Medical device companies are dispersed across Ireland. The presence of these companies throughout the country means that there is a steady supply of talent in every region, allowing medical device companies to easily set up a facility anywhere they choose. In part 1 of our regional overview of the medical technology industry in Ireland, we take a look at the West of Ireland – encompassing the Midwest, West, and North West regions.
Galway is the most important MedTech cluster in the country. It accounts for approximately 31% of all medical device employment. Galway has significant expertise in vascular technologies, which are dominated by Boston Scientific and Medtronic. Boston Scientific is the largest medical device employer in Ireland with a staff of more than 4,500 across 3 sites located in Clonmel, Cork, and Galway. Boston Scientific employs around 3,000 people in Galway. Medtronic has roughly 2,000 staff working at its Galway facility, including over 100 employees working in R&D. Other notable companies in Galway include Merit Medical, Creganna, Crospon, and Zimmer, Aerogen, Creganna (800 staff)
Mayo has several large multinational MedTech companies with manufacturing operations, including Baxter and Hollister. They produce renal dialysis equipment, and ostomy/continence care products respectively. Hollister has invested €80 million in its Ballina plant, which currently employs over 600 people.
The North West is home to several large MedTech companies. Abbott has a number of facilities in the region including Abbott Diabetes in Donegal, Abbott Diagnostics and Abbott Nutrition in Sligo, and Abbott Medical Optics in Mayo. with Irish owned Arrotek and Inblex Plastics based in Sligo. Multinationals B. Braun, Hospira, Amcor Flexibles, and AbbVie are all located in Sligo as well. Donegal also contributes to the North West MedTech cluster with Abbott Diabetes, Phillips-Medisize and Moll Industries all located in the county. Vention in Boyle is another significant MedTech manufacturing site in the North West. Harmac Medical in Castlerea employs 290 people.
Limerick is also an important location for medical device companies. Cook Medical has an 800 person manufacturing facility in Limerick that makes products for use in gastroenterology, urology, obstetrics, and gynaecology. Stryker Orthopaedics, Teleflex Medical, and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care are also important employers in the county. Ethicon Biosurgery, part of J&J, has recently invested €80 million in its Limerick plant, which will see it create 270 jobs. Vistakon, part of the J&J group that employees almost 2,000 people in Ireland, made a landmark €100 million investment at the start of 2013 that will see the creation of 100 additional jobs at its Limerick site where it manufactures the Acuvue range of disposable contact lenses. In June 2015 Vistakon announced another €100 million investment to further its manufacturing capabilities.
Medical Technology companies have been a reliable source of investment in the last number of years. This has been particularly important for job creation in the West of Ireland, creating demand for a range of highly skilled engineering and science graduates.
Part 2 of the Collins McNicholas MedTech Industry in Ireland overview will look at activity in the South, South East, and Midlands regions.
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