€5 Billion Investment in Irish BioPharma Sector
Capital investment projects valued at €5 billion have been recently completed or are currently in progress across the Irish biopharma industry, according to Matt Moran, Director of BioPharmachem Ireland, the Ibec association representing the biopharma, pharma and chemical sectors in Ireland. BioPharaChem Ireland’s primary aim is to ensure that Ireland remains a recognised global centre of excellence for innovation and development in pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and chemical supply.
“There has been a significant uplift in investment in Ireland,” Moran said. “It is looking positive at the moment for the country.” Generating over €60 billion worth of exports (about half of total country exports), the sector is a major contributor to the Irish economy.
“We are very much in expansionary mode,” Moran added.
However, to maintain this momentum, the Irish biopharma sector faces a number of key challenges, which were outlined by Moran in a keynote presentation at the recent National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition held at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin.
He identified a number of key challenges facing the Irish biopharma sector if it is to maintain its current competitive advantages and continue in its role as a global centre of manufacturing, supply and development for the entire pharma sector – from small through medium to large molecule.
Ireland needs to ensure that it continues to create a competitive environment to promote growth, innovation and operational excellence. While it has a competitive rate of corporation tax, Ireland’s personal tax regime may prove problematic in attracting and retaining talented people within Irish industry. While Ireland’s talent pool remains a key global competitive advantage, it is essential to continue to ensure that highly trained people are available for the biopharma industry. Similarly, it is crucial that Ireland’s reputation as a global hub for innovation and manufacturing excellence is maintained.
Another key advantage enjoyed by the biopharma sector is the productive collaboration between industry, academia and government agencies. Over half of the Irish biopharma workforce has third level education. It is vital that this academic collaboration continues to consolidate Ireland’s position as a knowledge-based economy and as a primary location for R&D.
Continuity of investment in education is critical to ensuring that the necessary skills remain available to the industry. BioPharmachem Ireland advocates an increase in spending on science, technology and innovation to 2.5% of GDP by 2020.
“Ireland is recognised as a leading global location with regard to compliance with statutory and quality regulations,” Moran noted, indicating that this gives Irish companies a key competitive advantage over industries in other regions around the world. “The biopharma sector is very important for the country and it has the potential to grow further. It is important that we are not complacent. Our infrastructure needs to be state-of-the-art. Taxation, especially personal taxation, needs to be looked at.”