Why Irish global medtech hub needs to remain healthy

Ireland’s global medtech hub has generated 2,300 new jobs and raised €180m in finance in the past 18 months. But to keep up the momentum and the innovation pipeline, the sector’s entrepreneurs need better support in the form of tax reform and infrastructure investment.

That’s according to the IBEC-based Irish Medtech Association, which has called on the Irish Government to make the right changes in Budget 2020 that will enable the sector’s rich array of award-winning designers, expert researchers, and partners which help startups and SMEs go the distance.

In its Budget 2020 submission, the Irish Medtech Association has called for an increase in the threshold for the reduced rate of Capital Gains Tax from €1m to €10m to encourage risk taking and re-investment.

“Start-ups play a critical role in the medtech sector, as significant drivers of innovation in recent decades”

The organisation has called for reform of the Key Employee Engagement Programme (KEEP), including an increase in the limit on market value of issue, but unexercised, shares under the scheme to €10m to attract and retain talent.

It also called for reform of the Employment Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS) including an increase in the limit on investments to €2 million to drive investment.

As well as this the organisation wants Government support, backed by industry and IDA Ireland investment, for an Advanced Manufacturing Centre of scale, located in County Limerick, to act as a shared space to allow companies work together to develop technology and talent.

Med in Ireland

“The success of Ireland’s global medtech hub has seen €566m in investments and 2,300 jobs publicly announced, and €180m finance raised by start-ups over the past eighteen months,” said Sinead Keogh from the Irish Medtech Association.

“Start-ups play a critical role in the medtech sector, as significant drivers of innovation in recent decades.”

Ireland has a rich pipeline of medtech startups and experienced entrepreneurs supported by a collaborative community. But, Keogh warned, if we want to keep start-ups here and help them scale we need a business environment that supports entrepreneurs or risk losing them to competitor economies such as the UK.

“The innovation pipeline for this dynamic industry is fueled by startups that take on risk to drive radical innovation in the face of unmet clinical needs that represent significant commercial opportunities,” explained the chair of the Irish Medtech Association and the CEO of FIRE1 Conor Hanley.

“However, to get these products to patients they need sufficient funding to get technologies through key stages including, prototyping and clinical investigations, to obtaining regulatory approval and getting products into the health system,” Hanley said.

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Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 4 September, 2019