Ireland: Creating the location of choice for future technologies




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Video title: Ireland: Creating the location of choice for future technologies
Released on: July 15, 2008. © PharmaVentures Ltd
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In this Regional Report, Fintan Walton speaks with Matt Moran, Director of PharmaChemical Ireland, a sector of the larger Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC). IBEC is an independent body that represents 7500 member companies and offers new enterprises starting up in Ireland immediate access to a wide variety of business and government networks—an entrée to an established, vibrant community of top executives and knowledgeable policymakers. PharmaChemical Ireland is the biopharmaceutical arm of IBEC and represents over 95% of that industry in Ireland. Member organizations can benefit from their liaising with the IDA, the Irish Medicines Board, and the European Commission through their office in Brussels. IBEC have recently been working with the Irish government to leverage the country’s very strong manufacturing base with a growing bioprocessing industry to create a seamless process where products can be brought more quickly and more efficiently to market. For the future, Mr. Moran’s vision is that Ireland will be the number one choice of location for launching new products, for life science research, and for the convergence of new technologies.
How IBEC fits within the PharmaChemical Ireland
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to the Regional Report here in Dublin, Ireland. On this show I have Matthew Moran, Director of PharmaChemical Ireland at IBEC. Welcome to the show. Matthew Moran, PharmaChemical Ireland is part of IBEC as I said, and IBEC is the, an independent body. Could you tell us first of all what IBEC is and then how PharmaChemical fits within that?
Matthew Moran:
Sure, sure. IBEC stands for Irish Business and Employers Confederation and essentially what it is this independent privately funded representative body for business, so we cover a huge range of issues anything from employment law, through to economic lobbying through to what we call sectoral or industrial issues.
Fintan Walton:
Okay.
Matthew Moran:
And we actually operate about 80 different business associations and their job is to essentially represent the needs of individual sectors. So for instance PharmaChemical Ireland represents the needs of the pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing industry in this country. We have similar associations representing the medical devices sector, the biotech sector and we also actually represent other industries such as technology industry, the food industry, so on and so forth. So actually under the one roof you have each of these industries communicating with each other and also advocating on behalf of their members. In all we've around about 6000 member companies, so we are quite a larger organization. We have offices all around the country, and we also have a full time office in Brussels as well.
Diverse ways in accessing Pharmaceutical industry into Ireland
Fintan Walton:
Right. And the important thing here is to emphasis the independence because in Ireland there are bodies like the IDA which most people are aware off?
Matthew Moran:
Sure.
Fintan Walton:
Which are obviously government sponsored organizations, but for pharmaceutical companies coming to, to Ireland they like to have access not just to government sponsored agencies but also independent bodies like yourselves?
Matthew Moran:
Sure.
Fintan Walton:
So, when it comes to the actual practicalities of support to, to the pharmaceutical industry give us some examples of how you know PharmaChemical Ireland actually works?
Matthew Moran:
If a company comes to Ireland and if they contact our offices they will have immediate access to a network of Chief Executives, a network of quality managers, a network of environmental managers, a network of operational managers. And we operate around about 12 specialist working groups, they meet in regular basis and their job is to share knowledge to help each other and also to develop support networks for the industries so we run conferences, we develop industrial guidelines, we speak to the medicines board in their behalf, we speak to the government in their behalf, the tangible benefits of the workshops, the intangible benefits are huge for companies they can pick the phone up and speak to somebody who's have like mind and in fact we find the industry here collaborates very effectively.
Fintan Walton:
Because it comes back to this thing that you say about community, because it's that conversation that can take place and support infrastructure for organizations operating here in Ireland?
Matthew Moran:
That's right. Yeah I mean, and I mean the industry has requirements, and we can insure that government knows and government to be fair, government in this country is very responsive and groups such as the IDA do response they do help and then we meet them on a regular basis. We meet the Irish Medicines Board on a regular basis, we meet the health and safety authority, we are also involved in European bodies, so we've access to the European commission, to the European Parliament and also we network with the Industry in Europe. So it's a community, which and it's very effective locally, but also we are networked outside of our network as well.
Fintan Walton:
Right.
Matthew Moran:
Which allows us too.
Fintan Walton:
But you bring up a important point here, because you know clearly Europe has become a very important part of European Legislation and that legislation is around the regulatory issues whether it's at an environmental level, whether it's at health and medical level or even at an employment level. So being an (indiscernable) just in Ireland is not good enough really, you have to be an (indiscernable) in europe.
Matthew Moran:
No, no. No, I mean all regulations it starts in Brussels to be honest with you. And this you know Ireland is so, and I mean I want to come through efficacy or influencing regulation the earlier that you have access to it the better. So through our offices in Brussels we are able to develop you know links with the European commission at early stage, so we can get the views of industry in to the regulators and the administrators so that they can ensure that regulations will work and then we have credibility and that we represent about well over 95% of the industry in this country. So government will come to us for a view from industry.
Fintan Walton:
Right.
Matthew Moran:
Because at the end of the day you know I think government wants it's regulations to be practical, to be enforceable and to meet the needs of stake holders, I mean industry is an important stake holder.
Fintan Walton:
So, so if I was a pharmaceutical company looking setting up operations here and I wanted to get an independent view of what is really like to operate here they should approach you?
Matthew Moran:
They can contact me, and they can contact IBEC. I mean we can advise them on everything from how to write an employment contract through to what the local regulations are like, through to who are the companies in their neighborhood, who they can talk to and also what planning issues are like, what they are mental regulations are like, like we offer the whole package from set up .
