Life and Health Sciences
Northern Ireland has a thriving life and health sciences sector that benefits from a strong collaborative approach between industry, academia and clinicians.
The region offers a highly-skilled, experienced and adaptable workforce; a cost-competitive location; and a pro-business environment, with local government committed to growing the sector, with financial incentives including grants for product development, employment, training and R&D, available to companies investing in the region.
Innovation and experience
Northern Ireland has a vibrant cluster of 250+ businesses, which are a mix of international investors and indigenous companies, who continue to grow and prosper in the region – a testament to NI’s compelling proposition.
Northern Ireland’s Life & Health Science sector also boasts an established reputation for innovation in the health technology sector and a strong scientific research base. NI’s two main universities, Queens University Belfast (QUB) and Ulster University (UU) rank among the top 10 in the UK for bioscience research, with more than 1000 researchers in the region’s Centres of Excellence. Today, NI researchers are at the forefront of convergent technology in the areas of health data analytics, machine learning and diagnostics.
Areas of expertise
The region offers expertise across a broad range of Life & Health Sciences including Precision Medicine with focused research centres and companies and Medical Technology with dedicated research centres. Northern Ireland also has clinical specialisms within the areas of oncology, cardiology, ophthalmology, respiratory and diabetes.
The region has a strong reputation within the sector, with expertise across a range of specialisms, including:
- Precision medicine
- Clinical trials
- Big data
- Health & well being
- Research centres
Northern Ireland for foreign direct investment
Northern Ireland is an attractive place for investment in the life and health sciences sector thanks to a combination of factors including skills availability, excellent infrastructure, cost-effectiveness and a supportive business environment.
A strong scientific research base
Ulster University and Queen’s University Belfast rank among the top 10 in the UK for bioscience research.
Research centres include:
- Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology
- Centre for Stratified Medicine
- Connected Health Innovation Centre
- Centre for Experimental Medicine
- The Intelligent Systems Research Centre
- Nanotechnology and Integrated BioEngineering Centre
- Administrative Data Research Centre Northern Ireland
- Biomedical Sciences Research Institute (BMSRI)
- Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland (HIRA-NI)
International investors successfully operating in the region include:
Almac Group Limited
The Almac Group is an established contract development and manufacturing organisation providing an extensive range of integrated services across the drug development lifecycle to the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors globally. It is proud to be supporting 34 separate crucial research projects to help find a treatment for COVID-19.
Californian based CV6 Therapeutics has established a presence in Belfast to work on a highly innovative R&D project. The project will see CV6 partner with the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s to develop a new drug with the potential to make chemotherapy more effective.
Randox are a highly innovative global leader in clinical diagnostics supplying the world’s top CRO’s and biopharmaceutical companies, delivering multiplex assays testing up to 44 biomarkers using a single patient sample.
Terumo BCT Ltd
Terumo BCT Inc. is a global leader in blood component and cellular technologies. The company employs around 250 people in Northern Ireland and comprises two distinct business areas – external sterilised solutions and internal disposables & solutions.
The Northern Ireland site is the only FDA approved site within the corporation and currently the only site to manufacture the blood bag sets outside Japan.
Teva Pharmaceuticals Groups
Warner Chilcott and Nicobrand are part of the Teva Pharmaceuticals Group. Warner Chilcott are a specialty pharmaceutical company currently focused on the gastroenterology, women’s healthcare, dermatology and urology segments of the North American and Western European pharmaceuticals market. Nicobrand manufacture pharmaceutical grade nicotine.