Collaborating for Strategic Advantage: Alcon

See how IRDG member Alcon, has benefitted from extensive networking and attendance at events, to build their network and drive key collaboration projects, boosting their site profile at corporate level.

Alcon is the global leader in eye care, dedicated to helping people see brilliantly. The Alcon Ireland site has been successfully operating in Cork since 1991 and employs more than 450 highly skilled associates across 25 different nationalities. The site manufactures Alcon’s leading surgical products, intraocular lenses (IOLs) and associated lens delivery devices. An IOL is a prosthetic lens that replaces the eye’s natural lens following cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed surgical procedure in the developed world.

Over recent years Alcon Ireland has driven a number of Innovation Partnership Programmes with CIT, NUIG, UCD and AMBER at Trinity College Dublin. The latter innovative collaboration explored the use of cryogenic technology to optimise IOL processing. This collaboration with AMBER provided Alcon with opportunities to investigate and exploit the differences in the thermal contraction of polymer materials using cutting-edge research, technologies and facilities. The Cork team’s remit has expanded significantly over the last five years. Barry Walsh, Chief Scientific Officer with Alcon says that the collaborative activities have contributed to driving this expansion.

“Being involved with the various Centres and Institutes has been hugely cost-effective for us, enabling us to get access to early stage research and development whilst expanding our network. Strategically we’ve been able to demonstrate the benefit of collaborative, value for money R&D, with the support of specialised subject matter experts working with our partners in the Irish academic sector. This has been critical for us in enhancing the profile of the site and influencing corporate investment towards the Cork facility. The access to, and collaboration with, a well skilled network has enabled the site to attract high calibre candidates to the team and in the process helped the group develop into a significant process development resource within the global R&D organisation. This bodes well for the future of the site”. Barry Walsh, Chief Scientific Officer, Alcon.

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