Wed 6th Jan 2016
Randox Laboratories: Saving and improving lives
Ann McGregor (NI Chamber); Brenda Morgan (British Airways); Health Minister Simon Hamilton and Dr. Peter FitzGerald (Randox Laboratories).
A focus on pioneering innovation that improves wellbeing and enables preventative healthcare is at the heart of Randox Laboratories – that’s according to its Managing Director, Dr. Peter FitzGerald, who was speaking at the latest ‘Minister on the Move’ event held in Crumlin earlier today.
Dr. FitzGerald hosted Health Minister Simon Hamilton, the Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) Ann McGregor and over 60 businesses from across Northern Ireland at the Randox headquarters as part of the business led initiative by NI Chamber in partnership with American Airlines and British Airways.
The ‘Minister on the Move’ initiative provides businesses with an opportunity to speak directly with Ministers from the Northern Ireland Executive at a number of locations across the province – whilst also providing them with an opportunity to hear the inspirational success story of a local company, hosted in the company’s facilities.
Randox Laboratories is a global market leader within the In Vitro diagnostics industry, developing innovative diagnostic solutions for hospitals, clinical, research and molecular laboratories, food testing, forensic toxicology, veterinary laboratories and life sciences. Randox is the largest diagnostic company from within the U.K. and Ireland with 1300 employees, including 300 research scientists and engineers, and offices and distribution in over 145 countries. The company has four extensive manufacturing and research and development sites, located in Country Antrim, Northern Ireland; Dungloe, County Donegal, Ireland; Bangalore, India; and in the Greater Washington DC area, USA.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, explained the key to the company’s success:
“We firmly believe that diagnostics are key to improving healthcare systems around the world. More sensitive, accurate and comprehensive diagnostics enable greater preventative care – improving patient outcomes and reducing the burden on healthcare services. We take our commitment to R&D very seriously and Randox is at the forefront of life-changing research and development in the diagnostics industry. We are proud to say that our innovative diagnostic tests are paving the way for the future of health care.”
The event also provided an open forum for delegates to share their views with the Health Minister Simon Hamilton, who said:
“In a week where Health has been in the headlines because of the pressures facing our Emergency Departments, it is clear that my priority as Minister must always be providing high quality health and care services for our people.
“But in sketching out my vision for a world class Health and Social Care system for Northern Ireland, I have equally indicated that a characteristic of a pioneering Health Service is one that has a productive partnership with industry.
“Health is a sizeable segment of Northern Ireland’s economy. We have around 130 companies with a turnover of close to £1 billion a year, employing approximately 7,500 in the sector. Randox is a genuine world leader and we are proud of what the company has achieved.
“The Department of Health already makes a major contribution to the Northern Ireland economy and not just in the sense of being an employer of almost 70,000 people, a spender of nearly £5 billion annually, an investor of in excess of £200 million each year in infrastructure projects and the importance of a healthy population to economic prosperity. There are also many outstanding existing examples of our health sector, academia and industry working in a productive partnership to develop and enable new products and speedily translate them into patient care.
“I know that Health is not an economic department in the way that DETI or DEL are but I want the work of my Department to play its fullest role in growing the local economy. We have an impressive record already of working closely with our universities and the business community with some significant success. But I want us to go further.
“It is my intention to convene a roundtable discussion involving key stakeholders from industry, academia and the public sector to conduct an examination of how Health can do more to encourage economic growth.”
Commenting on the Minister on the Move initiative, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of NI Chamber, concluded:
“Chambers of Commerce are committed to helping businesses grow and we see ‘Minister on the Move’ as being an important and mutually beneficial initiative for both business and government. It will create a forum for the open exchange of views leading to a better understanding of the importance of public policy and the economic environment in which we operate. We all have the shared aim of growing the Northern Ireland economy and an initiative such as this one allows us to keep in regular contact along the way.”