Life Sciences Insight

The Grass Is Green for J&J on the Emerald Isle

Johnson & Johnson has nine sites in Ireland, and the firm has just committed to a €100 million expansion of its facility in Limerick.

Johnson & Johnson has found the grass to be green for doing business in Ireland. With nine sites in the country, J&J recently announced a €100 million expansion of its facility in Plassey, Limerick.

The Irish Examiner reported that Johnson & Johnson Vision Company’s expansion in Limerick will create 80 new jobs, and will allow the J&J facility to boost its manufacturing capability by introducing fully automated flexible manufacturing lines. The site in Limerick is among the largest contact lens manufacturing sites in the world, the media outlet reported.

The report also notes that the extension to the site has already started, and that production is likely to begin in 2024. J&J has operated at its site in Limerick for over 25 years. The facility is powered by electricity from 100% renewable sources, including wind generation from an onsite turbine, the Irish Examiner reported.

J&J has a total of nine companies located across Ireland, in cities such as Tipperary, Cork, Dublin, and Limerick.

Ireland is home to hundreds of medical technology companies and medtech-focused institutions, and 14 of the top 15 global medtech companies—including Boston Scientific, DePuy Synthes, Medtronic, Teleflex, and many more—have facilities in Ireland.

The country has gained recognition as a frequent target for corporate inversion deals that enable companies to fall under more favorable corporate tax rates, but Ireland’s long-standing 12.5% tax rate is just part of what brings medtech companies like J&J to Ireland. According to Investment and Development Agency (IDA) Ireland, the country’s other assets include a talented workforce, a strong medical device regulatory and manufacturing history, an emphasis on STEM education, access to the European Union market, and a top research reputation.

A map of Ireland provided by IDA Ireland shows just how many medtech hubs are scattered across the country. The areas around Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick, Sligo, Waterford, Athlone, and Letterkenny all boast medtech facilities, universities, and research institutions. Agency materials note that Ireland is the second largest medtech exporter in Europe, that 75% of orthopedic knee products are produced in Ireland, that 33% of contact lenses are made there, and that 50% of acute hospital ventilators come from the country.

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