Blogging from BIO 4 - “It’s a Good Time to be Irish…”

IrishMy mother is 100% Irish. Her children, 50%. "Don't forget your heritage even though I was forced to give you an Italian last name," she would say hoping she would not have to insert an IV of soda bread into our veins to ensure that we'd remember Ireland. Needless to say, when I heard the faint bagpipes of the Ireland booth at this year's BIO show, I was inherently forced (by both my mother and my editor) to stop. I already knew that Ireland had produced the greatest band in history (see Blogging from Bio 3), but I also learned that over the past four years, Ireland has witnessed more than $6 billion in investments from some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. For example, Wyeth Biopharma has invested $2 million in biopharmaceutical manufacturing in Ireland, Genzyme has built a plant in Waterford, Eli Lilly recently announced plans for new Irish facilities, Bristol Meyers Squibb established a development group, and Pfizer has invested $300 million in a new fill finish facility. And this list goes on with other big names such as Abbott Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson, and Roche invested in Ireland. Why is Ireland such an attractive venue for these large companies? The Irish government and those who have set up businesses there cite a fiscal good environment characterized by a skilled workforce, low corporate taxes, and a strong emphasis on life science research and development. Everyone at Team Biotech Ireland was in good spirits about the outlook of the industry and their contributions to the overall cause. As I said, it is a good time to be Irish. PS - I had to promise my friends at the Ireland booth that I would be back Tuesday afternoon at 2pm for their Irish dancing competition...I'll keep you posted on where I place. Michele Vaccarello, Managing Editor, Digital Media
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