Galway company wins ‘Irish Times Innovation of the Year award 2019’

Galway company wins ‘Irish Times Innovation of the Year award 2019’

We have a look at the life of Brendan McCormack, Vice President of Quality with Atlantic Therapeutics, the company which just won two prestigious awards at the ‘Irish Times Innovation awards’ 2019.

Like all success, this hasn’t come from nowhere. Galway based Atlantic Therapeutics – a spin-out from the Bio-Medical Research Group, the company behind the well-known global brand Slendertone – are currently operating in a range of European markets such as the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

They recently finalised distribution deals in Scandinavia and are making massive inroads in the US. The company develops medical devices, related software, apps and connected health technologies and won this prestigious award with their breakthrough device, Innovo.

Brendan and Jenni on their wedding dayBrendan tells us why his move to this ground breaking company has been such a good one for him professionally and personally: “Before I made the move to Atlantic Therapeutics two years ago, I was working for a different medical devices company and living between Dublin and Limerick. My career path at that time looked like taking me to either Dublin full-time or London. I felt I was being swallowed up into the city and it was something I wasn’t really into. Around this time, on a night out, I met what turned out to be the love of my life and my future wife, Jenni. She was based in Galway and entrenched in its local scene. The more time I spent in Galway with Jenni, the more I saw what I was missing out on and I thought – ‘I only have one life, I can’t let it pass me by.'”

Brendan started to look around to see what was available in his industry and after a short while he was asked to Join Atlantic Therapeutics as Vice president of Quality, a promotion from his previous work. He still travels the world, but he has a great home to come back to. With both the city and the motorway on his doorstep while still in the countryside, Brendan enjoys the best of both worlds.

Now with a home and garden that would be hard to equal in Dublin or London, Brendan is able to enjoy his down-time properly when he gets it!

Brendan enjoying the west“You’ve got to love it. I live in Kinvara, I’m only a twenty minute drive to work, where I can park on my doorstep. I’m down the road from the culture hot-spot that is Galway with its abundance of restaurants, theatre and gigs and I just have to stroll out the door to some great walks.

I love the positive impact of a rural community, there is a vibrancy and a quality to life that is completely different to anything else. I love the fact I didn’t have to take a step backward to be here, working with Atlantic Therapeutics has been absolutely the perfect step forward in my career”.

Two of the top five Irish Times Awards were won by finalists in the west of Ireland, it’s just another example of the wealth of opportunity in the west, not only for entrepreneurs, but also for those hoping to join already established firms in a large variety of employment.
The other winners were, PEL Waste Reduction Equipment, based in Balla, Co Mayo, who won the ‘Manufacturing and Design’ category for their innovative solar-powered compacting litter bin, BriteBin.

Lead picture credit:
martin mcgeough firefly

Brexit Case Study: Martin McGeough, CEO of Firefly in Sligo

‘How Brexit has made me innovate’

Martin McGeough of Firefly says Britain’s departure from the EU has opened his eyes to new possibilities for his business.

“Brexit made us sharpen our focus, that’s for sure. But it has definitely made us innovate,” says Martin McGeough, the CEO of Firefly, a Sligo-based company specialising in Podiatric Biomechanics and Orthotic Therapy.

Firefly’s customer base is spread across the UK and Ireland which means the business exports its products and sells a lot in sterling.

That means the pricing model is closely tied to the fluctuating fortunes of the British currency – and the political machinations at Westminster can have a real impact.

But Martin sees Brexit as an opportunity, not a negative pull on his business which makes custom-made foot orthoses – for sale to podiatrists, who in turn give them to patients with ankle, foot or hip problems. The firm also specialises in providing related therapies to treat people of all ages.

martin mcgeough firefly“Luckily, our products do not attract tariffs but we ship through Northern Ireland which is a logistical consideration. However, I genuinely do not believe there will be an issue for us.

“As a first step, we wrote to all our customers and gave them the reassurance that we expect little to change and told them we would absorb any extra costs that may emerge. It was important to give them that confidence.”

Firefly, which employs 25 people also provides crucial therapy and training to ensure the patients get the best possible benefit from the products it supplies.

The company is a highly respected innovator and market leader – in 2017 it brought 200 of the UK and Ireland’s leading podiatrists to Sligo for an industry summit.

