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First Visit to Ireland by Austrian Medtec Delegation

13 July 2012

On Wednesday 11th July 2012 an Austrian delegation arrived in Dublin for the start of the first Incoming Mission on medical technologies entitled “Medtec in Ireland”. It was made up of representatives of Austrian medtec companies, two life science clusters (with a total of 350 members) and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (400,000 members).  

The delegation attended a seminar on day 1 with presentations designed to give the group an understanding of the Irish life sciences and medical technologies in particular. These were as follows:
Dr. Tom Kelly, Divisional Manager Life Sciences, CleanTech & Electronics, Enterprise Ireland:
Overview of the Irish Life Sciences, in particular Medical Technologies.

Dr Tom Kelly, Divisional Manager Life Sciences, CleanTech & Electronics, Enterprise Ireland.

Dr Tom Kelly, Divisional Manager Life Sciences, CleanTech & Electronics, Enterprise Ireland. 

Dr. Marion Boland, Scientific Programme Manager, Science Foundation of Ireland:
Overview of Life Science Clusters in Ireland with reference to Medical Technologies.

Dr. Peter Brennan, CEO Bid Management Services:
The Irish Public Tendering Process.

Ursula Tipp, Partner Byrne Wallace:
The Irish Tax Environment & Incentives/Venture Capital in Ireland.

Days 2 and 3 were spent with the Galway Medtec Cluster visiting a cross section of companies including large US multinationals, well established indigenous companies and smaller, early stage companies and start-ups.

The final visit was to Professor Frank Barry at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Sciences at the National University of Galway. In a meeting chaired by Professor Barry, a team of scientists gave the visitors a comprehensive summary of their cutting edge projects.

Prof. Frank Barry, National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Sciences

Prof. Frank Barry, National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Sciences 

The Galway Chamber of Commerce and the Enterprise Europe Network sponsored an evening of networking for the visiting delegation and local Galway firms. The Galway Chamber was also a great support in organising the site visits.

On days 5 and 6 the visitors were free to attend the European Science Open Forum in the Convention Centre Dublin.

Dr. Peter Rübig, an Austrian MEP and his wife Marita joined the delegation for dinner. The Rübigs were in Dublin for the European Science Open Forum 2012. They were instantly recognised by a group from Upper Austria who had just taken part in FACE 2012 – First Aid Convention Europe. Team Austria secured second place (to Italy) in the Europe-wide first aid competition.

The Irish medical technology sector (devices and diagnostics) has performed strongly over the last decade, contributing approx 7.4 billion in exports (2011) and employing more than 24,000 people. The number of medtech companies currently stands at 140 of which 60 are Irish. Fifteen of the world’s top 20 medical technologies companies are located in Ireland.

Important medtech exports from Ireland are minimally invasive surgical devices such as stents (80% of the world’s supply), endoscopes, orthopaedic implants, diagnostics, ventilators, contact lenses (one third of the world’s supply) and Botox.