As an industry, MedTech (Medical technology) has a vast scope. Its products range from plasters to artificial knees and hips to MRI scanners. MedTech could be defined as any technology that is utilised to treat an individual’s medical pain. MedTech does not only add value to a country’s economy but as its main goal is to improve and extend people’s lives it also adds value to society.
The MedTech industry employs over 38,000 people in Ireland. This makes Ireland the second largest employer of MedTech professionals, per capita, in Europe. Ireland is also one of Europe’s largest exporters of medical products with annual exports of €12.6 billion. In this article, we will focus on the west coast of Ireland, which has seen a surge in MedTech investment. Galway has seen companies like Medtronic, Merit Medical, Hidramed, NuaSurgical, and Loci Therapeutics set up in the county.
What is attracting MedTech companies to the west coast of Ireland?
Market Access - Ireland has market access to the EU single market.
Language - Ireland will be the last English-speaking country in the EU post-Brexit.
Tax - Ireland has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe, 12.5%. Ireland is an easy place to do business.
Education - Ireland has a highly skilled and educated workforce. 52% of people aged between 25-34-year-olds in Ireland have a third level qualification, this is compared to an OECD average of 43%. There is also a large emphasis placed on industry and academia collaboration.
Industry and Academia collaboration
A major player in this area is BioInnovate, a national training programme in NUI (National University of Ireland) Galway. BioInnovate allows researchers, industry representatives and clinicians to work together in developing new medical technologies. Since the programme’s inception in 2011, BioInnovate has become recognised as a global centre for the innovation of medical technologies.
Also based in NUI Galway is the MedTech accelerator programme BioExcel. BioExcel is dedicated to assisting Startups to expedite medical technologies into the marketplace. The programme provides companies with seed funding and the use of an innovative co-working environment.
The MET Centre
Another example of industry and academia collaboration is the Medical and Engineering Technologies (MET) Centre based in GMIT (Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology). MET provides world-class solutions for the MedTech sector.
Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI)
Established by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Health, supported by Enterprise Ireland (EI) and the Health Service Executive (HSE), the Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) was set up to create collaboration between the health service and enterprise. The Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) works across the health sector with Irish businesses to develop new healthcare technologies, products, and services.
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