BioPharmaChem Ireland (BPCI) and the Irish Medtech Association, the Ibec groups representing the biopharmaceutical and medtech sectors in Ireland, say it’s vital for world leading manufacturing companies to continue to participate in science and technology fairs to connect with students who otherwise may not consider pursuing careers in these growing industries.
Speaking at this year’s BT Young Scientist Exhibition at the RDS Dublin, both groups stressed the importance of educating students of the possible STEM career paths that exist.
Director of BPCI Matt Moran said: “Research by the BT Young Scientist shows that nearly four out of five competitors this year intend to go on to further studies in science and technology. Yet the same study shows that students are struggling to see opportunities for STEM jobs.
With more than 28,000 people already working in biopharma and with 78,000 jobs expected in the biopharma and medtech industries by 2020, we’re delighted to be here with Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly and Janssen so that students can talk directly to people working in the industry and provide them with insights into what it takes to pursue a potentially life changing career in biopharma.
“In the first ten months of 2017 we saw nearly €30 billion in exports and ongoing investments like the Janssen’s €300 million expansion announcement so the demand for talent is only going to grow with the industry. Ireland is now home to all 10 of the top 10 biopharma companies and we expect to have 36,000 working in the sector by 2020,.”
Acting Irish Medtech Association Director Dr. Eoghan Ó Faoláin said: “This is an exciting year for the BT Young Scientists as the winner will also go on to represent Ireland in the EU Contest for Young Scientists which will be held in Ireland for the second time, this September in Dublin.
With the Brexit deadline fast approaching, the role of R&D in driving economic growth in the EU is in the spotlight. The UK has seen a downward trend in the past 18 months of key indicators for Horizon 2020, the EU’s largest research and innovation funding programme to date, with an apparent reluctance of participants to take on projects with UK partners. Ireland, which has won €475 million from Horizon 2020 since 2014 and ranks 13th in the world for university industry collaboration in R&D, is well placed to take advantage of this chance to grow our research and innovation capabilities further.”
Dr. Ó Faoláin concluded: “Both Stryker and Medtronic who are on the BT Young Scientist stand with us at the exhibition have innovation centres in Ireland. Irish medtech has become a global powerhouse with 38,000 already working in the sector and 4,000 jobs to be added by 2020. But as we look to the future, the BT Young Scientist with 1,100 finalists showcasing 550 projects this year, continues to be a key driver of what has made Ireland 9th for availability of scientists and engineers by inspiring young people.”