The Medtech sector in Ireland is renowned internationally and Ireland has fast become a medtech global hub. A government strategy to invest €5bn per year will support growth in this sector and will aid the creation of an expected 4,000 jobs in medtech by 2020.
Sounds great, but what is Medtech?
Billions of patients worldwide depend on medical devices and technologies, at home, at the doctor’s office, in hospitals and in nursing homes. Career opportunities in the world of medical technologies range from the research, design and manufacture of simple consumables such as bandages to electrically active implantable products such as artificial hearts, cardiovascular stents, orthopaedic knees, wheelchairs and contact lenses, to medical software used to record patient data.
Some of Ireland’s Contributions to Medtech
- 30 million people, that’s 25% of the world’s population that have diabetes, rely on an injectable device manufactured in Ireland
- 50% of ventilators worldwide in acute hospitals are manufactured in Ireland
- 33% of the world’s contact lenses are made in Ireland
If your interest is peaked, here are six reasons to convince you to work in Medtech
6 Reasons to Consider a Career in Medtech
1. Ireland is a Global Hub for Medtech
- Ireland has become an Internationally renowned centre for Medtech with 450+ companies currently developing and manufacturing medical devices (60% of which are Irish owned).
- Ireland is the second largest exporter of medical products in Europe:
- 18 of the world’s top 25 medtech companies are based here in Ireland.
- The sector employs almost 30,000 making Ireland, per capita, the largest employer in medtech in the EU
2. Medtech Occupies a Strong Position with Further Jobs Growth Expected
- The number of Medtech companies has increased from 50 in the early 1990s to well over 450 in 2017. Over 60% of the 450+ medtech businesses are home grown, and 80% are small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
- More than 2,000 jobs have been added in recent years and an additional 4,000 jobs are planned by 2020.
- Most advanced economies are now witnessing a major demographic shift, with aging populations and chronic diseases which are affecting more people, including younger cohorts who are making poor lifestyle and health choices. In fact, by 2020, 40% of Ireland’s population is expected to have a chronic disease. This statistic will provide a market for medtech companies.
- There has been significant investment in the medtech sector with nearly €750 million announced since 2014.
- Exports account for 10% of Irish goods exports and are worth €12.6 billion. This has led to continued jobs growth with more than 29,000 people now working in the sector.
3. Ireland is Well Placed to Become a Leader in Connected Health
- Ireland is not only a global medtech hub, but also home to 9 of the top 10 biopharma companies and 10 of the top 10 ICT companies. The Irish Medtech Association has started to bring our shared expertise together, through Ibec, by setting-up an Internet of Medical Things Skillnet, with Technology Ireland and BioPharmaChem Ireland.
- The Irish Medtech Association 2020 strategy identifies the use of technological innovations to facilitate increased collaboration between industries as one of its primary aims. According to the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), these platforms for collaboration have resulted in several investments that centre on drug delivery, drug device combination, and connected health devices.
4. Ireland is an Attractive Location for Foreign Direct Investment Companies
- Irish graduates are attracting multinational companies to Ireland. According to IDA Ireland, Ireland is ranked number one globally for the employability of its graduates, as companies benefit from the flow of skilled workers from Ireland’s seven universities and 14 Institutes of Technology.
- Ireland’s corporate tax rate is 12.5% and it ranks as the twentieth lowest rate globally. Ireland’s competitive tax rates act as a further incentive for multinational medtech companies to establish operations in Ireland.
5. Government Investment to Promote Further Growth in Medtech Sector
The Irish Government has outlined a strategy to increase its total investment in science and technology research in Ireland by 2020, by investing over €5 billion per year. Reaching this target would almost double current levels of investment and bring R&D investment in Ireland to 2.5% of gross national product (GNP). This investment will fund research initiatives such as:
- The Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Research (AMBER) Centre,
- The Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM),
- The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT),
- and The Tyndall National Institute, among others.
6. New Apprenticeships Offer New Routes into Medtech
The development of two new apprenticeships in manufacturing at NFQ level 6 and NFQ level 7 were launched in 2017 to help support the development of key manufacturing skills for the medtech sector. These programmes are as follows:
- Manufacturing Technician (level 6, 2 years)
- Manufacturing Engineer (level 7, 3 years)
- Polymer Processing Technologist (level 7, 3 years)
To find out more about medtech click here.
Infographics sourced from Irish Medtech Association
The CareersPortal Team