Sep 26 2016 Posted: 09:43 IST

NUI Galway conferred six outstanding leaders of the Irish medical technology (medtech) sector with honorary degrees on Monday 26 September.

The honorary graduates are:

  • John Power, Founder and CEO of Aerogen;
  • Helen Ryan, Former CEO of Creganna;
  • Ian Quinn, Founder and Former CEO, Creganna;
  • John O’Dea, Founder and CEO of Crospon;
  • Paul Gilson, Co-Founder of MedNova and Veryan;
  • John O’Shaughnessy, Founder of MedNova and Neuravi.

The medical technology sector in Ireland is recognised as one of the five global emerging hubs. Galway is at the very heart of this development and NUI Galway is delighted to honour people in its own region who have been integral to growth of this sector in Ireland.

The sector employs over 29,000 people in Ireland and is the second largest employer of medtech professionals in Europe. Ireland is one of the largest exporters of medical products in Europe with annual exports of €12.6 billion and companies here directly export to over 100 countries worldwide.

Since the early 2000s, NUI Galway has focussed its research on biomedical engineering science as a priority area. It has developed a range of interdisciplinary research centres and initiatives, working closely with partners in industry, healthcare and government agencies, to build a world-class clinical, research and people infrastructure.

Speaking at the conferring ceremony, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said:

“NUI Galway is associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured form a particularly distinguished group. Each one has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the development of the medtech sector in Ireland, helping to make our region into the medtech hub of Europe. They have each contributed to an ecosystem which brings researchers, clinicians and industry innovators together and the result is a thriving medtech sector which makes a truly significant contribution to the Irish economy and society. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals”

The Honorary Conferring Ceremony coincided with the official launch of CÚRAM Centre for Medical Device Research which is based at NUI Galway. CÚRAM is a Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre, which has a unique symbiotic relationship of academia and industry partners that pushes the scientific frontiers in medical devices.

All honorees were conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa).

 HONORARY GRADUATES

 John Power – CEO and Founder of Aerogen

 In 1997 John created the company that later became Aerogen and that is today recognised as the International leader in aerosol drug delivery in the Intensive Care setting.

 Aerogen’s products have been pivotal in treating more than four million critically ill patients from over 70 countries around the globe and are accredited with the world’s first effective ICU aerosol drug delivery for pre-term and early term neonates. This year Aerogen received the prestigious Zenith Award from the American Association of Respiratory Care, previously the company has been the recipient of both the Irish Exporter of The Year and the Irish Medical Device Technology Company of The Year.  

 It was in recognition of John’s career long achievements as both a product innovator and market pioneer that in June this year the European Business Awards named John the European Entrepreneur of The Year 2015/16. John is a Chartered Engineer, FIEI and holds an MBA from Oxford Brookes University. As an Adjunct Lecturer at NUI Galway he guest lectures on his core business interests of Innovation Strategies and Technology Entrepreneurship. He is a member of the Board of the Irish Medical Device Association and a faculty member of the NUI Galway BioInnovate program.

 Helen Ryan– Former CEO, Creganna

 Helen holds a number of Board positions including Enterprise Ireland, Capsos Medical and Galway University Foundation, and acts as a strategic advisor to Bord Gais, the BDO Capital Development Fund and a number of indigenous companies.

Helen was the CEO of Creganna Medical, ranked among the world’s top 10 medical device outsource providers, from 2005 until September 2013. During Helen’s time as CEO the company grew five-fold to become the largest indigenous medical device company. The organization grew from 100 people at a single site in Galway to over 1250 people across a global network of four sites in Ireland, the USA and Singapore.

Prior to joining Creganna Medical in 2003, Helen worked with Medtronic and Covidien in Product Development and R&D roles.

Helen has a Bachelor of Engineering from NUI Galway, a Masters in Project Management from UL, and has completed a Senior Executive Programme at Stanford University. Helen is a fellow of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland

Ian Quinn - Co-Founder and previous CEO, Creganna Medical Devices

Ian co-founded Creganna in 1980 where he served as CEO for 25 years.  During his tenure Creganna grew from a staff of three in Galway to a staff of 2,250 on four continents. Creganna supplies all the major interventional device companies with delivery device technology from design and development to complete products. 

