Forging ahead as key location for life sciences investments
11 July 2013
Ireland has made its mark on the global life sciences stage as a result of its commitment to a robust science, technology and innovation strategy. Significant investments in both attracting the life sciences industry to the country and growing its existing resources have resulted in an economy that supports innovation and scientific advancement.
Despite a difficult economic environment, Ireland’s exports have shown significant resilience; Ireland’s pharmaceutical sector plays a significant part in this.
The pharmaceutical industry in Ireland consists of approximately 120 companies employing some 24,500 people directly and a further 24,000-plus people indirectly. The sector generates circa €55 billion in exports; Ireland is home to nine of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world and the eighth-largest producer of pharmaceuticals in the world.
Pharmaceutical companies with key operations in Ireland include Novartis, Abbott, Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Merck, Allergen, Genzyme and GSK.
One of Ireland’s key advantages is its young, skilled and educated workforce. Some 50% of the population is under 35 years of age and the shared population of 25- to 34-year-olds in Ireland, with a third-level qualification is higher than in the US or the UK and above the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average.
Ireland’s favourable employee demographic will continue for the foreseeable future especially with a high birth and replacement rate over the past decade.
Because developing and maintaining a skilled life sciences workforce is a major priority for the government, companies establishing roots in Ireland can count on long-term commitment and an increasingly talented workforce who are innovative and adaptable.
Ireland’s competitive position has greatly improved since the start of the global economic downturn, with steep falls in operating costs in construction, energy, utilities and consistent falls in wage costs in the economy.
Companies investing in Ireland recognise its business friendly environment with strong pharmaceutical and biotechnology expertise. Government policy makers and enterprise agencies work closely together to ensure that Ireland provides for the requirements of potential overseas investors. Ireland’s universal corporate tax rate of 12.5% is highly competitive and integrated in international tax agreements across the world.
This favourable economic and fiscal environment is highly supportive of the pharmaceutical sector, with one of the strongest infrastructures supporting intellectual property development and management, as well as State-funded 25% tax credit on eligible R&D spending.
Ireland also has a strong commitment to research, development and innovation (RD&I) funding. The Irish Government provides funding and support to fuel innovation across industry, research and education, comprising a commitment to €8 billion investment that is doubling the number of PhD graduates and supporting greater commercialisation of ideas, increasing translational research activity and supports enterprise R&D.
For example, recognising that biopharma is restricted by skills shortages and technical bioprocessing challenges worldwide, the Irish Government established a National Bioprocessing Research, Education, Training and Service Institute (NIBRT). NIBRT is designed to deliver a substantial trained workforce with the highest levels of skills across the spectrum of bioprocessing activity to local industry. Ireland’s efforts are paying off, as it is now the number one location outside the US for significant development and manufacturing in biologics.
COLLABORATION FOR COMPETITION
Ireland’s efforts to build a strong academic foundation in science and its encouragement of strong business and academic collaborations have made Ireland a global competitor for investment from multinational companies. Ireland’s dynamic RD&I sector is driven by an exceptional level of collaboration between industry, academia, government agencies and regulatory authorities.
For companies wishing to locate in Ireland, IDA Ireland is available to provide support, and is particularly supportive of companies that focus on research and development, high-end manufacturing and global service activities.
With a pro-business environment, a robust R&D culture, supportive government and a young educated workforce, Ireland is well-positioned to support the life sciences industry, whether it is a development-stage life sciences business or a leading multinational company.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2013/07/11/forging-ahead-as-key-location-for-life-sciences-investments/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Life-sciences-1024x1024.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Life-sciences-300x300.jpgChemeducation,exports,Ireland,pharma