Enda launches US venture with world-renowned clinic
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has announced a commercial tie-up between Cleveland Clinic and a new Irish company that is part-owned by the Royal College of Surgeons, and Enterprise Ireland, a government-owned agency that invests in start-up businesses.
The tie-up will encourage Cleveland Clinic, which is among the top three hospitals for heart patients worldwide, to begin collaborations with Dublin-based i360medical.
It is the first time the clinic has agreed to a tie-up outside the United States, where medical services are a huge industry. There were no details of any jobs.
Tens of thousands of patients travel from all over the world to be treated at the clinic, which is Cleveland's biggest industry and biggest private employer. It employs 11,000 nurses and more than 2,800 doctors.
Medical tourism is one of the biggest industries in the world.
Hotels around Cleveland are full of visitors from Abu Dhabi, which has a special relationship with the hospital.
WalMart, the US supermarket giant, said earlier this week that all its employees would be able to get free treatment in the Cleveland Clinic.
Dublin-based i360medical will represent the European wing of Cleveland Clinic's innovation alliance programme, which also includes Notre Dame university. i360medical was initially established under the guidance of the Royal College of Surgeons, where it operated for four years as the Centre for Innovation in Surgical Technology.
Enterprise Ireland said yesterday that it had worked closely with Cleveland Clinic for a number of years, fostering strategic alliances between the clinic and Irish life sciences companies and research bodies.
"I strongly welcome this latest successful outcome of the relationship that exists between Ireland and the Cleveland Clinic," Mr Kenny said.
"Healthcare and life sciences is a sector that holds particular potential for growth and job creation and is a key sector in the Government's Action Plan for Jobs."
Mr Kenny is in the United States to drum up investment in Ireland and spoke to around 600 people from Cleveland earlier in the day at a lunch where he lauded the Irish economy's revival in the course of a wide-ranging speech.
Later, he told the media that he remained convinced that Ireland would secure some kind of deal on the bank debt and emphasised that a decision had been made by all 27 EU leaders in June to break the link between bank debt and the country's own national debt.
Earlier in the day, Mr Kenny opened the new US headquarters of another Enterprise Ireland-backed company called Zenith Technologies in Pennsylvania.
The Taoiseach is due to meet business leaders today and will attend a meeting of the Cleveland Mayo Society tonight, where around 500 guests are expected.