Working with NUI Galway he was involved in the foundation of BioInnovate which is now generating a steady stream of very innovative new device companies.  He is a seed investor in some of those companies.

Ian is on the board of BioInnovate, Tyndall National research Institute, IPIC (Irish Photonics Integration Centre), The Irish Academy of Engineering and a small number of device strart-ups.  He is Chairman of Amarenco (A developer of solar energy in France and Ireland).

John O’Dea – Founder and CEO, Crospon

John is CEO of Irish medical device company, Crospon, a company he founded in late 2006. Previously, in 1998, he co-founded Caradyne, an Irish respiratory medical device company, which was acquired by Respironics Inc. in 2004. In the past 30 years he has held R&D management positions in Nellcor Puritan Bennett and engineering positions in Digital Equipment Inc. and in Dataproducts Inc.

He is Adjunct Professor at the School of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway where he is also Chairman of the External Advisory Board of BioInnovate Ireland and is Special Advisor to the SFI CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices. He is a past Chairman of the Board of the Irish Medical Devices Association, and a Past President of Engineers Ireland. He is a Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering.

Paul Gilson – Co-Founder, MedNova

Paul developed a passion for design and Engineering after graduation and worked with General Electric in the U.S., Canada and the Middle East in heavy Engineering roles. It was with CR Bard that his lifelong career in medical devices began in 1986.

Following a number of years of leadership of this group and developing a number of commercially successful PTCA products, he left to co-found Ireland’s first start-up in the field of endovascular medicine, MedNova. The Company was acquired by Abbott Laboratories in 2006.

Following the sale of MedNova, Paul along with co-founder Chas Taylor established Veryan Medical, a spinout from Imperial College in London to develop innovative Peripheral Stenting technologies. Based on the established cluster of Medtech Companies in Galway, Veryan located its operations in Galway. In parallel, he also co-founded Novate Medical to develop a new technology for IVC filtration, also located in Galway.

Paul continues to mentor and invest in Medtech start-ups including those emerging from the NUI Galway BioInnovate program and was Chairman of Embo Medical, a BioInnovate start-up recently acquired by CR BARD. He is a named inventor on more than 40 granted US patents and has been published in a number of peer review journals.

John O’Shaughnessy - Founder of MedNova and Neuravi

John led the establishment of C.R. Bard Inc. (NYSE:BCR) at the very beginnings of the Galway medtech cluster in the early nineteen eighties and spent sixteen years as Managing Director with Bard.

He co-founded two Irish medical device companies, Mednova in 1997 and Neuravi in 2009, and has invested in many others. He is Chairman of several companies and is an advisor to a major multi-national company advising on their strategy on medtech investing, acquisitions and management.

 He was awarded the “The 2012 Life Time Achievement Award for his contribution to the Irish Medical Device Industry” awarded by IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and Irish Medical Device Association.

 He was appointed by the Irish Government to the Board of the Irish Development Authority (IDA) and served on the Board from 1995 till 2000. He was a founder of Croi, The West of Ireland Cardiology Foundation.                                                 

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Céimeanna bronnta ag OÉ Gaillimh ar dhaoine iomráiteacha in earnáil na teicneolaíochta leighis

Dé Luain, an 26 Meán Fómhair, bhronn OÉ Gaillimh céimeanna oinigh ar sheisear ceannairí den scoth in earnáil teicneolaíochta leighis na hÉireann.

Bronnadh céim orthu seo a leanas:

-          John Power, Bunaitheoir agus Príomhfheidhmeannach Aerogen;

-          Helen Ryan, iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach Creganna;

-          Ian Quinn, Bunaitheoir agus iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach, Creganna;

-          John O’Dea, Bunaitheoir agus Príomhfheidhmeannach Crospon;

-          Paul Gilson, Comhbhunaitheoir MedNova agus Veryan;

-          John O’Shaughnessy, Bunaitheoir MedNova agus Neuravi.

