BioPharmaChem Ireland and Irish Medtech Association, the Ibec groups that represent the sectors, have launched a joint Budget 2024 submission advocating for the Government to develop a national health technology and life sciences strategy led by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, with the appropriate resources appointed within the department to manage its implementation.
Ibec head of sectors, and director of medtech and engineering Dr Sinead Keogh said: “One of the country’s most notable success stories is the life sciences industries with the world’s top companies investing heavily here and creating jobs alongside homegrown businesses driving disruptive innovation. There are now an estimated 700 companies in biopharma, medtech and digital health industries operating in Ireland. These businesses collectively employ more than 102,000 people both directly and indirectly. Moreover, as major engines of economic growth the health technology and life science sectors have exports of an estimated €120 billion and played a pivotal role during the global pandemic in saving lives.
“To sustain our hard-won competitiveness, we need to bring key stakeholders across government, industry and beyond to ensure that we have the right policies while leveraging our unique position. In Ibec we have mapped out 200 organisations working in digital health across our world class ecosystem as part of our ‘Where Digital Health Thrives’ campaign, but as we look to the future it’s essential we support Enterprise Ireland’s work to scale businesses and IDA Ireland’s work to attract investment.”
BioPharmaChem Ireland director Matt Moran added: “Our reputation for manufacturing is of an indisputably high calibre. However, to keep pace with the international business trends and the increasing complexity of the health innovation ecosystem we need to adapt and evolve. The development of a national industrial life sciences and health technology strategy will enable the adoption of industrial policies that promote clustering so that Ireland can realise more strategic cross-sectoral cooperation.
“Our goals in advocating for this urgently needed strategy are to, stimulate business development by fostering a competitive business environment for high value, innovative industries, supported by the upskilling of people to offer new career opportunities, to improve our health system while empowering patients.”
Irish Medtech Association chair, and Freudenberg Medical advisory board member Barry J. Comerford said: “Medtech is ubiquitous as this technology is used for the preventing, diagnosing, and treating illness. Not only is medtech important for the Irish economy with 450 companies employing 48,000 with major clusters in Galway, Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and Sligo, but also is improving lives globally. As many as 9 of the world’s top 10 medtech companies have a base here with numerous organisations locating their European innovation centres here thanks to our availability of highly educated talent. While 75% of the FDI community are investing in R&D to continue to attract these businesses and major projects we need the right business environment to continue to perform at this high level.”
BioPharmaChem Ireland chair and MSD Manufacturing Digital Transformation lead Brian Killen commented: “Ireland is one of the leading global hubs for the development, manufacturing and supply of medicines as well as their ingredients. Ireland remains the location of choice for many across Europe, but more needs to be done to meet the demands of science-based innovation that relies on knowledge sharing. A national life sciences strategy led by the Government can help not only industry stay at the cutting edge in key areas such as advanced therapeutics and Pharma 5.0, but also nurture relationships that elevate our research practices to transform healthcare.”
This post originally appeared on TechToday.