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Biomedical sector is big jobs prospect

Tuesday, May 13 15:59:54

Dr John O'Dea, President of Engineers Ireland, today called on the Government and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to prioritise investment in the area of regenerative medicine manufacturing technology to create jobs.

The calls come ahead of the Engineers Ireland annual conference in Sligo this week.

Ireland is one of five recognised centres of medtech excellence globally, an industry which is entering a new era of regenerative medicine.

Following the recent Irish Medicines Board approval of the cell manufacturing facility at NUI Galway, Ireland also boasts one of only six regenerative medicine institutes in Europe, which is approved to manufacture stem cell therapies for human use. This resource provides the foundation for strong engineering and manufacturing employment opportunities in this emerging area.

Speaking about the future of the biomedical industry in Ireland, John O'Dea, President of Engineers Ireland, said that we need to skill up now to embrace the opportunities, and leverage the worldwide recognition we enjoy for high-quality medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturing, “The medical device industry is vital to Ireland's economic growth and future. It is a heavily manufacturing-focused industry which currently employs in the region of 25,000 people and is close to export levels of E8 billion”.

“However we cannot become complacent as employment in the industry has remained stable over the past few years. A recent study by Johnson and Johnson suggests that the regenerative medicine market will exceed $10 billion by 2020, and Ireland has an opportunity to lead the progress in this field. Therefore we must ensure strategic focus is awarded to ensuring the right skills and facilities exist in order to be at the forefront of this game-changing advancement in medicine and medical technology.”

The Engineers Ireland annual conference, entitled ‘Collaborating to Engineer a Better Society', will also address issues such as the challenge of doing business in Ireland, delivering Ireland's resources and aligning engineering education with the skills needed by industry.

Leading international innovators in the field of medical technology, Prof Alain Cribier and engineer Mark Gelfand, will be addressing the gathering of engineers on new techniques in medicine and translating physiological mechanisms into therapeutic solutions.

The one and a half day event will also feature contributions from: Martin Curley, Vice President, Intel Corporation; Jerry Grant, Head of Asset Management, Irish Water; Dr James Browne, President, NUI Galway, George Mullan, CEO, SIS Pitches, Tommy Fanning, Senior Vice President and Manager, Engineering, Industrial and Clean Technologies Division, IDA Ireland; Emma McKendrick, CEO, PUNCH Consulting Engineers, Dr John Killeen, chairman, Marine Institute; Sean Casey, managing director, Bord Gáis Networks The conference will be opened by the President of Engineers Ireland, Dr John O'Dea, CEO and founder of Crospon, one of Ireland's leading indigenous medical-device companies.