CEO, Irish Exporters Association
The life sciences sector plays a crucial part in the Irish economy. However, we must continue to support the sector navigate the challenges resulting from COVID-19.
The life science industry’s positive contribution to bolstering economic activity in Ireland has been particularly evident throughout the series of lockdowns that we have experienced. The sector boasts of annual exports in excess of €45 billion and continues to invest in its workforce and operations.
Importance to our lives
The sector will remain a reliable element of the Irish economy’s make-up. Aside from the economic gains, I believe that the general population needs to better understand the importance of innovation within the sector. The quick turnaround in developing effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines to populations must be applauded and credit must be given where credit is certainly due. The work of companies in the sector has given us increased optimism that the lives we all had can resume. We must also recognise the critical work of supply chain actors in transporting vaccines around the globe and ensuring that safety measures are followed in the distribution of the jabs to the world population.
The quick turnaround in developing effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines to populations must be applauded and credit must be given where credit is certainly due.
Challenges: supply side shock
We understand that a global supply side shock is well underway. Trading shifts mean that sourcing critical supplies, such as polymer, pipettes and precious glass as well as certain metals and packaging is becoming harder. Pharma companies are raising concerns about constraints in the access to components for medicines as these components are prioritised for COVID-19 vaccines. In terms of distribution, the global shortage in the supply of containers and reefers has been a cause of concern for some time and has been exacerbated in recent months.
The future of the sector in Ireland
We will continue to work with members, from across sectors, to alleviate challenges as much as possible. I have no doubt that the life sciences sector’s place in Ireland will strengthen in the coming years. I believe that our awareness of the sector’s importance will continue to grow as we meet future challenges head on.