Business links on agenda for President’s visit to Britain

Investors to descend on Dublin for med-tech conference

President Higgins will make an address on the importance of scientific and technological co-operation between Ireland and Britain during his State visit this week. photograph: gareth chaney/collins

President Higgins will make an address on the importance of scientific and technological co-operation between Ireland and Britain during his State visit this week. photograph: gareth chaney/collins

Mon, Apr 7, 2014, 01:00

More than 120 business leaders are expected to attend Ireland Day at the London Stock Exchange this week, which will coincide with the historic State visit of President Michael D Higgins.

The event aims to showcase the strength of Irish business partnership with Britain, with an awards lunch recognising outstanding business leaders and organisations. President Higgins’s State visit follows Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Ireland in 2011. On Wednesday, President Higgins will visit University College London Hospital, where he will meet Irish staff members, past and present, who have made an important contribution to the National Health Service.

He will also visit the Royal Society where he will view an exhibition of items related to Ireland and make an address on the importance of scientific and technological cooperation between Ireland and Britain. Reflecting the strong links between Ireland and Britain in the equine world, he will meet with trainers, jockeys and staff at Park House Stables on Thursday.

Nearer to home, venture capital firms with more than €6 billion in funds will be meeting in Dublin for three days to explore opportunities to invest in the burgeoning Irish medical technology sector. The investors will be attending the IN3 Medical Devices 360 conference, which will feature presentations from 40 start-up companies seeking funding and strategic partnership across the spectrum of diagnostic and therapeutic device markets.

Peter Sandys, managing partner of Dublin-based Seroba Kernel, said regulatory uncertainty and unforeseen consequences of Obamacare were driving US innovation overseas, to the benefit of Ireland. “Ireland’s medical sector had already become one of the leading clusters for medical device products globally, the change in the US healthcare and regulatory regime has made Ireland even more attractive.”