Aithnítear earnáil na teicneolaíochta leighis in Éirinn ar cheann de na cúig lárionad domhanda a bhfuil borradh tréan faoi. Tá Gaillimh i gcroílár na forbartha seo agus tá OÉ Gaillimh thar a bheith sásta onóir a bhronnadh ar dhaoine ina réigiún féin a raibh dlúthbhaint acu le fás na hearnála seo in Éirinn.

Tá os cionn 29,000 duine fostaithe san earnáil seo in Éirinn agus táimid ar an dara fostóir is mó de ghairmithe teicneolaíochta leighis san Eoraip. Tá Éire ar cheann de na heaspórtálaithe is mó de tháirgí leighis san Eoraip le heaspórtálacha bliantúla ar fiú €12.6 billiún iad agus easpórtálann cuideachtaí anseo chuig breis is 100 tír ar fud an domhain. 

Ó thús na 2000í, thug OÉ Gaillimh tús áite do thaighde ar eolaíocht innealtóireachta bithleighis. Tá réimse ionad agus tionscnamh a bhaineann le taighde idirdhisciplíneach forbartha aici, trí dhlúthbhaint le comhpháirtithe sa tionscal, i ngníomhaireachtaí cúraim sláinte agus rialtais, chun infreastruchtúr cliniciúil, taighde agus daonna den scoth a thógail.

Ag labhairt dó ag an searmanas bronnta, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: 

“Bhí baint ag OÉ Gaillimh le céimithe oinigh den scoth in imeacht na mblianta agus is grúpa den scoth amach is amach iad céimithe oinigh na bliana seo.

Tá a c(h)ion féin déanta ag gach céimí oinigh daoibh seo i bhforbairt na hearnála teicneolaíochta leighis in Éirinn, trí chabhrú le lárionad teicneolaíochta leighis na hEorpa a dhéanamh dár réigiún.

Chuir siad ar fad le héiceachóras a thugann taighdeoirí, cliniceoirí agus nuálaithe tionscail le chéile agus mar thoradh air seo tá earnáil teicneolaíochta leighis bisiúil againn a chuireann go mór le geilleagar agus le sochaí na hÉireann.

Tá an-áthas ar OÉ Gaillimh a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt do na daoine eisceachtúla seo.”

Bhí an Searmanas Bronnta Oinigh ar siúl an tráth céanna le seoladh oifigiúil CÚ‏RAM - Ionad Taighde d'Fheistí Leighis de chuid SFI atá lonnaithe in OÉ Gaillimh. Is Ionad Taighde de chuid Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann é CÚRAM atá lonnaithe, atá ina chaidreamh uathúil siombóiseach idir lucht acadúil agus comhpháirtithe tionsclaíochta a thugann dúshlán na dteorainneacha eolaíocha i bhfeistí leighis.

Bronnadh Céim Dhochtúireachta le hInnealtóireacht (honoris causa) ar na céimithe ar fad.

CÉIMITHE OINIGH

John Power – Bunaitheoir agus Príomhfheidhmeannach Aerogen

Sa bhliain 1997 bhunaigh John an chuideachta ar a dtugtar Aerogen inniu, cuideachta atá aitheanta mar an ceannaire Idirnáisiúnta i seachadadh drugaí aerasóil i suíomh an Dianchúraim.

Tá táirgí Aerogen lárnach i gcóir leighis a chur ar bhreis is ceithre milliún othar atá an-tinn as breis is 70 tír ar fud na cruinne agus is acu a bhí an chéad druga aerasóil dianchúraim éifeachtach do leanaí nuabheirthe a rugadh roimh am nó go luath. I mbliana bhronn an American Association of Respiratory Care an Gradam mór le rá Zenith ar Aerogen, roimhe seo ainmníodh an chuideachta mar Easpórtalaí Éireannach na Bliana agus mar Chuideachta Teicneolaíochta Feistí Leighis na Bliana.  

Is mar aitheantas ar éachtaí móra John ina ghairm fhairsing mar nuálaí táirgí agus mar cheannródaí margaidh a ainmníodh John mar Fhiontraí Eorpach na Bliana 2015/16 ag na Gradaim Ghnó Eorpacha i Meitheamh na bliana seo.Is Innealtóir Chairte FIEI é John, agus tá MBA aige ó Ollscoil  Oxford Brookes. Is Léachtóir Taca in OÉ Gaillimh é John agus feidhmíonn sé mar aoi-léachtóir ar a phríomhleasa gnó, is iad sin Straitéisí Nuálaíochta agus Fiontraíocht Teicneolaíochta. Is ball de Bhord Chumann Feistí Leighis na hÉireann é John agus is comhalta dáimhe é ar chlár BioInnovate OÉ Gaillimh. 

