Posted on 20 days ago by Laurentina Kennedy
Ibec Groups Want National Health Technology Strategy
Two Ibec groups are calling for the creation of a national health technology and life sciences strategy in their pre-Budget submission, saying such a strategy is essential for Ireland to remain competitive globally.
BioPharmaChem Irelandand the Irish Medtech Associationsay the national strategy should be led by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, with the appropriate resources deployed to manage its implementation.
Director of medtech and engineering Dr. Sinead Keogh said: “The biopharma, medtech, and digital health sectors in Ireland are renowned for attracting international investment, with more than 700 companies operating here across the country, employing 84,000 people directly, and making a global impact with exports in excess of €105 billion.
“The life sciences sector alone is expected to reach €730 billion by 2025, with the digital health segment estimated to grow at over 17% between 2021 and 2027 to €430 billion.
“We need a national strategy and forum to bring further coordination across the whole ecosystem to really realise the potential here. In Ibec we have already mapped out 200 organisations working in digital health across our world-class ecosystem.”
BioPharmaChem director Matt Moran added: “The biopharma industry has evolved and Ireland is one of the leading global hubs for the development, manufacturing and supply of medicines and their ingredients. Ireland remains the location of choice for new and cutting edge biopharmachem molecules. However, the Irish industry here needs to stay at the cutting edge through embracing new advanced therapeutics.
“To keep pace with the international business trends, and the increasing complexity of the health innovation ecosystem we need to adapt. While manufacturing sites in Ireland continue to win projects and deliver in a challenging environment, we cannot compete as a low-cost manufacturing economy.”
The groups 'budget submission document declares: “To sustain Ireland's hard-won competitiveness and position ourselves on the world stage as champions in the evolving world of health innovation we need the right industrial policies which promote a more coordinated and strategic way of thinking.
“As a global hub for biopharma and medtech, we are already witnessing a rise in the convergence of these industries with the development of combination devices and services which harness the expertise of the two sectors to deliver unique health solutions in strategic areas for improving healthcare.
“One such area where these sectors converge, enabled by technology is digital health. The industry here has already taken steps to ensure Ireland is a place where digital health thrives, with 200 companies operating in this area alone, showcasing what can be achieved.
“Ireland needs a more unified approach to industrial policy to help prioritise and cultivate collaboration to advance our position as the 11th ranked strong innovator in Europe so that we are set-up to deliver next generation innovation.
“That is why Ibec’s BioPharmaChem Ireland and Irish Medtech Association are advocating for the government to develop a national industrial life sciences and health technology strategy.”
The two bodies note that clusters of medtech and biopharma companies “are increasingly created to connect key supports and stakeholders with the right governance to promote both vertical and horizontal collaboration”.
Notable examples include France, Israel, and the UK, which are all investing heavily in the life sciences and digital health industries to accelerate the transformation of healthcare to deliver better outcomes, while growing the economy.
“This shift in industrial policy highlights both the opportunities, but also the cost of inaction, as our competitiveness risks being eroded without decisive action to reap the benefits of playing to our strengths,” they say.