Ireland is a large employer of MedTech professionals with 350 companies employing more than 40,000 people, according to the Industrial Development Authority. 14 of the world’s top 15 medical device companies have a base in Ireland and the country is the second largest exporter of MedTech products in Europe (after Germany), generating about €13 billion (£11 billion) worth of exports a year.
While the big multinational companies account for much of the sector’s output, one in five of those working in the sector are employed directly by Irish-owned MedTech companies. The homegrown companies can draw on “a deep pool of experience and highly trained talent. This is boosted by a fertile ecosystem that integrates industry, research and the clinical community to promote high- quality innovation,” according to Deirdre Glenn, Director, Life Sciences Sector at Enterprise Ireland.
The west of Ireland accounts for about 40 per cent of the regional distribution of medical device employees in Ireland. Big employers in the area include Medtronic and Boston Scientific. Start-ups in Galway may be led or mentored by individuals who “cut their teeth” in one of these firms. MedTech start-ups benefit from the cluster where their level of experience and skill set are highly regarded. This level of activity is also driven by a suite of different financial, institutional and knowledge supports, as well as by people who are enthusiastic about futureproofing Ireland’s health system.