“Our mantra, ‘keep moving’ is what we preach at Firefly,” says Martin. “That’s why we see Brexit as providing the impetus to keep developing, innovating and growing.”

With Brexit fast approaching, Martin is convinced that the business can withstand any bumps in the road and he has exciting plans to expand Firefly’s business to other markets and with new services – such as revenue from education and training.

Brexit, though, did make him think closely about how Firefly does business.

“We looked at how we price and what we do. In terms of innovation we asked ourselves could we create an educational revenue stream? So, for example, we looked at Pakistan as a potential new market.”

Pakistan, explains Martin, has a population of over 200 million people, of which 25pc are affected by diabetes.
That causes a lot of health complications, with obesity putting pressure on joints – ankles, feet and hips – which means there could be a massive new market and demand for Firefly’s products, therapy and training.

Firefly may soon also be making its products closer to home. The company currently has products manufactured in Vancouver, Canada and in Indianapolis and California in the United States.

“A direct-spin off from Brexit was making us think about the entire supply chain and we now have plans to bring our manufacturing to Sligo, using the latest commercial-standard 3D printing technology.”

For Martin, Brexit has meant a chance to refocus his business – and prepare for the future. “It’s about being ready and getting in front of the issues before they become problems. We’re looking forward to some great years ahead.”

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Jobs Expo

The West’s leading employers to exhibit at Jobs Expo Galway this Saturday

Almost 40 of the West’s leading employers are to exhibit at the inaugral Jobs Expo Galway this Saturday. Employers include those from multiple sectors including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), ICT, Medtech, Retail, Insurance, Hotels, Recruitment, Training and Pharma as well as local employment networks and the Western Development Commission. Meanwhile, international employers exhibiting include Immigration Northwest Ontario, the Isle of Man Government, Motor, Local Employment networks

The event will take place on Saturday 11th February at the Radisson Blu on Mt. Atalia Road from 11am to 4pm and will showcase some of the region’s most highly-regarded companies, both Irish and multinational employers. It is the first time Jobs Expo has taken place in Galway; the event takes twice-yearly in Dublin and Cork and is regarded as Ireland’s leading jobs fair.

It’s aimed at people in Galway and the wider western region seeking opportunities or a career change and is free to attend.

“We have had a tremendous response from companies and jobseekers for this Saturday’s event”, says organiser Kevin Branigan of Careers Unlimited. “The job market in the West has heated up substantially and companies are looking to recruit and expand. This Saturday’s expo features employers from a wide range of sectors, seeking to meet skilled professionals for the West of Ireland.”

As well as the wide array of employers, Jobs Expo Galway will feature a day of seminars and talks and also free career advice in the ‘Career Clinic’, a dedicated area staffed by experienced career coaches. ”The Career Clinic is one of the most important and popular aspects of Jobs Expo, and it’s totally free of charge to attendees. Our team of coaches will help jobseekers with practical advice, such as CV preparation and interview skills. They can also assist people who want a career change,” says Branigan. Meanwhile, the Seminar Zone will offer free, topical talks given by industry insiders. “We have some very interesting talks lined up for this Saturday’s Seminar Zone event” he says.

“Our aim is to ensure that Jobs Expo has something for everyone, from entry-level positions to senior management roles and everything in between,” explains Branigan. Our main sponsor, Mathworks, will talk about opportunities at their new Galway office, while MetLife will tell us all about their new Global Technology Campus, Immigration Northwestern Ontario will explain why you should consider moving to this part of Canada, and for unemployed people thinking of retraining, FIT will discuss their ICT Associate Professional Apprenticeship Style Programme. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg”, he says.

“In addition, the West is a STEM, medical technology and ICT hub, and many companies taking part in Jobs Expo Galway reflect this. There will be no shortage of high-end roles at Jobs Expo this Saturday”, says Kevin.

Acorn Life; Advant Medical; Alkermes; Ashford Castle; Alere; BCS Sales Recruitment; BD; Boston Scientific; Coaching and Mentoring Excellence; Cpl Resources plc.; Creganna Medical; FIT; Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board; Immigration Northwestern Ontario; Innopharma College of Applied Science; Isle of Man Government; LotusWorks; MathWorks; Matrix Recruitment Group; MetLife; Military Autosource; Nightcourses; NUI Galway; Obair, the Local Employment Service Network; PhoneWatch; SmartBear; SiteMinder; SOLAS; SL Controls; Surmodics; Transitions Optical; Trinzo; Virtual Expos; Western Development Commission; Workplace Relations Commission; ZELTIQ Aesthetics and more.

