The only way is innovation
Life Sciences Deirdre Glenn, Head of Life Sciences at Enterprise Ireland, speaks about the role of Irish-owned organisations within the Life Sciences sector.
How is Ireland’s Life Sciences sector performing on a global level?
Foreign investment laid the groundwork for developing the modern Irish economy. Today, a significant part of Ireland’s economic, industrial and export growth comes from Irish-owned enterprise. Ireland has developed a powerful base of world-class exporting companies focused on innovation and internationalisation.
Ireland’s Life Sciences sector is of key importance to the Irish economy and has continued to grow year-on-year, despite the recent global recession and the challenges facing Ireland. The sector has evolved into one of the leading global clusters and now exports more than €50 billion annually, with direct employment of 50,000 people in MNC and indigenous industry. The cluster is becoming increasingly integrated, including world-class researchers, innovative start-ups and established indigenous companies supported by Enterprise Ireland (EI); leading global multinationals supported by the IDA; private investors and VCs; clinical specialists; and important ancillary service providers.
What constitutes a successful Irish company?
The indigenous sector is an important component of this Life Sciences cluster with over 250 EI client companies employing over 6,500 people, with annual sales and exports more than €1.5 billion and €1.2 billion respectively. The indigenous company base has extensive capabilities across the Life Sciences supply chain, including design and development; the manufacture of medical sub-supply components; diagnostics and medical devices; digital health; the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients; the manufacture of human and veterinary finished products; the provision of pharma/biopharma services including clinical trials management, regulation, engineering and construction; and drug discovery/development/delivery.
What will make Irish businesses stand out in the competitive Life Sciences sector?
Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) is well recognised as a key economic differentiator. As a small open economy, Irish firms must innovate and make products that are cheaper or better than those in foreign markets. EI’s role in this regard is to de-risk such RDI so that companies will develop new and improved technologies, products and services. We operate a range of supports to help companies drive their own internal RDI capacity and to help them engage with third level researchers and the clinical community, to undertake collaborative market-led research for the benefit of the company and deliver innovative products in a cost-effective manner.