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The Rise of Ireland's Life Science Hub Post-Brexit

The Life Science industry in Ireland has experienced a remarkable surge in growth since the Brexit referendum in 2016.

As the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union created uncertainties and challenges for various sectors, Ireland strategically positioned itself as an attractive alternative for life science companies looking to maintain strong ties with the EU market. This article explores the factors contributing to the rise of Ireland's life science hub post-Brexit and the implications for the industry.

  1. Proximity to the European Union:

One of the key drivers behind Ireland's emergence as a life science hub is its geographical proximity to the European Union. As the only English-speaking country in the Eurozone, Ireland offers businesses easy access to the vast European market, allowing companies to navigate regulatory frameworks seamlessly. This strategic advantage has prompted many life science companies to establish or expand their operations in Ireland, providing a gateway to the EU while maintaining English as the primary business language.

  1. Regulatory Alignment:

Ireland's commitment to maintaining regulatory alignment with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has been pivotal in attracting life science companies. The alignment ensures that pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies operating in Ireland adhere to EU regulations, facilitating a smoother transition for businesses seeking continuity in their operations. The regulatory harmony provides confidence to investors and industry stakeholders, fostering a conducive environment for research, development, and commercialization of life-saving innovations.

  1. Skilled Workforce and Research Excellence:

Ireland has consistently invested in education and research, resulting in a highly skilled and innovative workforce. The country boasts renowned universities and research institutions that collaborate closely with industry players. The availability of a well-educated workforce, coupled with a supportive research ecosystem, has made Ireland an ideal location for life science companies seeking to tap into the talent pool and benefit from a culture of innovation.

  1. Government Support and Incentives:

The Irish government has actively supported the growth of the life science sector by providing attractive incentives and fostering a business-friendly environment. Initiatives such as the Knowledge Development Box and the Research and Development Tax Credit incentivize companies to invest in research and innovation. These measures not only attract new businesses but also encourage existing companies to expand their operations, contributing to the overall growth of Ireland's life science hub.

  1. Infrastructure and Connectivity:

Ireland's well-developed infrastructure and connectivity further contribute to its appeal as a life science hub. Efficient transportation, modern facilities, and advanced communication networks make it easier for companies to conduct business operations smoothly. The presence of world-class research facilities and manufacturing capabilities further strengthens Ireland's position as a preferred destination for life science investments.


In the wake of Brexit, Ireland has successfully positioned itself as a thriving life science hub, capitalizing on its geographical proximity to the EU, regulatory alignment, skilled workforce, government support, and robust infrastructure. The country's commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration continues to attract global players in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. As Ireland's life science hub continues to grow, it not only bolsters the country's economy but also contributes significantly to advancing healthcare and medical breakthroughs on a global scale.

Mantell Associates is a specialist Pharmaceutical and Life Science headhunting firm. For more information about how we can assist you, contact Tiaan Marufu at +44 (0)20 3854 7700.