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The continual growth of Ireland’s biopharma and chemical sectors

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Matt Moran

Director, Biopharmachem Ireland

In its 25 years of existence, BioPharmaChem Ireland has seen its membership grow and diversify; from being predominantly active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturers to now being inclusive of biotech and biotech manufacturing, drug product formulation and specialist services, as well as chemical manufacturing.

This growth and diversification across Ireland are the result of international investment, cross fertilisation of skills and manufacturing excellence. But these are just a few contributing factors. The industry has been growing steadily, with one billion euros being invested in the industry, every year, over the last decade.

However, we cannot rest on our laurels or be complacent – the world continues to change, and we need to keep pace with this change.

COVID-19 is causing businesses to adapt

This is especially true during the current pandemic, whereby business continuity is paramount. Businesses have shown extraordinary mobilisation in the way they have responded to the COVID-19 outbreak with may organisation having to shift to remote working. However, we must keep essential supply chains, manufacturing and people serving critical business alive, for it is only through this that we can ensure the sustainability of our public health, society and economy.

BioPharma and Industry 4.0

Ireland has seen major investments in biopharma with 10 of the top 10 biopharma companies having international operations in Ireland. There are many reasons Ireland has been so successful in attracting foreign investment and operations from global corporations, one of which is the cutting-edge research and innovation.

Biopharma 4.0 (echoing Industry 4.0) heralds the onset of digitisation and emergence of disruptive technologies. Companies need to understand and implement concepts and technologies around AI, continuous manufacturing, data analytics and 3D printing. By embracing these developments, we can continue to protect our competitiveness and to try to ensure that the prevailing business environment is supportive.

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