Press Release 24 Jun 2011

Dublin, Ireland – June 27, 2011

Innovation Ireland ( will showcase Ireland's world class biotechnology industry at BIO’s 8th annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing from June 27-30, 2011 in Washington, DC (booth no. 2441).


  • 9 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world
  • Second largest Development and Manufacturing (D&M) location in the world for Biopharmaceuticals, after the US
  • World’s largest net exporter of pharmaceuticals and a leading biopharma cluster
  • 6 of top 8 blockbuster drugs manufactured in Ireland
  • Among  top 20 countries in scientific global rankings (Source: Thomson Reuters Essential Scientific Indicators)
  • 3rd in the world for the quality of research in immunology
  • 8th in the world for the quality of its research in materials science (Source: Thomson Reuters Essential Scientific Indicators)

Ireland has a long, successful track record of attracting significant pharmaceutical investment from multinationals and is a key location for the life sciences industry – 9 of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies are based here.  Ireland has secured more than $5 billion in investments from leading life sciences companies such as Pfizer, Merk, Amgen, Genzyme (Sanofi), Lilly, Janssen Biologics (Johnston & Johnston), Allergan and Mylan.  Earlier this year, Amgen Inc. announced its intention to invest in Dublin, to develop the capability to formulate and fill its biological products. This week, Merck further endorsed Ireland as the place to locate its operations, opening two state of the art facilities in Cork, in addition to existing Merck sites in Carlow, Dublin, Tipperary and Wicklow.  These foreign investments, as well as a growing domestic sector, are supported by a high level of government funding through Science Foundation Ireland, IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland. 

Recently, The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) was officially launched in Dublin, offering the industry a platform for experimentation in biomanufacturing and bioprocessing training.  The state of the art facility represents a major strategic investment in the bioprocessing industry in Ireland and is an innovative collaboration between four leading higher education institutes – University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Institute of Technology, Sligo and Dublin City University and is supported by the Irish Government and IDA Ireland.

Ireland’s life sciences industry exports $63b per annum, represents 30% of Ireland’s exports and employs 46,000 people.  Ireland’s commitment to a robust science, technology and innovation strategy, as well as significant investments to attract the life sciences industry to the country and to grow its existing resources, has resulted in a thriving knowledge-based economy that supports innovation and scientific advancement. The indigenous bio-pharmaceutical sector also plays a key role in this ecosystem.  The sector is gaining increasing international recognition and growing at an average 18% per annum.  Leading Irish companies showcasing at BIO include Solvotrin, Merrion, Dornan Engineering, Qumas, Zenith, Innopharma, BioUetikon, Codex, BCO Pharma, FR Kelly and Microbide.

Companies investing in Ireland recognize its business friendly environment with strong pharmaceutical and biotechnology expertise. Government policy makers and enterprise agencies work closely together to ensure that Ireland provides for the requirements of potential overseas investors. Ireland’s universal corporate tax rate of 12.5% is easily understood, highly competitive and integrated in international tax agreements across the world. This favorable economic and fiscal environment is highly supportive of the pharmaceutical sector, with one of the strongest infrastructures supporting intellectual property development and management, as well as state funded 25% tax credit on eligible R&D spending.

About Innovation Ireland

Ireland's inward investment promotion agency, IDA Ireland ( partners with foreign investors, helping them to set up and develop their business in Ireland. Enterprise Ireland ( is responsible for supporting Irish businesses in the manufacturing and internationally traded service sectors. Science Foundation Ireland ( invests in academic researchers and research teams who are most likely to generate new knowledge, leading edge technologies and competitive enterprises in the fields of science and engineering underpinning three broad areas Biotechnology; Information and communications technology and Sustainable energy and energy-efficient technologies.  The Irish BioIndustry Association ( the leading representative body for the Biotechnology Industry in Ireland, has over 50 member companies and is affiliated to IBEC (Irish Business & Employers Confederation) . The main aim of IBIA is to promote, support and encourage the further development of the multinational and indigenous biotech sector in Ireland.

For further information, please contact:

IDA Ireland
John Scally
Padilla Speer Beardsley
Tel: (212) 752-8338

Innovation Ireland Representatives at BIO 2011

Dave Shanahan, BSc, Global Head of Life Sciences, IDA Ireland

Dave Shanahan is responsible for attracting multinational investments to Ireland in the areas of Pharma, Biopharmaceuticals, Medical Technologies/Devices, Food and Healthcare Services. He spent 20 years in multinational Pharma with positions in Johnson&Johnson, ICI, AstraZeneca and Pfizer. He has also worked as a CEO of a Healthcare Start up and consulted for international Pharma and Biotech.

Barry Heavey PhD MBA, Vice President, Technology Marketing, Lifesciences, IDA Ireland

Barry Heavey promotes life science R&D-based investments in Ireland by IDA client and target companies, working closely with other government agencies to support the development of R&D infrastructure in Ireland’s Universities and fostering collaborative R&D agreements with IDA’s multinational client companies.  Barry is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT).  Prior to IDA, he worked in the company -  Stem Cell Sciences.  His research career was focused on the area of stem cells and genetics including a BBSRC postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Stem cell research in Edinburgh and PhD studies undertaken in the Boehringer Ingelheim-funded Institute for Molecular Pathology (IMP) Vienna.  His work has been published in Nature, Science, Embo & PLoS and he is co-inventor on 2 patents in the stem cell field.  He holds an MBA from the University of Edinburgh Management School.

Brian O'Neill

Brian O’Neill, Manager of Lifesciences,  Enterprise Ireland

Dr. O’Neill is currently the Manager of Lifesciences for Enterprise Ireland – the Government of Ireland’s Trade and Technology Agency responsible for the internationalisation of indigenous Irish industry. Brian has spent over 15 years working with the lifesciences sector in Ireland and internationally in a variety of private sector/government roles ranging from basic to applied research through to entrepreneur, technology transfer specialist, lifesciences business development adviser and Manager of the indigenous Irish sector.  Dr. O’Neill holds a Ph.D. in Human Molecular Genetics from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and a 1st Class Honours Masters of Business Administration from University College Dublin, Ireland.

Ruth Freeman, PhD, Science Foundation Ireland, Director Enterprise and International Affairs

Dr. Freeman develops and fosters relationships between SFI-funded research groups and indigenous and overseas companies, to work in close collaboration with Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland and to forge strategic alliances with overseas institutes with regard to research and development. She holds a BA and PhD from Trinity College in Dublin and has been involved in scientific and funding collaborations with groups in Europe and Africa.