I was delighted to be a guest at the IMDA Awards Dinner last Thursday night in the Radisson Hotel. IMDA is the Irish Medical Devices Association. It is the organisation whose aim it is to promote the development of a sustainable Medical Device Technology (MedTech) Sector. And when you hear that there are 25,000 people working directly in this sector in Ireland and that it generates over €8 billion worth of exports from Ireland annually, you begin to appreciate how important it is to Ireland’s economy at this time.
It was particularly gratifying to see how strongly represented Galway’s MedTech sector was last Thursday night. Congratulations to the outgoing Chairman Padraic Curtis, Boston Scientific, and the incoming Chairman John O’Dea, Crospon, both of whom are playing key leadership roles in the development of this important sector. Well done too to John O’Shaughnessy, Neuravi, for his special recognition Lifetime award for services to the MedTech Sector.
The awards ceremony was a revelation to me. In the four awards categories, the audience got the opportunity to watch a two/three minute DVD clip of the finalists on the big screen and it was amazing to hear and watch such positive stories. They included medtech companies, large and small, manufacturing leading edge medical device products for global markets and engaging in leading edge research and development aimed at finding solutions to the daily challenges faced by medical practitioners and their patients in hospitals across the globe. The passion to deliver the best quality product that will make a difference to the quality of life of the patient and the commitment and determination to discover the breakthrough technology that will help save lives and minimise the trauma of surgery was clearly evident.
Over the dinner table, I met people whose companies I had heard of but I had no knowledge of, especially in terms of what they do or how many people they employ. It was uplifting to hear about relatively small Galway based companies who are competing with and winning business from some of the largest medtech companies in Europe. There was a palpable air of self-assurance in the room from sector leaders who are confident about their skills and their experience and who are looking to the future with energy and enthusiasm. In the immediate aftermath of what was a difficult budget, it was good to be in the company of business people who are so positive about their sector.
Well done to Radisson as well for serving up an excellent meal for the 340 attendees!
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everybody in business in Galway a peaceful and happy Christmas and a prosperous 2013.