Companies giving talks and seminars at Jobs Expo Galway include Siteminder; Boston Scientific; MetLife; Innopharma College of Applied Sciences; MathWorks; FIT; NUI Galway; Immigration Northwestern Ontario; and Career Coaching Ireland.

Career coaches taking part in Jobs Expo Galway include Helen Phelan, Coaching and Mentoring Excellence; Deirdre Dowling, Dowling Coaching; Ger Colleran, Talent Fusion; freelance coach Gráinne Hurley; careers advisor Laura Greene; Marie Devane, Devane Careers; and Pat Cregg, Career Coaching Ireland.

Admission is free for all wishing to attend Jobs Exp Galway. Those interested can register by visiting

Dates: Saturday 11 February 2017
Time: 11am – 4pm
Location: Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Lough Atalia Rd, Galway
Entrance fee: FREE
Full details at:

More information
Kevin Branigan
Jobs Expo 2016
Tel: (01) 5311 280 / 0872679047

Proxy Biomedical Ltd, a Connemara based medical device company, announces €3.5m expansion and plans to create 35 new jobs

Proxy Biomedical Ltd today (18th July) announced that it is undertaking a substantial expansion at its facility in An Spidéal, Co. Galway, with a total investment of €3.5 million. The company’s development plan is supported by Údarás na Gaeltachta and will lead to the creation of 35 new jobs.

Proxy Biomedical Ltd designs, develops and manufactures implantable medical products, on behalf of leading medical device manufacturers worldwide.   The company began by supplying hernia repair products to the General Surgery market, and now offers a full suite of hernia repair product development solutions.

Following significant investment in research and development and in state of the art processing technologies, Proxy Biomedical expanded its solutions portfolio into new markets. It now designs and manufactures a range of biomaterial coverings, coatings and textile solutions for Vascular implants, as well as high strength resorbable implants and textile solutions for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. To meet growing demand and to accommodate these additional technologies and services, the company is doubling its ISO Class 8/ 100,000 cleanroom manufacturing facilities, and extending its R&D facilities.

Welcoming the announcement, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, Sean Kyne TD said, “This is great news for the area. This expansion phase will provide much needed highly-skilled jobs in the Galway Gaeltacht, as the company increases its workforce to 75 employees over the next two years.”

Peter Mulrooney, Proxy Biomedical CEO, acknowledged,  “The new facilities will support the company’s ongoing growth and strategic development initiatives, as Proxy Biomedical continues to broaden its technology portfolio to address unmet needs and deliver innovative solutions for our key markets. ”

Steve Ó Cúláin, CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta said, “We have been working closely with this company since it relocated its operations to an Údarás-owned facility in An Spidéal in 2008. Since then, the company has doubled its employment, invested heavily in research, and developed a highly innovative solutions portfolio.  This is a sophisticated and technologically advanced company, servicing a global medical device market.  We are delighted to be in a position to support Proxy Biomedical’s next expansion phase and very much welcome the new jobs that this development will bring to the area.”

Proxy Biomedical is currently recruiting positions in manufacturing engineering, biomaterial engineers, quality and regulatory, as well as production operatives.

Notes to the Editor

Proxy Biomedical Ltd was established in 2002 and established its base initially in The Science Technology Engineering Centre at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and Mervue Business Park. The company relocated to An Coilleach, An Spidéal, Co. Galway in 2008, with support from Údarás na Gaeltachta.

Proxy Biomedical is a trusted partner in design, development and manufacture of biomaterial focused medical implant products. The company offers a full-service product development solution, from concept design and development, to rapid prototyping, regulatory support and volume manufacturing in a Class 8 cleanroom environment.  Proxy Biomedical is quality assured to ISO 13485:2012 and FDA standards.

Further Information: 

Siubhán Nic Grianna, Communications Manager, Údarás na Gaeltachta – 091 503219 / 087 2217757

Stephen Duffy, Business Development Manager, Proxy Biomedical Ltd – 091 896941


Galway company Aerogen wins prestigious American Association of Respiratory Care ‘Zenith Award’

Aerogen, a global leader in aerosol drug delivery, today announced it has received the prestigious 2015 Zenith Award for respiratory care excellence by the American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC).

Widely recognized as the “People’s Choice” award of the respiratory care profession, Aerogen was chosen to receive the Zenith Award from more than 400 suppliers, as voted for by over 52,000 respiratory therapists and allied health practitioners.

Aerogen is one of just six companies to receive the award in 2015 in recognition of its breakthrough vibrating mesh technology, service excellence, truth in advertising and commitment to the respiratory care profession.

Used by over 60% of the Top 100 hospitals in the US to deliver aerosol medication in the acute care setting, Aerogen’s patented palladium vibrating mesh technology lies at the heart of its category-leading aerosol drug delivery systems.

Its proprietary technology turns liquid medication into a fine particle mist, gently and effectively delivering drugs to the lungs of critically ill patients. Innovative products such as the Aerogen Solo offer improved patient care and less drug wastage, while also significantly reducing patients’ treatment time, length of stay and related hospital care costs.

Commenting on the accolade which Aerogen also received in 2013, John Power, Aerogen CEO, said: “We are honored to receive the 2015 Zenith Award, and delighted to be held in such high regard by respiratory care therapists and healthcare practitioners who work everyday to improve patient’s lives. I must also pay immense tribute to our great team and the support they offer our valued customers.

“Aerogen strives for excellence in everything we do. We work hand in hand with respiratory care professionals at all levels and I wish to thank them not only for this award, but for their continued support to deliver the best possible patient care.”

Aerogen will officially receive the award at the annual AARC Congress in Tampa, Florida, on November 7th 2015

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Galway City

Healthcare firm Zimmer to create 250 jobs in Galway

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD announced that Zimmer, a worldwide leader in musculoskeletal health care, will create up to 250 new manufacturing jobs over the next 5 years, at its facility in Oranmore, Co Galway.

The jobs are supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland.

Zimmer established a manufacturing facility in Shannon in 2007 and currently employs 330 people. The facility is the primary global provider of the NexGen® femoral knee system and is also now manufacturing the next generation of knee system, for Zimmer – Persona® The Personalized Knee System, which was recently launched in the orthopaedic market.  As a result of a strategic review, the company is expanding its footprint in Ireland and will invest over €51 million in a building in Oranmore, Co Galway to manufacture orthopaedic implants.

Making the announcement Minister Bruton said: “Manufacturing is a sector which we have specifically targeted as part of our jobs plan, and in recent years we have seen an impressive jobs performance in this area, after years of decline during the 2000s. Companies in this area offer great potential in particular to deliver job-creation to regional locations. Today’s announcement that Zimmer, a world leading health care manufacturing company, is investing €51million and creating 250 additional jobs in Galway is a great boost for the West. I look forward to working with Adrian and all the team at Zimmer as they continue to grow their jobs in Ireland”.

Commenting on the announcement Mr. Adrian Furey, General Manager for Zimmer Irelandsaid: “We are delighted to be adding a new location to our Ireland operations.  We are constantly assessing our worldwide operations and logistics network and this project is a direct result of that process. Zimmer has had a very positive experience of doing business in Ireland.  We are looking forward to building on the success of our Shannon operation by expanding in Galway.  Our Shannon facility will continue to be our flagship for Ireland and we will continue to invest in our operations there.”

The new facility will also be home to the sales and marketing division for a direct sales force in Ireland, supplying hospitals and orthopaedic surgeons with gold standard implants for hips, knees, extremities, spine and trauma. The facility will also be home to a state of the art professional education center, attracting professional health practitioners from around the world, “exciting times for Zimmer orthopaedics in Ireland” said Antony Massarella, Vice President, Zimmer Northern Europe.
Welcoming the announcement Martin Shanahan, CEO IDA Ireland said: “Zimmer is one of the leading names in the medical devices sector.

Today’s announcement will be seen across the world as another vote of confidence in Ireland, and Galway in particular. Galway is already home to some of Ireland’s biggest names in medical devices – this announcement will add to the talent pool in the city and surrounding region. Ireland is a global hub for the Med Tech sector with firms locating in regional locations across the country. Exports of medical devices and diagnostic products now represent 8% of Ireland’s total merchandise exports.”
The recruitment for all positions will begin in the coming months.

A link to the positions can be found here