Medical devices exports dependent on engineers, says Crospon CEO
John O'Dea, CEO of Crospon and new president of Engineers Ireland
The health of Ireland’s €7.9bn medical devices export sector is hugely dependent on the ready supply of skilled engineers, according to John O’Dea, CEO of Crospon and new president of Engineers Ireland.
Speaking at his first presidential address in Dublin, O’Dea said a central theme of his presidency would be to highlight engineers’ role in contributing to the betterment of health.
“Engineers play a vital role in working with physicians to develop and mature ideas into commercial reality,” he said.
“In addition to the well-documented presence of over half of the top 25 of the world’s leading multinational medical device companies in Ireland, who all employ engineers, there are many emerging medical device engineering start-ups innovating in a variety of areas such as stroke management, cancer treatment, orthopaedics and surgery all across the country.
“This is a critical sector employing 26,000 people and a key pillar of Ireland’s economy.”
Also chairman of the Irish Medical Devices Association, O’Dea noted the growing value of the various titles of engineer and the increasing importance of continuing professional development (CPD) in the profession.
“One important aspect of the revision of the EU Medical Devices Directive will be the requirement for a ‘qualified person’ in every medical device manufacturing facility, a requirement that already exists within the pharmaceutical sector.
“Subject to approval of amendments to the directive proposed by Engineers Ireland, the new directive could potentially see the title of chartered engineer lead to automatic presumed compliance with the requirement for a ‘qualified person’.”
With 22 years’ experience in the medical device industry, O’Dea has overseen the successful launch of eight electronic medical device products in the past 14 years.
As well as founding Crospon, he co-founded Caradyne, an Irish respiratory medical device company in 1998, which was selling products in 30 countries prior to its acquisition by Respironics Inc in 2004.