Thursday, 7 November 2019
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
113. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if she has undertaken an analysis of the trade risks to the pharmaceutical and medtech industry here from the United States of America; the contingencies in place to mitigate against such risks; the number of companies in such industries that export to the US; the number of persons employed in companies in such industries that export to the US; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45989/19]
In 2017 there were 568 active enterprises in the biopharmaceutical sector in Ireland. This includes a mix of large multinationals, start-ups, and high growth SMEs, including over 100 Enterprise Ireland supported Irish owned companies.
Ireland has a highly skilled workforce that has achieved critical mass. There are approximately 30,000 people in direct employment in the sector, of which over 60% hold a third level qualification. The sector employs approximately 25% of all PhD graduates currently employed in Irish industry.
Biopharmaceuticals are the single largest exporting sector of goods from Ireland, valued at €73bn in 2018, which represents a 32% increase on the 2017 figure. This comprised exports of organic chemicals of €27bn and medical and pharmaceutical products of €46bn. In 2018 35% of exports in this sector were to the US.
The global top 10 biopharmaceutical companies have a manufacturing presence in Ireland and major investments from these companies has facilitated the rapid growth of the industry. The indigenous sector is highly innovative, also, with Irish companies competing successfully in global markets throughout the world. Consequently, Ireland is well positioned to be a leader in Pharma 4.0 supported by investments such as the Science Foundation Ireland pharmaceutical research centre (SSPC), the IDA Ireland-funded National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) and Enterprise Ireland's Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) Technology Centre.
38,000 people are employed in 350medtech companies in Ireland, nearly one in five of whom are employed by domestic companies. Four out of five are SMEs or start-ups and 60% of these companies are Irish. These companies are major drivers of innovation and are a vital part of the medtech ecosystem.
14 of the world’s top 15 leading medtech multinationals now have operations in Ireland and many have multiple sites. Ireland is among the top destinations of choice for medtech investments into Europe.
Ireland’s medtech sector has become one of the leading producers of medical device products globally and is one of the largest exporters of medtech products in Europe with annual exports by IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland supported companies of €12.6 bn to over100 countries worldwide. Of this €12.6 bn, €4.5 bn accounts for exports to the US.
Central to the success of both Irish and foreign owned biopharmaceutical and medtech companies based here has been their R&D capabilities, technical expertise, leadership and management strengths and collaborative partnerships.
Trade and investment policy shifts in the US and international tax developments intensify the need for us to continuously strengthen our competitive advantage for biopharma and medtech investment and to remain a location of choice for innovation and manufacturing.
At the same time, IDA Ireland works closely with its client base to support their ongoing presence in Ireland. This includes engaging with client companies to help them address potential risks they may face whether related to the international trading environment or otherwise. The agency also provides financial incentives to carry out in-house R&D projects and collaborative projects with third-level institutes and industrial partners for the purpose of enabling client companies to become more innovative, assists client companies to increase their capacity and capability to deliver to new and existing markets and supports client companies to replace old equipment with new technology upgrades. These supports are designed to develop the competitive capabilities of companies already located in Ireland and to help clients increase their capacity and capability to deliver to new and existing markets.