Helen Ryan– Iar-phríomhfheidhmeannach CEO, Creganna

Tá Helen ag feidhmiú ar roinnt Bord lena n-áirítear Fiontraíocht Éireann, Capsos Medical agus Fondúireacht Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, agus tá sí ina comhairleoir straitéiseach le Bord Gáis, le Ciste Forbartha Caipitil BDO agus le roinnt cuideachtaí dúchasacha.

Ón mbliain 2005 go dtí Meán Fómhair 2013, bhí Helen ina Príomhfheidhmeannach ar Creganna Medical, atá rangaithe i measc na ndeich soláthróir seachfhoinse is fearr ar fheistí leighis.  I rith thréimhse Helen mar Phríomhfheidhmeannach, d’fhás an chuideachta faoi chúig go dtí go raibh sí ar an gcuideachta dhúchasach is mó feistí leighis.  D’fhás an eagraíocht ó 100 duine ar shuíomh amháin i nGaillimh go dtí breis is 1250 duine thar líonra domhanda ar cheithre shuíomh in Éirinn, i Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá agus i Singeapór.

Sular tháinig sí ar bord le Creganna Medical sa bhliain 2003, d’oibrigh Helen le Medtronic agus le Covidien i bhForbairt Táirgí agus i dTaighde agus Forbairt.

Tá Baitsiléir Innealtóireachta ag Helen ó OÉ Gaillimh, céim Mháistreachta i mBainistíocht Tionscadail ó Ollscoil Luimnigh, agus tá Clár Feidhmiúcháin Shinsearaigh curtha i gcrích aici in Ollscoil Stanford.  Is comhalta í Helen d’Institiúid Innealtóirí na hÉireann.

Ian Quinn - Comhbhunaitheoir agus iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach, Creganna Medical Devices

Chomhbhunaigh Ian Creganna sa bhliain 1980 agus bhí sé ina Phríomhfheidhmeannach ar feadh 25 bliain.  Le linn a thréimhse in Creganna mhéadaigh sé ó fhoireann de thriúr i nGaillimh go dtí foireann 2,250 duine ar cheithre ilchríoch. Soláthraíonn Creganna na hollchuideachtaí feistí idirghabhála ar fad le teicneolaíocht feistí seachadta ó dhearadh agus forbairt go táirgí críochnaithe. 

Agus é ag obair le OÉ Gaillimh bhí baint aige le bunú BioInnovate atá anois ag cur sruth leanúnach cuideachtaí feistí nuálaíocha nua ar fáil.  Is síol-infheisteoir é Ian i gcuid de na cuideachtaí seo.

Tá Ian ar bhord BioInnovate, Institiúid Náisiúnta Taighde Tyndall, IPIC (Ionad na hÉireann do Chomhtháthú Fótónaice), Acadamh Innealtóireachta na hÉireann agus roinnt gnólachtaí nuathionscanta.  Tá sé ina Chathaoirleach ar Amarenco (forbróir fuinnimh gréine sa Fhrainc agus in Éirinn).

John O’Dea – Bunaitheoir agus Príomhfheidhmeannach, Crospon

Tá John ina Phríomhfheidhmeannach ar Crospon, cuideachta feistí leighis Éireannach a bhunaigh sé i ndeireadh 2006. Roimhe sin sa bhliain 1998 chomhbhunaigh sé Caradyne, cuideachta feistí leighis riospráide Éireannach; cheannaigh Respironics Inc. an chuideachta sin sa bhliain 2004. Le 30 bliain anuas bhí poist bhainistíochta Taighde agus Forbartha aige in Nellcor Puritan Bennett agus bhí poist innealtóireachta aige in Digital Equipment Inc. agus in Dataproducts Inc.