Fintan Walton:
Right.
Matthew Moran:
We're able to create.
The activities of the Organization and convergence of different sectors.
Fintan Walton:
Right. And you know often industry associations can be seen as sort of passive, would you -- are you a passive organization or you an active organization?
Matthew Moran:
We are very active, very proactive and we have a formal five-year business plan, which we agree in consultation with our board of council which is made of Chief Executives in the industry. We are a member driven organization. We facilitate the views of our members. And our working groups are chaired at all stages by Chief Executives from within the industry and we ensure the work thats in that are carried out by our specialist groups, reflects in the strategic objectives that we've agreed as an industry and this is an active plan which we review once every five-years.
Fintan Walton:
Okay. And PharmaChemical Ireland is, as I said a part of IBEC, but there are obviously other industrial sectors that are represented through IBEC, are there parallels between the difference sectors, and one sector can learn from the other?
Matthew Moran:
Absolutely. I mean I sit on a management group which is made up of heads of other industries sectors, so we meet in a weekly basis and then we discuss issues of common interest to industry in this country and we also explore opportunities to collaborate. So for instance next month we were going to get conference on convergence where we are looking at convergence between the pharmaceutical industry, the IT industry, the food industry, the biotech industry, the Medtech industry with the view to sort of saying how Ireland can take advantage of what we see is been an emerging area that have convergence of technology.
Working as a model of Social partnerships
Fintan Walton:
So you are playing a leadership role in the sense?
Matthew Moran:
Yes.
Fintan Walton:
To take not just take individual companies but take the industry in and does that mean you, you are an integral part of the overall strategy that Ireland develops for it's industry here?
Matthew Moran:
Absolutely, yeah. I mean for instance the high level group of manufacturing, which is the most recent report published by government we would have full time representation on that and we would work very closely with the agencies and also with the government to ensure that you know the views of business are taken into account both formally and informally because as you may know and IBEC is a social partner, we have this model of social partnerships which takes place in this country whereby business, government, trade unions, agriculture and associate will sit together and work out a national partnership agreement in a regular basis. So we have a formal input but also we have an informal input through the novel efficacy rules.
Fintan Walton:
And, and how important is that?
Matthew Moran:
It's vital because that what it does is it gives certainty and it gives clarity. So this industry operates in a highly regulated environment, and this is an environment where risk is an issue that needs to be managed. So we can get them certainty in terms of knowing, what the rate of corporation tax will be in the future, knowing what the rate of increase of wages will be in the future, and knowing that they are in a very stable and a very supportive environment. We find that this is very, very important especially for international companies.
IBEC challenges and vision for future outcomes
Fintan Walton:
Right. And for an organization like yours, you're very close to the industries you've pointed out and the issues that are coming up, going into the future what are the key issues that you see for the pharmaceutical industry based here in Ireland. What are the challenges?
Matthew Moran:
Yeah, with the challenges I mean we identified a number of years ago and obviously we advised, government there advised the idea on that we saw the increasing importance of biotechnology for the pharmaceutical industry and the importance of innovation for the pharmaceutical industry not just research and development but innovation whereby we are taking drugs to the market place quickly, cost effectively and reliably. Where we are using that to a sort of take advantage of the research pipeline and them to try and do that at the moment we are focusing lot of efforts and at encouraging multi-national companies to invest in process and product development to pursue what we call the D plus M model which is development plus manufacturing. And what we were doing is we are leveraging a very strong manufacturing base in this country with effective process development and trying to cross fertilize the two activities so we can make the process of bringing the product to the market more seemless and more reliable. So the process is validated once, it goes to the regulatory process once, and we don't have to go back and do it again. So by having development close to manufacturing that can be done.
Fintan Walton:
So, looking into the future for an organization like yours what do you see?
Matthew Moran:
Well our vision is that Ireland will be the number one location of choice for the launching of new products in the pharmaceutical industry. It will be viewed as being the number one location of choice for Life Sciences and also that will be leading hope for the convergence of technologies.
Fintan Walton:
Matthew Moran, thank you very much indeed for coming on the show. Thank you very much indeed.
Matthew Moran:
Thank you. Thank you.
Matthew Moran
Director, PharmaChemical Ireland
He graduated in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering in 1981 and also holds an MBA. He worked for over ten years in the pharmaceutical industry where he held a number of management positions both in active ingredient and dosage form manufacture. Matthew Moran is also founder of the Irish BioIndustry Association (IBIA). He is a member the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC). Matthew Moran is Vice-President of the Active Pharmaceuticals Ingredients Committee of CEFIC (CEFIC/APIC). PharmaChemical Ireland represents the interests of the pharmachem sector in Ireland. The Irish BioIndustry Association promotes the needs of the biotech sector in Ireland. CEFIC/APIC represents the European API Industry.
IBEC
IBEC provides a wide range of services to over 7500 member business and organizations and serves as the umbrella body for Ireland's leading industry groups. IBEC works to shape policies and influence decision-making in a way that develops and protects members' interests and contributes to the development and maintenance of an economy that promotes enterprise and productive employment. IBEC offers a number of direct services: expert information and advice on issues from employment law to compliance with health and safety. Through their Brussels office, they work on behalf of business and employers at European level to ensure that European policy is compatible with our own objectives for the development of the Irish economy. PharmaChemical Ireland is a sector of IBEC that works to achieve these goals with specific attention paid to the needs of the biopharmaceutical industry.