Tuesday 22 October 2019

Galway lab to expand due to 'good upside of Brexit'

Evelyn O'Toole, chief executive of CLS
Evelyn O'Toole, chief executive of CLS

Shawn Pogatchnik

COMPLETE Laboratory Solutions (CLS) says the threat of Brexit is driving UK business its way.

The Galway-based contract lab says it is planning to increase its workforce by 50pc in the coming two years, in part because companies requiring outsourced scientific testing and analysis are dumping UK-based providers and seeking new expertise in the eurozone.

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"We see an upside on Brexit because, unfortunately for UK-based companies, from Brexit onwards, they won't be able to release their products into the EU without coming through a non-UK testing house like ourselves," said Evelyn O'Toole, chief executive of CLS, which she founded 25 years ago in Ros Muc, Connemara.

Ms O'Toole (inset below) said clients and potential new customers had been contacting CLS since the 2016 Brexit vote, and now are "converting" from UK providers.

"We're scalable and we're close proximity (to the UK)," she said. "There's a good upside here."

The firm currently employs a combined 191 workers at CLS Ros Muc, which supports environmental and food clients, and at CLS MedPharma in Galway city, which opened in 2008 and supports medtech, biopharma and pharmaceutical clients.

Ms O'Toole said CLS would hire 78 more staff, chiefly microbiologists and analysts, at the Galway city site, and for deployment into client sites in Cork, Limerick, Dublin, Waterford and Sligo.

CLS Ros Muc will recruit 18 environmental science graduates and food microbiologists, she said, plus four more positions to beef up its marketing, sales and finance units.

CLS made its announcement yesterday as part of the Med in Ireland conference at the RDS in Dublin, where Enterprise Ireland gathered leaders from more than 100 of the 300 medical technology companies in Ireland that employ around 40,000 people. Enterprise Ireland said the conference attracted executives and buyers from companies in 40 countries.

Also announced at the RDS conference:

• Maynooth-based Swiftqueue Technologies and Nova Scotia-based Mobia Technology Innovations will deliver new digital services for hospitals in Canada's most easterly province, Newfoundland and Labrador.

• Bray-based engineering firm Key Plastics and the Rotunda Hospital jointly launched the Umbifunnel, a new device for collecting blood that removes the need for needles and syringes, and reduces the risk of blood samples clotting.

Irish Independent

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