- MedTech worth €12.6 billion to economy each year, but new advancements demand up-to-date skills
- Cook Medical made the comments at MedTech Week, a pan-European initiative to raise awareness of medical technology
Limerick, Irl: Ireland will remain a global medtech leader providing there is continued investment in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills at third level, according to Cook Medical, one of the world’s largest privately held medical companies.
Employing 880 people in Ireland and specialising in the development of minimally invasive technologies for vascular and non-vascular procedures, Cook Medical exports worldwide from its Limerick facility.
Speaking at the recent MedTech Week, a pan-European initiative to promote the innovations and research powering the MedTech industry, Bill Doherty, Executive Vice President, EMEA at Cook Medical said that the industry was being revolutionised by new product innovations—and Ireland is an ideal position to lead the way.
Medtech, or medical technology, is a broad industry that creates over half a million different products, from pacemakers to stents and dialysis machines.
Mr Doherty at Cook Medical said that continued investment in specialist skills training at secondary and third-level, particularly in STEM subjects, is essential to ensure Ireland remains competitive on the global stage.
“Ireland is already a massive contributor to the global medtech industry and has been for decades. Medical technology is becoming an increasingly sophisticated and complex sector with the blending of engineering and computer programming with the traditional life sciences. In order for us to keep pace with these advancements, it’s absolutely essential that we have access to highly skilled scientists, engineers and programmers who have expertise in these disruptive fields.
STEM is of huge importance to Ireland’s medtech industry and high tech industries in general. We hope that this MedTech Week, both Government and educational institutions see the value of medtech to the Irish economy and work together, with medtech companies, to provide continued investment in the requisite skills.”
In Ireland, 250 medtech companies employing 29,000 people export €12.6 billion worth of products a year.
Based in Limerick, Cook Medical in Ireland manufactures and exports 1.4 million medtech products every year, including stents and catheters.The Limerick plant is home to the company’s Innovation Centre and Shared Services Centre who interact with thousands of customers across Europe, Middle East and Africa, speaking 16 languages.
“There’s a great opportunity for Ireland to develop its existing medtech base and specialise in new products that are already having transformative effects on patient health and wellbeing. As well as exciting –developments in biotech, we’re seeing the proliferation of products that we’ve never seen before. For example, 3D printing is speeding up production of medtech devices and making previously expensive treatments, like prosthetic limbs, accessible and affordable.”