Ireland : the unexpected land of medical devices in Europe

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There are still quite a few people in the medical device arena that are not fully aware of the vast ecosystem in place in Ireland. And I have to admit, I was one of them. Let’s tell the truth – yes there are many sheep, pubs (with nice music by the way) and churches in Ireland. But that is not all the country has to offer. Over the decades it has built a large expertise and experience in medical devices. Not only companies are specialized but believe it or not, they also work together hand-in-hand, making it very beneficial for device makers. In one spot, you can easily find all your contractors that are fully aware at the same time of the EU and US regulations, making Ireland a great hub to expand one’s activities in both directions.
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I was fortunate enough to recently join a visit of some of the most compelling companies in Galway. During this trip, I did get a chance to meet with Cambus Medical, manufacturing advanced precision hypotudes and micro-component solutions for minimally invasive medical devices and working today with some of the leading players in the industry. With a fast growth over the past 10 years, it is now part of the Freudenberg Medical group that offers complementary solutions such as with Hemoteq for innovative coating technologies.
In a small constrained area, some of the biggest players in the industry have for a long time already grasped the opportunities Ireland has to offer. And this is not just for tax purposes as many of you may think. Access to innovation has also been a key driver for large companies, and this has well been understood by Ireland with its worldclass innovation hub – Bioinnovate. I have been thrilled at discovering more about the Bioinnovate Fellowship Programme. Instead of the standard approach with an engineering solution, teams are put together to understand in real life what the medical needs are, validate these needs (with top institutions such as the Mayo Clinic) and make sure there is a strong business opportunity. Innovation that really drives business, one can only bow down to acknowledge the hard work this represents with different success stories. One example that could be highlighted is the recent fund raising of Embo Medical, the first true one-shot (one device per vessel) vascular embolisation device, securing 3M€ in seed funding.
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If you want to know more about the great opportunities Ireland has to offer, do contact Mr. Jean-Charles Moczarski, Market Advisor Life Sciences, Paris Office, Enterprise Ireland. Enterprise Ireland is the government organization responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. Working in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. I can only thank Jean-Charles once more and recommend medical device manufacturers to explore the opportunities Ireland has to offer – and enjoy a few Guinness along the way.
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