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[junkie-alert style=”white”] Fourteen of Top 15 Global Medtech Firms Now Have Irish Facilities, Responding to Ireland’s “One-Stop Shop” Location [/junkie-alert]
The Medtech Conference – An increasing number of opportunistic global medtech companies have been expanding to Ireland, responding to the country’s optimal European location, friendly business environment, rich talent pool, well-known manufacturing sector and its access to the European market of 550 million people. Synergistic relationships between industry, research and government offer dynamic growth potential for medtech firms so that now Ireland is home to facilities operated by 14 of the top 15 medtech companies. IDA Ireland will be at the MedTech Conference 2017, booth #323, September 25-27 in San Jose, Calif., at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center to highlight Ireland’s medtech opportunities.
According to Michael Lohan, head of medical technology & healthcare services at IDA Ireland, the country has now become the second largest exporter of medtech products in Europe, supplying 95 of the world’s top 100 countries. However, he said that Ireland’s established manufacturing expertise has lately been augmented by companies also choosing the country for operations that develop breakthrough medtech digital devices, leveraging Ireland’s longtime success in the data and IoT sectors in general.
“The word has been getting out about Ireland as a leading hub for medical devices, creating a ‘one-stop shop’ for companies that want to take their medical products and services from concept to market in Europe,” he said. “We’re already Europe’s leading data center, with so many of the top U.S. data giants like Google, IBM and Facebook in Ireland. But international companies have also been attracted by the critical mass of software and hardware expertise as well as Ireland’s broad knowledge in convergence technologies and product development.”
Lohan pointed out the example of Stryker, one of the world’s largest medtech firms, which recently opened a global technology development center and manufacturing hub in Cork, where the company will be doing groundbreaking work in 3D medi-printing. Among many other U.S. medtech firms with Irish operations are Boston Scientific, Abbott, Vistakon, Medtronic, Teleflex, Cook Medical, Zimmer Biomet, DePuy Synthes and Hollister. There are currently more than 300 medtech companies doing business in the country, up from 50 in 1993.
“Medtech companies that have launched Irish operations have taken advantage of proximity to one of the world’s two largest markets for such products, but there are other attractors for them,” explained Lohan. “Besides favorable tax policies and R&D tax credits, these companies get a leg up on the approvals front, with the process taking one-third as long in Europe than in the United States.”
Besides being the only English-speaking member of the EU after the impact of Brexit, Ireland has an international talent pool due to the country’s appeal to tech/engineering workers and its business-friendly immigration policies. Ireland now employs more than 32,000 people in medtech, which is the highest number in Europe as a percentage of population.
Of great appeal to global medtech companies is Ireland’s reputation for collaboration to drive growth and success. Companies doing business in Ireland benefit from alignments with academia and clinicians, which encourages product innovation. Meanwhile, Ireland’s track record of adherence to ethical standards and compliance has been a key to growth for the nation’s medical technology/devices industry.