Is Ollamh Taca é John i Scoil na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh áit a bhfuil sé ina Chathaoirleach chomh maith ar Bhord Seachtrach Comhairleach BioInnovate Ireland agus ina Chomhairleoir Speisialta ar an Ionad Taighde d'Fheistí Leighis de chuid SFI - CÚRAM. Bhí sé ina Chathaoirleach tráth ar Bhord Chumann Feistí Leighis na hÉireann, agus ina iar-Uachtarán ar Institiúid Innealtóirí na hÉireann. Is Comhalta é d’Acadamh Innealtóireachta na hÉireann.

Paul Gilson – Comhbunaitheoir, MedNova

D’fhorbair Paul spéis ar leith sa dearadh agus san innealtóireacht tar éis dó a chéim a bhaint amach agus d’oibrigh sé le General Electric i Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá, i gCeanada agus sa Mheánoirthear i bpoist a bhain le hInnealtóireacht throm. Is le CR Bard a chuir sé tús lena ghairm fhada le feistí leighis sa bhliain 1986.

Tar éis roinnt blianta a chaitheamh i gceannas ar an ngrúpa seo agus ag forbairt roinnt táirgí PTCA ar éirigh go maith leo go tráchtála, d’fhág sé an grúpa seo agus chomhbhunaigh sé an chéad ghnólacht in Éirinn i réimse an leighis ionsoithíoch, MedNova. Cheannaigh Abbott Laboratories an chuideachta sa bhliain 2006.

Tar éis MedNova a dhíol, bhunaigh Paul, in éineacht le comhbhunaitheoir Chas Taylor, Veryan Medical, seach-chuideachta ó Imperial College i Londain chun teicneolaíochtaí nuálacha a bhaineann le Steinteáil Fhorimeallach. Bunaithe ar an mbraisle de Chuideachtaí Teicneolaíochta Leighis atá bunaithe i nGaillimh, chinn Veryan a chuid oibríochtaí a lonnú anseo chomh maith. Ag an am céanna, chomhbhunaigh sé Novate Medical chun teicneolaíocht nua a fhorbairt maidir le scagachán IVC; tá an chuideachta seo lonnaithe i nGaillimh freisin.

Tá Paul fós ag meantóireacht agus ag infheistiú i ngnólachtaí nuathionscanta lena n-áirítear iad siúd atá ag teacht chun cinn ó chlár BioInnovate OÉ Gaillimh agus bhí sé ina Chathaoirleach ar Embo Medical, gnólacht nua-thionscanta de chuid BioInnovate a cheannaigh CR BARD le deireanaí. Tá sé ina aireagóir ainmnithe ar bhreis is 40 paitinn a fuarthas i Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá agus tá ábhar dá chuid foilsithe i roinnt irisí piarmheasúnaithe.

John O’Shaughnessy - Bunaitheoir MedNova agus Neuravi

Bhí John i gceannas bhunú C.R. Bard Inc. (NYSE:BCR) nuair a thosaigh braisle teicneolaíochta leighis na Gaillimhe go luath sa 1980idí agus chaith sé sé bliana déag ina Stiúrthóir Bainistíochta le Bard.

Chomhbhunaigh sé dhá chuideachta teicneolaíochta leighis Éireannacha, Mednova sa bhliain 1997 agus Neuravi sa bhliain 2009, agus tá infheistíocht déanta aige i gcuideachtaí go leor eile. Tá sé ina Chathaoirleach ar roinnt cuideachtaí agus is comhairleoir é le hollchuideachta ilnáisiúnta maidir lena straitéis ar infheistíocht, ceannach agus bainistíocht na teicneolaíochta leighis.

Bhronn IDA Éireann, Fiontraíocht Éireann agus Cumann Feistí Leighis na hÉireann “Gradam Saoil 2012 de bharr a chuid oibre ar mhaithe le Tionscal Feistí Leighis na hÉireann” air.

Cheap Rialtas na hÉireann é ar Bhord Údarás Forbartha na hÉireann (IDA) agus bhí sé ar an mBord sin ó 1995 go dtí 2000. Bhí sé ar dhuine den dream a bhunaigh Croí, Fondúireacht Chairdeolaíochta Iarthar na hÉireann.                                                                     

-críoch-

 

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