About the Medtech sector

Irish medtech sector profile

The medical technology sector in Ireland is recognised as one of the five global emerging hubs. The sector employs over 40,000 people in Ireland and is the second largest employer of medtech professionals in Europe, per capita. Ireland is one of the largest exported of medical products in Europe with annual exports of €12.6 billion and companies here directly export to over 100 countries worldwide. As many as 9 of the world’s top 10 medical technology companies have a base in Ireland and 60% of the 450 medtech companies based here are indigenous. Ireland also boasts an incredible strong services and contract research and manufacturing base; in fact 50% of the companies located here are in the business to business space. Pressures on healthcare systems have resulted in a greater focus on enhanced efficacy of treatments and cost reduction. There is no sense of complacency across the sector in Ireland where industry and Government alike are constantly looking for new ways to enhance competitiveness, develop new capabilities and ultimately generate new sustainable growth.

Investing in our future

A lot of the recent investment is by existing companies investing in R&D and innovation. While innovation is core the industry in Ireland, the Irish Government are also committed to enhancing Ireland’s manufacturing competitiveness and as such have established a cross sectorial Manufacturing Forum with representatives from many stakeholders to work collaboratively to develop our infrastructure, competencies and skillsets here.

Government’s investment in R&D through Science Foundation Ireland over the past five years was paying dividends as it had allowed Ireland to develop significant facilities for medtech research, including Ireland’s first stem cell manufacturing centre at NUI Galway which opened in January in 2015. The SFI CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices - will position Ireland as the leader in developing medical device technologies which will provide affordable transformative solutions for chronic diseases

Other notable initiatives include collaboration between Enterprise Ireland and Mayo Clinic; USA will see the commercialisation of up to 20 novel medical technologies in Ireland over the next 5 years with the aim of creating several high value medical technology spin-out companies. The establishment of the national medical technology innovation fellowship training programme; BioInnovate enables participants to work directly with clinicians to develop new innovative therapies.

The Cork based, healthcare innovation hub was established to help healthcare companies deliver commercial products and services more quickly by giving them access to the health service in order to test products in a real-life environment.

Oversight of current and future skills needs within the industry is critical to inform government skills policy, communicate career opportunities to potential graduates and inform our own skills strategy, part of which is implemented through the Irish Medtech Association's Skillnet Network and the Irish Medtech Association's Springboard, two government funded initiatives.

European medtech sector profile
In Europe, the industry generates over €115 billion annually and employs approximately 650,000 people. As many as 95% of these companies are small to medium enterprises.
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