National health technology and life sciences strategy needed for Ireland to remain globally competitive

September 05, 2022

BioPharmaChem Ireland and Irish Medtech Association, the Ibec groups that represent the sectors, today launched a joint Budget 2023 submission advocating for the Government to develop a national health technology and life sciences strategy led by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, with the appropriate resources appointed within the department to manage its implementation. 
Ibec Head of Sectors, and Director of Medtech and Engineering Dr Sinead Keogh said: “In Ireland, the biopharma, medtech, and digital health sectors in Ireland are renowned for attracting international investment with 700+ companies operating here across the country, employing 84,000 people directly, and making a global impact with exports in excess of €105 billion.  The life sciences sector alone is expected to reach €730 billion by 2025, with the digital health segment estimated to grow at over 17.4% between 2021 and 2027 to €426 billion. We need a national strategy and forum to bring further coordination across the whole ecosystem to really realise the potential here. In Ibec we have already mapped out 200 organisations working in digital health across our world-class ecosystem.”
“Cross-industry convergence is on the rise as businesses partner using their unique specialities to leverage opportunities for innovation and growth. To sustain our hard-won competitiveness and get ahead of global game changers spanning, changing demands in healthcare, new technologies, and socio-political shift, we need the right industrial policies. 
While Europe’s healthtech industry is growing, it’s not growing as fast as in Asia and the US and we risk losing out if we can’t keep pace. In Europe where the population is fragmented and the start-up ecosystem is more decentralised as a whole, regulation is one of the biggest barriers for emerging healthtechs. That is what we are calling for a national health technology and life sciences strategy that ensures we adopt a cluster-based approach to policy. Greater coordination of state funded resources is needed to drive innovation, support effective partnerships, and foster collaboration to achieve our potential and overcome challenges.”
BioPharmaChem Ireland Director Matt Moran added: “The biopharma industry has evolved and Ireland is one of the leading global hubs for the development, manufacturing and supply of medicines and their ingredients. Ireland remains the location of choice for new and cutting edge biopharmachem molecules. However, the Irish industry here needs to stay at the cutting edge through embracing new advanced therapeutics. 
“To keep pace with the international business trends, and the increasing complexity of the health innovation ecosystem we need to adapt. While manufacturing sites in Ireland continue to win projects and deliver in a challenging environment, we cannot compete as a low-cost manufacturing economy.”


IMA BPCI Budget 2023 Submission pdf | 607.1 kb