Making waves in global health research and innovation
Northern Ireland has a strong reputation in the Life and Health Sciences sector, with expertise across a range of specialisms, including precision medicine, diagnostics, connected health, clinical trials and data analytics. Specifically, the region’s researchers are at the forefront of convergent technologies, merging electronics, telecommunications and the internet with medical devices for personal healthcare.
A key strength is Northern Ireland’s expertise in connected health, primarily in the management of long term and chronic conditions. Northern Ireland’s integrated health and social services offers a unique and unified approach to patient engagement.
Companies from Northern Ireland are attending MEDICA this year to share their expertise, launch new products and build their overseas business networks.
Northern Ireland companies have a track record of delivering effective and high quality, innovative products for customers worldwide. Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI) is continuing to develop the sector not only by supporting individual companies but also by encouraging collaboration between them and the wider research base. As a result, there is now a strong ecosystem in Northern Ireland supporting the close links between industry and researchers, with over £400m invested in research over the past five years. This investment facilitates continued collaboration, fuels innovation and accelerates the commercial exploitation of cutting-edge research and product concepts.
The region is home to internationally recognised universities, Queen’s University, Belfast and Ulster University. Both are carrying out pioneering work across a range of conditions including diabetes, cardiac diseases and cancer. Results from the REF 2014* confirmed that over 70 per cent of research activity at both universities was internationally excellent or world-leading. In addition, Queen’s was ranked joint 8th in the UK for research intensity and Ulster University was identified as one of the top five universities in the UK for world-leading research in biomedical sciences and nursing.
Speaking about Northern Ireland’s presence at MEDICA 2015, Gráinne McVeigh, Director of Life & Health Sciences at Invest NI says: "Life and Health Sciences is one of Northern Ireland’s most innovative export sectors. The sector turnover is almost £1billion and it is experiencing an annual growth rate of 10%. Export markets account for 80% of its revenue and 10% of Northern Ireland’s total exports."
She added, "We have a large presence at MEDICA this year which reflects the importance we’ve placed on the European market and indeed on exporting globally. Invest NI participates in key global events within this sector and we use our presence at these events to meet with buyers and distributors from all over the world."
Northern Ireland-based companies attending the show provide pioneering products and services within the areas of diagnostic testing and reagent manufacture; medical instruments; vital signs monitoring; respiratory equipment; ophthalmology and 3D solutions for medical conditions. They include Heartsine, who developed the world’s first portable battery operated defibrillator and Randox, one of the UK’s largest diagnostics companies. It specialises in innovative diagnostic testing kits and its products are used in over 145 countries worldwide - 10% of all cholesterol tests worldwide are made by Randox.
Northern Ireland companies who will be at MEDICA this year are: ARC Ltd, Armstrong Medical, Axial 3D, Biopanda Diagnostics, Biopanda Reagents, Cathedral Eye Clinic, CIGA Healthcare, Clonallon Laboratories, Elite Electronic Systems, Fortress Diagnostics, G-CARE Electronics, Heartsine Technologies, Imhotep Diagnostics Ltd, Intelesens, Randox, SiSaf and TruCorp.
Invest NI is the main economic development agency for this part of the UK. It promotes inward investment and trade with Northern Ireland from an extensive network of overseas offices, including an office located in Düsseldorf.
* REF is an independent assessment by international experts of the quality, impact and significance of research carried out by 154 UK universities.
Northern Ireland showcases its world-class Life and Health Sciences sector at MEDICA 2015
Stand: 16F 10-1, Hall 16