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Yesterday evening Accreate were delighted to host and facilitate a gathering of various stakeholders from the life science industry on the topic of cell and gene therapies. More specifically, as momentum builds globally in this space, how can we position Ireland as an attractive location for cell and gene therapy companies of all types and scale?

It was a diverse group with representatives from government agencies, start-ups, large pharma, consultancies and investors. There was fantastic engagement and it was very much evident that there is a buzz around cell and gene therapies across every corner of the industry. Although there was some debate on how Ireland should position itself and where any potential investment should be directed, one thing was unanimous; we need to have a plan or strategy in place before the technology moves on and other nations take advantage of the significant investment being driven into cell and gene therapies.

Most importantly, I believe everyone came away with a greater understanding of the area, what is happening, what may be needed as we move forward and who are the countries positioning themselves as powerhouses in what could be some of the most exciting and ground-breaking technologies the life sciences industry has ever developed.

There are two distinct angles, one being how do we provide the infrastructure and support to large pharma who look to attract investment from their organisations in building out the capacity to produce these exciting therapies. This would also help in attracting new FDI. The second is around how we put a platform in place to build talent, funding, scalability and support to early stage companies. Can we do both? Do we need to focus all of our efforts in one direction? Or by focusing investment and time in one direction, is there be a mutual benefit?

We didn’t answer any of these questions last night. However, this is simply the beginning of what we hope will be many discussions as to how we develop a plan of action. We will look to draw in more interested parties into the discussion in order to get a broader sense of what those in the industry feel is needed to move the needle forward.

No matter what we do, it’s most important that we do something.

Articles by Caroline Baldwin