Ireland's Biotech Boom

Posted May 10, 2018

The current boom in the Irish Biopharma market (Biotech and Pharma) has extended to virtually every corner of Ireland.  Earlier this year we had more exciting news as WuXi Biologics announced a €325 million investment to build the world’s largest Biomanufacturing Facility using single-use Bioreactors in Dundalk. This follows on from earlier expansion announcements from Almac and a new packaging facility from Wasdell Group in Dundalk. It’s great to see a new Life Science hub emerge in Co. Louth and create a wider regional spread of job opportunities in this sector.

Over the last ten years Ireland has won over €10+ billion of investment in Biologics, which has resulted in Ireland’s Biotech manufacturing base increasing from three facilities in 2004 to over twenty facilities today in operation, under construction or in planning. To date a majority of FDI in this sector has come from US and European companies, so it is a huge vote of confidence that Wuxi Biologics chose Ireland as the location for its first manufacturing facility outside of China, as well as the SK Biotek announcement in January (the first ever Korean pharma company to invest in Ireland). This reinforces our status as a global centre of excellence in Biologics and rewards the efforts of the IDA to expand the FDI base beyond our traditional markets.

Biopharma Growth

On review of the current market activity plus these recent investments and job announcements LSC believe that the August 2016 report prepared by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) on the “Future Skills needs of the Biopharma industry” which estimated that approx. 8,400 new roles would be created by 2020 in Biopharma (Biotech and Pharma), under-estimates the number of new jobs in this sector. Given the current growth rates across all projects and the continued success in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Ireland we now expect this number to exceed 9,000 by 2020 driven by the Biotech sector. It is important to note this number is based on staff roles in the Biopharma companies and doesn’t include roles in Engineering, Consulting, Distribution, Automation, Scientific or Clinical companies that support the industry. This support infrastructure of companies is going through a significant growth curve at the moment for example Eurofins expanded facility in Dungarvan, Emerson’s new Automation facility in Dublin, DHLs new pharma distribution centre in Dublin and new packaging facilities in PCI/Millmount Drogheda and Stamullen.

Sustaining the growth in Biotech

Here at LSC we too are seeing the impact of the growing Biotech market as the demand for skilled, experienced technical and scientific professionals soars across the country. Through our engagement with third level institutes, as part of our initiative to promote the Biopharma industry, we are seeing the demand for graduates on courses related to Biotech/Biopharma, Process Engineering and Automation outstrip supply, with a significant number of graduates in relevant courses receiving offers of employment even before they complete final exams. We have also heard of companies reaching out to first year UCC process engineering students asking them to consider setting up their third-year placements before the end of first year.

At LSC we are partnering with the relevant industry stakeholders including consultants, third level institutes, clients and industry bodies to fulfil the expanding resource requirements of projects nationwide using our extensive industry network, market experience and technical knowledge.

If you are looking for a career in the sector or resource requirements to meet project needs contact us today to see how we can support you!