Make Ireland a global hub for Life Sciences research
Greater collaboration across the sector and strong links between research and manufacturing is the way to realise our potential, says Paul Duffy of Pfizer
JOBS are the key to our economic recovery but right now we have more than 450,000 people out of work. There has been much debate on where these new jobs will come from and I believe we need to refocus on what initially created the Celtic Tiger -- exporting valuable services and goods, and not domestic consumption and the construction sector.
It is widely recognised that exports will help drive economic recovery and when we look at exports, one sector dominates. The Life Sciences sector accounted for almost 50 per cent of total national exports in 2009 with exports growing year on year -- by about six per cent since 2000. The sector employs in excess of 52,000 people in more than 350 enterprises. Not only does the sector provide direct employment for highly qualified people but it is also responsible for between 62 and 137 supporting services jobs for every 100 jobs in the sector.
This already represents a significant success story, but there are further global opportunities. I believe that Ireland has a real opportunity to exploit these and in so doing not only deliver jobs but also the medicines and devices which improve the lives of our citizens and those of millions of citizens around the globe.