Boston-Ireland Medical Technology Conference at NUI Galway
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) at NUI Galway will host a one-day conference on the Medical Technology Clusters in Ireland and Massachusetts on Thursday, 28 October in the Bailey Allen Hall at the University. The purpose of the conference is to learn about the cluster of medical technology companies in Massachusetts and in particular the industry-specific organisations that drive the cluster's development. Within this context the conference will discuss the future path of Ireland's medical technology sector. The event is aimed at practitioners from industry and public policy agencies, as well as academics and will provide a unique opportunity to forge links between medical technology organisations in the two regions. Professor Philip Cooke, Director at the Centre for Advanced Studies, Cardiff University, will give the keynote address. A panel discussion entitled 'From Intent to Reality: Making an Internationally Competitive Cluster Happen' will also take place. The Irish Medical Technology Cluster is currently comprised of approximately 120 companies creating over 24,000 jobs. The cluster is driven by the significant presence of large foreign-owned subsidiaries operating in Ireland whose capabilities lie in manufacturing as well as product and process development activities. Dr Majella Giblin, a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change was awarded a Royal Irish Academy grant to visit Massachusetts and conduct research on the medical technology cluster there. Whilst in Boston, Dr Giblin conducted interviews with representatives from various med tech organisations including start-up companies, industry associations, mentoring organisations as well as the headquarters of multi-nationals based in Ireland. The conference is one of the outcomes from this research and in explaining her motivation for organising the event Dr Giblin states: "Given that the medical technology cluster in Ireland is identified by the Government as one of the potential sectors driving future industrial growth in the economy, nurturing its development from a manufacturing hub to an internationally competitive cluster that encompasses a strong research as well as manufacturing base should be paramount among policymakers and industry representatives. In this regard, there is a lot we can learn from the industrial ecosystem of Massachusetts and the conference provides a unique opportunity to do this." The conference is supported by the Irish Social Sciences Platform, which is funded under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (administered by the HEA and co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund).