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Sectoral Strength: Bio-Pharma

The perfect place for the bio-pharma industry to meet, share ideas and connect

A sector with a significant impact

The third largest exporter of pharmaceuticals globally

Group of people sitting around a table full of food

Across Ireland, the bio-pharma sector is reaching new heights as it discovers, innovates and manufactures new medicines to help improve health outcomes internationally. Ireland’s connections offer great networking potential, giving access to both leading companies and experts within the field.

The sector accounts for over €80 billion in revenue each year. Our growing influence here is proven by capital investment of almost €10 billion in new facilities, which sees Ireland ride the biggest wave of investment in new biotech facilities of anywhere in the world.

Learn more in our Sectoral Strengths digital flipbook

Did you know?

Ireland manufactures five of the top 20 selling medicines in the world

The Irish bio-pharma industry employs 30,000 people, demonstrating the crucial role that the industry plays in the overall economy of the island.

Fact file

A national network

International companies directly employ 30,000 people across Ireland.

The world’s top ten pharmaceutical companies have substantial operations countrywide — with strong clusters in both Dublin and Cork — and rapidly developing hotspots in Sligo, Limerick, Mayo and Waterford.

Among the 75 bio-pharma companies based throughout Ireland, star players include: 

  • AbbVie 
  • AstraZeneca 
  • Eli Lilly 
  • GSK 
  • Johnson & Johnson 
  • MSD 
  • Novartis 
  • Pfizer 
  • Roche 
  • Sanofi 

Company spotlight

Selected success stories from the sector


Novartis is one of Ireland's leading employers in the industry. One of the first pharmaceutical companies to locate to Ireland in the 1950s, Novartis currently employs around 1,200 people across two locations in Cork and Dublin. 


Pfizer employs approximately 3,200 people at six Irish sites. Having invested $7 billion in operations since first opening in 1969, Pfizer has invested $330 million in the Grange Castle and Ringaskiddy sites in recent years.  


Operating in Ireland for more than 80 years, GSK employs 1,100. Its Pharmaceuticals and Consumer Healthcare HQ is in Dublin, while its Dungarvan site manufactures 6.5 billion products a year for export to over 70 markets worldwide. At its Cork hub, staff fulfill a variety of global roles.

Key industry links

Sources of information and support at your fingertips

Planning your next corporate meeting, conference, or incentive trip in Ireland means a wealth of connections, collaboration, and creativity, set against the backdrop of a spectacular island experience. Here are some key sources of information.


Unrivalled knowledge centres attract talent from around the globe 

Ireland’s universities have excelled in the fields of engineering, chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacy and biotechnology. As a result, strong co-operative links to the industry have been developed. The combined power of these centres of learning means Ireland has one of the youngest and most educated workforces in Europe. Just some of these educational institutions comprise of:

  • University College Dublin (UCD) 
  • Trinity College Dublin (TCD) 
  • University College Cork (UCC) 
  • University of Limerick (UL) 
  • National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) 
  • Institute of Technology Sligo (IT Sligo) 
  • Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) 

Your building blocks for success

The Meet in Ireland team is ready to help

Your building blocks for success
With over 1,000 high growth multinational companies choosing Ireland as their strategic European base, as well as seven universities, numerous teaching hospitals and research centres, we are in a strong position to shape the content of your most successful conference yet. 

Let Meet in Ireland assist you with recommendations on regional destinations in Ireland based on sector strengths and make introductions to industry and academic leaders or economic development agencies. We can also assist with financial support. Contact us today for more advice.

Find out more in our Bio-Pharma Sectoral Strengths flipbook.

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