Medtech Rising: Ireland will benefit from $522bn global medtech market

6 Dec 2017

Connemara, Co Galway. Galway is a major medtech hub in Ireland. Image: UTBP/Shutterstock

The global medtech industry is thriving, and Ireland could play a major part in its success.

Medtech Rising, the Irish medtech CEO conference, is underway from today (6 December) in Co Galway.

Eoghan Ó Faoláin, acting director of the Irish Medtech Association, an Ibec group, noted that the medtech industry – estimated to be worth $522bn globally – is evolving in a number of ways.

Research and development (R&D) spend is to grow 3.7pc to $33.5bn, and new business strategies will also contribute to the 5.1pc growth forecast for 2022. He said that “the value of mergers and acquisitions grew 178pc globally and were worth $49bn in the first half of the year”.

Ó Faoláin added that Ibec has been an “unrelenting champion” of the Irish business model, and this support has helped make Ireland’s economy competitive and attractive to set up and grow companies in the country. “This is encapsulated by the 450 medtech companies here, including nine of the world’s top 10 medtech companies having a base in Ireland,” he said.

Many companies looking to Ireland

Ó Faoláin said a key area of focus now for businesses is making Ireland a location of choice for global commercial capabilities, with a third of foreign direct investment (FDI) companies already planning to expand or introduce commercial operations here in Ireland.

Enterprise Ireland’s director of life sciences and food commercialisation, and manager of the life sciences sector, Deirdre Glenn, explained Ireland’s ideal position: “Ireland ranks in the top five of global hubs for medtech, stemming from its uniquely collaborative ecosystem made up of multinationals, start-up companies, university researchers and R&D centres.”

She added that while Ireland is attracting and retaining the world’s leading companies, we are also growing our own talent base and export potential.

Glenn cited initiatives offered by Enterprise Ireland as a major business driver: “Through innovation supports like our Agile Innovation Fund, which aims to improve the efficiency of developing new products and services, Enterprise Ireland is focused on driving the global ambition of medtech companies, providing new generation healthcare solutions and improving patient outcomes worldwide.”

Michael Lohan, head of life sciences, engineering and industrial technology at IDA Ireland, said: “Not only is Ireland the number one destination for FDI, it’s also number one for investment incentives.

“But that’s not enough to ensure we remain one of the top five global medtech hubs,” Lohan said. “Although Ireland’s international reach helps to attract businesses into the country, events like Medtech Rising help them get the information on the latest trends and meet the right people to grow their businesses.”

The conference is is co-hosted by the Irish Medtech Association, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, and is running today and tomorrow.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects