From The Publisher Why Ireland?

Dec 15, 2005

Mike Tessalone
As companies evolve, they often must select new locations where they can centralize or expand their operations. This can be a daunting challenge that demands consideration of numerous factors.

To help you make a sound decision, BioPharm International, in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland, has produced this special supplement that highlights the biotech environment in Ireland. This issue expands on our recent series of articles that explores countries around the world and US regions where the biotech industry thrives and opportunities abound.

During the last 10 years, Ireland has developed into one of the strongest European economies, with per capita income 10% higher than in the UK. The country has more than 170 companies employing 35,000 people in the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostic sectors. And nine of the world's top 10 pharmaceutical companies have manufacturing operations in Ireland.

Government research funding and private venture capital investment have largely fueled this growth. The Higher Education Authority alone has invested approximately US $350 million in bioscience projects that include national centers, institutes, networks, and research programs. On top of that, venture capital increased 25.7% during the first half of 2005, over the same period in 2004. This is especially impressive when considering the 11.5% decrease in the total amount invested across Europe.

Many are taking note. In 2004, AT Kearney's Offshore Location Attractiveness Index ranked Ireland fourth in the world for people and skills, and third for business environment. The same year, Ireland led the Harvard Business Online Global Creative-Class Index. This compares countries by the size of their "creative classes" — their scientific, intellectual, cultural, and entrepreneurial talent.

In September 2005, the Industrial Development Agency Ireland received approval to establish a National Institute for Bioprocessing, Research, and Training, with an investment of more than US $80 million.

Ireland now has a viable biotech infrastructure and a dynamic intellectual environment. Best of all, skilled personnel – both new graduates and experienced professionals – are once again calling Ireland home.

We hope the features that follow will fill you in on the reasons behind the growing excitement in Ireland's business and biotech communities, and also suggest opportunities you may not yet have considered.

BioPharm International is committed to providing you with the latest information you need to advance your business, and we welcome your comments and suggestions.

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