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Irish Companies Employing Innovation to Battle Ravages of COVID-19 on Various Fronts

From Fighting Vaccine Misinformation to Building Hermetically Sealing Doors and Expanding Ventilator Capacity, Irish Innovation is Fighting COVID on All Fronts

With no St. Patrick’s Day Festivities on the books for the second year in a row, Irish companies are instead channeling their energy to defeat the COVID-19 epidemic. By leveraging their expertise in a vast array of fields from construction and software development, Irish innovation is helping society return to normal. Enterprise Ireland supports the growth and successes of Irish firms in its portfolio and the inventive approaches Irish companies are taking to eradicate the virus and create a New Normal wherein travel returns, misinformation is nipped in the bud and surging COVID counts to local hospitals is no longer the lede news story.

“The Irish spirit of resilience is alive and well. When faced with challenges, the Irish rise up and commit to improving our position, solving problems and putting one foot in front of the other,” said Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland. “The Irish rank 5th internationally in the development of COVID-19 remediations and every Irish company in our robust family of client companies has pivoted their businesses in ways large and small to pitch in, address this global pandemic and keep their own employees gainfully employed.”

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These Irish companies, with backing from Enterprise Ireland, the Irish trade and innovation agency who partners with Irish enterprise companies to help them start, grow, and win export sales in global markets, are building real solutions to stop the spread of the disease in hospitals, protect front line workers and medical staff and tamp down on deadly misinformation about vaccines.

  • Dortek specializes in providing door solutions to the world’s leading pharmaceutical, research and health facilities. The Dortek international team has a unique understanding of the stringent requirements of high-hygiene environments and expertise in air flows, workflows, contaminants and local regulations. Over the last 12 months, Dortek has designed, developed and delivered specialty doors to facilities throughout the US where they are currently manufacturing the three FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Duggan Systems, a designer, developer and manufacturer of complete facade solutions quickly pivoted from making buildings beautiful to making them safer. With in-house design and manufacturing expertise, Duggan Systems set about to quickly build and install 33 prefabricated, infection control units in a New York hospital with exceptional acoustic properties, touchless automation doors in swing and sliding configurations, smart blind, and glass options. This modular designed system is rapidly changing the way busy ICU departments future-proof their facilities.
  • NewsWhip, a predictive media intelligence company, is helping NGOs, health companies and journalists identify and tackle misinformation through software that predicts which stories and narratives are about to go viral. The spread of misinformation across the web and social media has caused people to be wary of vaccines. NewsWhip’s platform is helping combat this misinformation trend and track other global narratives, with active users at the World Health Organization, Deloitte and all 10 of the top 10 PR agencies by revenue.
  • patientMpower is a digital healthcare company providing technology solutions for people living with long-term illnesses. patientMpower is passionate about empowering better outcomes by enabling patients to better manage their care and providing unique data insights for healthcare providers and researchers to improve treatments. Their solutions ensure that specialist healthcare teams can remotely monitor patients with respiratory conditions without the need for patients to attend the hospital. This technology has been crucial in enabling U.S. health providers, including NYU Langone Health, to provide continued medical care to vulnerable patients despite the pandemic. Leveraging their expertise in lung conditions, patientMpower rapidly developed a remote monitoring solution specifically for COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic. The technology was quickly adopted by New York’s Mount Sinai Health System to enable the early hospital discharge of patients recovering from COVID-19.
  • And in an amazing feat of pivoting from core business to COVID-19 business, CombiLift the largest global manufacturer of multi-directional forklifts and an acknowledged leader in long load handling solutions developed a splitter device that turns one ventilator into multiple ventilation stations. Recognizing early on that access to ventilators was key for positive COVID patient outcomes and that shortages were predicted, Combi-Ventilate was developed by a CombiLift team of mechatronic and software engineers within five weeks and delivered to the Ger Curley Professor of Anaesthesia & Critical Care at Royal College of Surgeons in Beaumont Hospital for laboratory testing. In an additional effort to help out in the battle against COVID-19, Combilift has supplied a number of Combi-Ventilate to developing countries and is offering its licensed design to countries that are suffering from shortages. This approach will allow these countries to quickly manufacture the number of ventilators that they need.
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Irish businesses continue to make a big, positive impact on the U.S. and are providing the necessary innovative solutions and technologies to help tackle the COVID-19 crisis on a number of fronts.

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Enterprise Ireland reports that employment by Irish businesses in the United States at over 110,000 and foreign direct investment from Ireland into the United States economy is at $225.5 billion* — ranking Ireland in the top nine investment sources to the U.S. The strong performance of Irish businesses in the U.S. was underpinned by resilience and preparedness that began with the 2016 Brexit referendum and also by Ireland’s considerable strengths in life science and construction, agritech, smart energy, smart city and digital technology wherein Irish firms supported U.S. government and business roll-out of COVID-19 protocols and programs. Ireland is ranked 5th in the world for exports of COVID-19 related goods and 6th in the global market of countries responding best in terms of innovation to the pandemic.

Enterprise Ireland is one of Europe’s leading venture capitalists: the agency is ranked first both in Europe and globally for active seed investments, according to PitchBook. Enterprise Ireland operates from New York, Boston, Austin, Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco. In addition to funding support, Enterprise Ireland also provides services including export assistance and assistance with research and development, as well as a broad network of key global industry-specific contacts.

More than 110,00 people are employed by almost 900 Irish-owned companies with Enterprise Ireland representing 700 of these companies in the United States. These Irish-owned companies operate across all 50 states and proudly represent a broad range of industries including construction, education, energy, environmental engineering, medical devices and software.

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