The Irish medical device industry gathered in Galway in December for one of the most eagerley awaited annual ceremonies in the European medtech sector—the IMDA Awards. The IMDA is the Irish Medical Devices Association. As many as 15 of the world’s top 20 medical device manufacturers have manufacturing operations in the country. Austin Coffey, president of the European Medical Polymers Division, reports.
The Medical Technology Industry Excellence Company of the Year was evaluated on a range of criteria including strategic vision, demonstrated quality of products and services, along with marketing and innovation, while demonstrating long-term vision with regard to building and financing sustainable business growth.
Competition was intense for the coveted 2012 Gold Award. Styrker, De Puy and Hollister were shortlisted along with LakeRegion Medical. However, it would have been an anathema should any company other than LakeRegion Medical have won this award. LakeRegion Medical achieved international recognition at receiving a Shingo Bronze Medallion for 2012 (they will be officially awarded the medallion at the 25th annual Shingo Prize awards gala in May 2013). The Shingo is an award for manufacturing excellence awarded by the Jon M Huntsman School for Business at Utah State University, USA.
Barry O’Leary, CEO of the Irish Development Authority (IDA) presented the award to the vice president of operations, John Harris, in front of more than 350 attendees. The awards ceremony was preceded by an outstanding CEO forum with the seminar title “Building for a Healthy Future—The Evolving Face of Global Healthcare”. Presentations from Helen Ryan, CEO of Creganna-Tactx Medical, Frank O’Regan, VP global operations, Bausch & Lomb and Pauline Oakes, director of operations, CR Bard reinforced the message that Ireland’s medtech sector is best in class, plays a key role in leading device innovation, and contributes to Ireland’s economic recovery.
Lake Region Medical, based in County Wexford, began life producing around 4,000 guidewires a week in 1994, primarily for a small section of the European market. It now ships over 600,000 devices a week with an increasing product portfolio to over fifty countries worldwide.
The winner of the Emerging Company of the Year was Technopath, an Irish supplier of interventional diagnostic products to endovascular, cardiology and vascular laboratories as well as systems and consumables for cardiac and vascular surgery. The prestigious Medical Technology Outstanding Contribution Award was given to John O’Shaughnessy, a paragon of the Irish Medical Device sector. John was a founding director of MedNova, a company which pioneered the development of embolic protection and carotid stent medical devices and also president and manageing director of CR Bard Ireland. John is currently Chairman of Neuravi, an early stage company in the large emerging acute ischemic stroke thrombectomy market.