The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, today opened Enterprise Ireland’s high-profile showcase for medical device and diagnostic products, MedinIreland 2015. The biennial event, being held at the Convention Centre in Dublin, which is recognised internationally as a major hub of medtech activity, highlights the dynamic growth and expansion of the sector over the last two decades.
Over 300 senior international buyers and decision makers from medical technology companies, including companies representing 50% of the world’s medtech purchasing power, will attend the event. Reflecting the growing global reach of the Irish medtech sector, this year buyers returning from the UK, Germany, Middle East, Russia, Asia and the USA will be joined for the first time by buyers from Burma and Vietnam.
Recognised as a major centre of excellence in the medical technologies sector, Ireland’s medtech cluster is on par with other world leading medtech clusters, such as those in Massachusetts and Minnesota in the USA. From a small sub-supply manufacturing base, Ireland’s medtech industry has evolved into a sector with globally recognised world-class capabilities in research and innovation, a flourishing indigenous base, and is host to 17 of the top 25 global medtech firms.
Opening the conference the Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD said: “The Irish medtech sector has shown truly impressive growth over the last two decades. MedinIreland 2015 highlights the evolution of a sector, which barely existed in Ireland 20 years ago. From small beginnings, Ireland now has over 350 medtech firms, 60% of which are indigenous. They employ 25,000 people and their exports, currently around €8.5bn a year, represent a tenth of Ireland’s total goods exports. Ireland is now Europe’s second largest exporter of medtech products after Germany. The Government is committed to supporting the continued growth of the sector as part of our Action Plan for Jobs in order to secure Ireland’s recovery.
“Once again, Enterprise Ireland has brought many of the world’s leading medical technologies buyers to Ireland to see the quality of the products and services offered by Irish companies. I have no doubt that our world-class medtech companies are well placed to take full advantage of this opportunity and I wish them every success in their efforts”.
The Taoiseach also officially opened the MedinIreland technology exhibition, at which 70 Irish companies are showcasing their products and services to international buyers and engaging in over 1,200 one-to-one meetings scheduled by Enterprise Ireland with a view to generating business. Over 170 site visits to Irish companies have also been arranged to showcase the design and manufacturing capability of participating companies.
A partnership agreement and a new product launch were also announced at MedinIreland. Seabrook Technology Group, based in Cork, announced its partnership with Siemens Industry Software in Ireland and the UK. The partnership is expected to generate revenue of over €1m in the first 18 months for Seabrook and will lead to the creation of eight new high-level jobs, six in Cork and two in the UK.
Meanwhile, Connexicon, a high potential start-up company launched INDERMIL® flexifuze™, a topical tissue adhesive which can be used by medical professionals for the closure of skin wounds in Accident and Emergency rooms in hospitals, as well as for general and specialised surgery, including cosmetic surgery. Its patented design has several advantages over other tissue adhesive products.
Welcoming the 800+ guests attending MedinIreland, Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland commented: “20 years ago a small number of innovative Irish companies looked to the future and, very astutely, set about building what has evolved into the world class Irish medtech hub we have today. Indigenous companies account for about 60% of the medtech businesses operating in Ireland. Many are substantial, leading international players in their areas of specialist expertise. This year’s conference theme, “The Changing World of Medtech”, is about looking to the next chapter in the global medtech space and we are excited about the role that Irish companies will play within that.
“Connected-health is a hugely interesting sub-sector and Ireland’s strengths in ICT and mobile technology combine well with expertise in traditional healthcare and medical technology. Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting and driving the continued growth of this vibrant and dynamic sector, supporting new startups in the medtech sector, thereby creating and sustaining jobs in Ireland”.
MedinIreland also attracts global sector experts and key opinion leading clinicians and researchers from major global healthcare systems who are interested in developing strategic relationships with Irish companies exhibiting at the event. Exploring the theme of “The Changing World of Medtech”, participants will have the opportunity to hear directly from key industry influencers and thought leaders from Johnson & Johnson, Sorin, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, and Medtronic.
Networking is a priority for participants at MedinIreland. The event gives visitors the opportunity to learn at first-hand about the exciting innovations being pioneered by Irish medtech companies. Over the years, Ireland has gained international recognition as a medtech hub with world-class innovation and research which will be showcased at the dedicated Research and Innovation Zone.
Reflecting the Year of Irish Design, and highlighting the impact of design in the medtech sector, this year MedinIreland hosts a Clinical Design Innovation Seminar chaired by Lorna Ross from Mayo Clinic’s Centre for Innovation. A display wall highlighting the significance of Irish design within the medtech sector entitled ‘Irish Design + Medical Technology’, curated by innovation consultancy, Dolmen, will be on display.