people - the highest number of people working in the industry in any country in Europe, per head of population.
The ongoing investment and job creation reflects the vibrancy of the medical technology sector in Ireland according to Paraic Curtis, Incoming Chairman of the IMDA. "The investment of approximately â‚¬170m is across a wide range of development, manufacturing and R&D projects. In total these investments will create almost 875 jobs in the coming years. 2012 has also started brightly," he said.
Looking to the future, Curtis outlined, "The industry is poised for rapid convergence between technologies which will result in more collaboration and new products in the drug device and smart device development".
Within the report, the IMDA has identified a number of key opportunities for development over the next four years;
- the potential to enhance our capacity to address the globalisation of the industry, including manufacturing capabilities of competing low-cost countries
- the potential to adapt to the reduction in global healthcare expenditure
- the ability to improve Irish clinical research infrastructure
- the potential to develop a culture of commercialisation in Irish universities and the ability to enhance high-level engineering and scientific skills.
"In weathering the global economic downturn, the med-tech sector has become more productive, innovative and competitive, and will undoubtedly be a key driver of Irelands export-led growth in coming years. Having said that, the next four years will not be without challenges with global healthcare expenditure coming under mounting pressure the challenge will be to demonstrate technologies which add value and efficiency. Given the industrys existing capacity to adapt, it is in a strong position to address these challenges," Curtis concluded.
Speaking at the launch of the IMDAs 2012-2015 strategy Barry OLeary, CEO of IDA Ireland said, "Ireland is very much leading the field when it comes to medical technology. Seventeen of the worlds top twenty-five medical technology companies have invested significantly in Ireland and there is a pattern of indigenous companies emerging and competing internationally. The government has identified the medical technology sector as one of the key drivers of industrial growth for the future and provides a wide range of supports to encourage and foster this growth. It is clear from the trends in the sector that Ireland is well placed as a global player in the medical technology sector and will be a major contributor to global healthcare and the global economy in years to come."
The IMDAs vision for the sector, as set out in its four year strategy, is:
- that Ireland will be a global leader in innovative patient-centered medical technology products and solutions;
- that Ireland will be a globally significant medical technology hub and the location of choice for the industry due to its expertise and pro-business environment;
- That Irish medical technology products and solutions will be major contributors to global healthcare and the global economy.
Issued by Murray Consultants on behalf of the Irish Medical Device Association (IMDA).
Posted by Sean Fenske, Editor-in-Chief, MDT