A new website aimed at encouraging students to consider careers in the medical technology sector has been launched.
The Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA) launched the www.imda.ie/imagine website to coincide with the STEPS to Engineering Week of Wonder. It is supported by Discover Science and Engineering and aims to boost interest in careers in science and engineering by highlighting the possibilities available in medical technology.
“The Imagine website provides for the first time, in a single website, comprehensive information on careers, companies, products, services, emerging technologies and companies’ schools initiatives, including school tours,” said IMDA executive, Dr Sinead Keogh.
“The website was developed in response to the huge demand for IMDA’s Imagine magazine that was published in 2007 and sent to every second-level school in the country. The website will be a platform for interaction between medical technology companies and educational institutions.”
Keogh added: “It is becoming ever more difficult for technology sectors to recruit highly-skilled graduates. Employment in the medical technology sector has increased dramatically from 14,000 in 1997 to over 24,000 in 2006 [most recent data].
“Ireland is now the highest per capita employer of medical devices and diagnostic personnel in Europe. Our success in this industry has been due largely to the availability and capability of our employees. Students need to be informed about the opportunities that a career in science and engineering can offer in Ireland, as well as abroad.”
At the launch, Cork-based company Audit Diagnostics demonstrated a new blood and urine analyser called ‘Liqui-Stat’, which provides full diagnostic tests and results within minutes in the GP’s surgery.
The product, the world’s first complete wet chemistry point-of-care clinical system, has been launched in other countries and is due to launch in Ireland next month.
Speaking at the launch, Michael O’Donovan, CEO and founder of Audit Diagnostics, said: “The Irish medical technology sector is thriving and is recognised as being among the fastest-developing in the world. Innovation is a vital ingredient in this sector, where the average product lifecycle is a mere 18 months.
“Career opportunities for graduates in the sector’s 150 companies will be exceptionally strong, perhaps uniquely so in Ireland, given that seven of the world’s top 12 companies are located here, alongside a thriving indigenous base.”
By Niall Byrne
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