Irish Medtech Association announces new Chair

April 06, 2023

Incoming medtech chief calls for Ireland to develop a national health technology and life sciences strategy

The Irish Medtech Association, the Ibec group representing the medical technology sector, announced Barry J. Comerford, Advisory Board Member, Freudenberg Medical, as its new Chair.

Marking the appointment, Barry J. Comerford said: "I’m honoured to be taking up the mantle as Chair of the Irish Medtech Association. I look forward to working closely with the Irish Medtech Board and members to implement our four-year strategy ‘The Global Medtech Hub 2025’.

“The medtech industry plays a vital role in saving and transforming lives. The cluster in Ireland is over 100 years in the making, with more than 450 medtech companies, and almost 200 digital health companies. In this time we have developed a proven track record for research and development, next level product development, resilient supply chains, connections to strategic markets and an unparalleled ambition for the future.

“The industry in Ireland has never been stronger, and Europe’s medical and health technology industry continues to grow.

“While we are fortunate in Ireland to have a coveted footprint of biopharma, tech and medtech companies, the envy of competitor jurisdictions around the globe, we are not immune from pressures. We are seeing shifting consumer demands for the healthcare system, new technological innovations driving the need for collaboration and new business models.

“With the right supports and policies in place Ireland’s global medtech hub can respond to these shifts, shape the future of healthcare and strengthen its international position.

“For these reasons, we are calling for the implementation of a national health technology and life sciences strategy that ensures Ireland adopts 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.”

Dr. Eoghan Ó Faoláin, Irish Medtech Association Deputy Director said: “Ireland is already recognised as a global medtech hub, employing over 42,000 people to deliver €12.6 billion in medtech exports making an impact across the world. Now as we look to the future, we believe that with the right supports, and the development of national health technology and life sciences strategy, Ireland can shape the future of healthcare and take a greater share of the global market forecast to grow 5.6% (CAGR) annually with sales to reach €530 billion by 2024.”

Barry J. Comerford was elected Chair at the Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) which took place in Galway. Padhraic McGinn, Regional Senior Operations Director Europe at Jabil was elected as Vice-Chair.