Ireland’s life sciences industry has embraced disruptive technology – PharmaLive


The Irish life sciences industry has embraced disruptive technology

By Rachel Shelley

Disruptive technology is propelling the life sciences industry through a period of rapid and massive change. It transforms product innovation and manufacturing. This makes care more personalized, digitized and data-driven. And help companies understand and reduce their environmental impact.

Navigating all of these changes and figuring out how to make the most of disruptive technologies to stay competitive can be challenging.

Many companies are still trying to figure out what digital transformation should look like within their operations. Organizations face pressing questions about how to carry out digital transformation efforts given the shortage of skilled labor and how to simplify the transformation process, for example by leveraging other work already underway to research and develop disruptive technologies.

There’s no better place than Ireland to see how the life sciences industry is embracing disruptive technologies. Companies here are using new and disruptive technologies to transform product innovation, manufacturing operations, and sustainability efforts in the life sciences. They do this by using the collective power and support of industry, government and academia.

Accept the disturbance

The world’s biggest names in life sciences are showing what is possible with digital transformation in their Irish operations.

An example is the Cork-based operations of Janssen Sciences Ireland, which were recently named a “Beacon of Sustainability” by the World Economic Forum. Janssen is part of Johnson & Johnson, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations by 2030. Its Irish operations show how disruptive technology can help achieve this goal.

Like all Johnson & Johnson operations in Ireland, Janssen’s Cork site is powered entirely by renewable energy sources. The site uses adaptive process control and digital twin technology to optimize manufacturing operations and other energy-intensive functions. This has enabled Janssen to optimize its processes on site and reduce carbon emissions per kilogram of product by 56%.

Elsewhere in Ireland, Novartis is using digital technology to discover the art of the possible in delivering pharmaceutical solutions to patients. At the Dublin-based Novartis Global Service Centre, the company not only uses clinical science, but also data science and artificial intelligence to drive innovation in service delivery.

On the connected care front, companies are using their operations in Ireland to rethink what care can be.

At its Clonmel production site, for example, Boston Scientific produces digitized and connected medical devices such as its implantable cardioverter defibrillator. The device can detect high heart rates and deliver a shock to a patient’s heart to stop the arrhythmia. Remote device monitoring gives care providers access to vital patient data and notifications of patient problems – and it can give patients peace of mind that they are still being cared for even when off the clock. doctor’s office.

The Irish Advantage

What is driving so many disruptive tech apps in Ireland? It is the result of several factors that have converged to create a unique ecosystem of innovation.

The availability of talent is essential. As the third largest pharmaceutical exporter in the world and the second largest exporter of medical technology products in Europe, the Irish life sciences sector has a large workforce. In fact, it is the largest employer of medical technologies per capita in Europe.

The country has focused on maintaining a talent pool. The education system is ranked among the top 10 in the world and close cooperation between industry and academia helps ensure that courses and degrees keep pace with the technological needs of the life science industry. Additionally, companies operating in Ireland have access to the largest talent base in the EU.

Ireland supports innovation through government funded projects. For example, the Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMC), a new national, world-class industry-led center that enables Irish businesses to access, adopt and accelerate digital technologies, is set to open later this year. . It focuses on rolling out technology across Irish businesses by connecting technology, operations, sustainability and skills. This purpose-built, world-class facility means Ireland is open and ready for next-generation manufacturing investment.

The government is continuing to develop the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) to support emerging opportunities in the life sciences.

The Irish Government makes available a wide range of support to support and enable industry innovation.

A 25% tax credit is available through the government for companies carrying out R&D in Ireland. Separate grants are also available from IDA Ireland for R&D projects. Additionally, the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) is a €500 million fund that supports collaboration between multinationals and universities, specifically around disruptive technologies. To date, many DTIF investments have been made in the life sciences industry, and the current funding round is focused on collaborations in advanced and smart manufacturing.

Innovation Island

Ireland has become a central part of the innovation agendas of life sciences companies. Today, three out of four medical technology companies operating in Ireland carry out R&D activities in the country. And because these activities are supported by a rich talent pool and innovation-friendly ecosystem, there is virtually no limit to the direction they could take for the industry.

Rachel Shelly is Head of Medical Technology for IDA Ireland, the agency responsible for supporting foreign direct investment in Ireland. She leads the development and implementation of Ireland’s strategy for inward investment in medical technologies and healthcare services.

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