The medical-device industry is the number-one industry for innovation globally, with 8% of sales being invested in research and development (R&D) and a new patent filed every 50 minutes. This dynamic environment has an innovation cycle taking just 18-24 months, which means that a new product will be superseded by an improved version in less than two years (1).
The relative costs of performing R&D in one country versus another (i.e. the after-tax cost of R&D) are important factors in evaluating where and under what circumstances these activities should take place. Ireland has built strength and critical mass in a number of research areas that underpin the medical device sector including materials, nanotechnology, biomedical research etc.
With this in mind, the Irish Government is focused on further strengthening Ireland’s position as a hub for medical devices, through integrating existing enterprise and research strengths to drive the development and manufacturing of next-generation medical devices (2).
The medical-device sector is constantly driven by academic and industry-based research and development and continues to demonstrate strong growth prospects, which is reflected in the number of spin outs, indigenous and multinational companies based in Ireland.