Ireland is a leading player in the global medical technology industry. IDA Ireland reports that 9 of the world’s top 10 Medtech companies have bases here.
Dublin, the country’s capital city and economic powerhouse, is home to giants in the sector like Medtronic, ResMed, Abbott and others. In fact, with more than 40,000 people now working in the industry, Ireland is one of the largest employers of Medtech professionals in Europe.
“We’re lucky in Ireland to not only have some exceptionally talented people but also a supportive ecosystem with a range of supports”, says Sinéad Keogh, director of the Irish Medtech Association. Those supports include research centres funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the state organisation that supports basic and applied research, and Enterprise Ireland, which funds startups and scaleups. Meanwhile, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) funds larger companies to scale internationally.
Other organisations, including the Irish Medtech Association itself, address growing demands for skills through initiatives such as its Irish MedTech Skillnet. Three universities (Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and Dublin City University) and the Royal College of Surgeons all have medical schools with associated teaching hospitals and startup accelerator and business incubator programs.
Another critical advantage of Dublin’s Medtech scene is its geographic location. IDA Ireland’s Medtech department manager Rachel Shelly points out that “Ireland is a gateway to the world’s second-biggest Medtech market – Europe – which is worth €115 billion.” It’s also a critical part of the global supply chain network for major multinational Medtech companies. “In an ever-changing global environment, says Shelly, “Ireland’s stability, proven track record, access to talent and rich Medtech ecosystem means we are a key destination for global and growing Medtech companies.”
No wonder then that Dublin has become the vibrant Medtech hub that it is – characterised by intense R&D activity and disruptive startups. TechIreland, a website that tracks Irish innovation, counts more than 200 indigenous Medtech startups and scaleups in Dublin on its database – a number equal to half of all the businesses operating in this sector on the island as a whole. In 2018 alone, 53 Dublin Medtech startups raised an impressive €312m in funding. To put this into context, health companies raised €20m in Wales and €70m in Scotland in the same period. For a city of less than 2m people, Dublin is certainly punching above its weight.
The city’s Medtech sector includes businesses specialising in a wide range of products – from genomics to patient engagement software. From amongst these, TechIreland has picked out five companies worthy of special mention, each one pushing back the envelope in its use of various technologies.
Nuritas is the first company in the world to demonstrate that Artificial Intelligence can accelerate the discovery of healthcare products from concept to market in less than 3 years. Similarly, ground-breaking work is being carried-out by Genomics Medical Ireland, which is conducting large-scale research to examine the relationship between genetics, health and disease. Using the Internet of Things and wearable tech, Coroflo has built a breastfeeding monitoring device. LetsGetChecked sells self-test diagnostic kits; the company is scaling rapidly, having recently announced 120 new jobs. Augmented reality is the key to 3D4Medical‘s 3D anatomy platform, and Elsevier recently acquired the business.
These are just some of Dublin’s Medtech success stories that are touching the lives of millions across the world. Helping people enjoy better health through tech – that’s Dublin’s Medtech!