Engineering provides the systems and devices that help to alleviate suffering and prolong lifespans. Demographic changes, with people living longer and so more likely to suffer chronic illness, put pressure on healthcare systems and facilities.

This demands greater investment in monitoring and measurement technologies for use by individuals and healthcare professionals. Engineering is tackling the challenge of customisation and personalisation of medical treatments to meet individual needs. Regenerative medicine is now engineering replacement body parts and tissues, with the growing challenge of customisation and personalisation of treatments to meet individual needs.

Case study

Case study

Belfast company Andor pioneered technologies that enable detection of a single photon and the capture of events that last a billionth of a second.

As part of the fast-growing medical engineering sector, Andor supplies precision equipment for detecting and measuring light – scientific cameras, spectroscopy solutions and microscopy systems that support research in other industries, such as pharmaceutical companies, laboratories and hospitals. The company now employs more than 300 people in 16 locations worldwide.

Originally a company spun out from university research, Andor has invested not just in innovative products, but also in the whole process of innovation. It has set up a research and development centre specifically to bring new ideas to fruition faster and it has acquired businesses that can offer complementary technologies to its own systems.

The results speak for themselves: for the last 14 years Andor sales have grown at more than 30% a year, and both turnover and profit rose more than 30% a year even during the recent downturn.