Athlone hosts special event on use of polymers in healthcare

Plastics Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the plastics and polymer industry, today said that the event hosted by its Skillnet, First Polymer Training highlights the growth opportunities for the sector collaborating with the medical technology sector.

The special event on the use of polymers in healthcare is being hosted in the First Polymer Training centre in Athlone where manufacturing is a major employer. Plastics has seen strong growth with over 200 companies identified in new Plastics Ireland research and the industry employs more than 6,500 people. The event will focus on the industry perspective with speakers Katie Heydon from the National Chemical Company; Carl Mendonca from Ultra Polymers; David Howard from IPC; Noel Daly from JL Goor Materials;  and Padraic Lunn from Precision Extrusion Technologies exploring key trends and challenges such as the regulation for raw materials.

First Polymer Training Manager Catherine Collins said: “It’s great to be able to bring together people working in R&D, product development as well as more technical roles, to look at the use of polymers in medical technology. The First Polymer Training Centre in Athlone is a one of a kind facility which offers industry-led training with the machinery needed to help people upskill and get the hands-on experience they need. There are great career opportunities in the sector and along with the new Polymer Processing Technician Apprenticeship being developed by Plastics Ireland, our courses can help bridge the skills gap. Additionally, joint events with Ibec’s Irish Medical Devices Association is helping to drive collaboration to ensure sustainable growth.”

At an international level, after four years of EU discussions, negotiations and amendments the new EU Medical Device and IVD Medical Device Regulations are expected to be agreed in June. These EU regulations will have far reaching effects on the plastics as well as the medical technology sector which employs 29,000 people in Ireland across 400 companies.

IMDA Senior Executive Dr. Áine Fox said: “Businesses should use the transition period before the new EU regulations come into effect to prepare for changes ahead. Impacts for manufacturers in particular include the potential need for major investment to support the 3-5 year transition to the new regulatory framework. IMDA has repeatedly called for balanced EU regulations for the medtech sector, now it is vital companies plan ahead.”

For more information please click:http://www.ibec.ie/IBEC/Press/PressPublicationsdoclib3.nsf/vPages/Newsroom~athlone-hosts-special-event-on-use-of-polymers-in-healthcare-26-05-2016?OpenDocument#.V0wO6L5OP4g

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