Precision biomarkers and diagnostics in Northern Ireland

Launch your biomarker journey and develop advanced precision diagnostics in Northern Ireland.

Precision medicine represents the next generation of healthcare, as biomarkers and diagnostics are essential for patient stratification, diagnosis and treatment.

The UK government is supporting the precision medicine sector, investing millions into genomic medicine, early detection and digital pathology. Northern Ireland is recognised by the UK government as an agile region which excels in advanced precision diagnostics.



Northern Ireland

Investment type:

Foreign direct investment


Healthcare and life sciences, MedTech

Rohini Kumar

Rohini Kumar

Investment Propositions Adviser

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Sector and market opportunity

Exploit the growing global demand for precision biomarkers and companion diagnostics with Northern Ireland’s agile, interconnected ecosystem.

Access extensive patient data and a collaborative network of over 17 research centres of excellence and niche areas of expertise. Grow quickly and accelerate the commercialisation of your solutions in biomarker discovery, precision diagnostics and data analytics.

Growth prospects

There’s a growing demand for precision medicine technologies, solutions and treatments.

The global precision medicine market across major diseases is forecast to reach £102 billion by 2025. The global biomarkers market is predicted to be worth £98 billion by 2027.


Northern Ireland’s approach to scientific research makes it a great place for companies to discover, validate and commercialise their next precision diagnostic.

The region offers:

  • design-enriched clinical trials
  • opportunities to receive research support from the Health and Social Care Research and Development (HSC R&D) Division
  • the chance to bring your solutions directly to Northern Ireland’s healthcare body
  • connections with established diagnostics and healthcare analytics companies
  • the ability to develop your biomarker and diagnostics solutions

Northern Ireland is a gateway for the sale of goods to 2 of the world’s largest markets. It’s also the only place where businesses can operate free from customs declarations, rules of origin certificates and non-tariff barriers on the sale of goods to both Great Britain and the EU.


There are 3 international airports with connections to 53 locations worldwide.

Northern Ireland’s railway system connects Belfast with Derry and Dublin. There are also 5 commercial ports with easy access to Dublin Port, plus 100 ferry crossings per week between Northern Ireland and mainland UK.

Local talent and skills

Northern Ireland’s life sciences industry employs over 18,000 staff.

Over 16,000 students study and 4,000 students graduate with health and life sciences degrees each year across the region’s 2 leading universities. Medical schools in Northern Ireland work closely with industry experts. Randox Laboratories are investing in Queen’s University’s Post Graduate Medical School.

The sector also benefits from a new graduate medical school at Ulster University, Derry.

Region Spotlight
Northern Ireland


More than 1,100 international companies across a range of sectors are based in Northern Ireland. The region is home to a highly skilled and talented workforce, with a strong business-friendly environment and competitive operating costs, that’s why 70% of new investors choose to reinvest in this region.

View all investment opportunities in Northern Ireland

Research and expertise

In Northern Ireland, you can work alongside 17 huge university research centres and over 1,000 researchers. Some 75% of research activity at Queen’s University Belfast is considered either world-leading or internationally excellent, according to the latest UK Research Excellence Framework assessment.

You’ll also get excellent research capabilities with the:

  • Precision Medicine Centre of Excellence
  • Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research
  • Northern Ireland Centre for Stratified Medicine
  • Connected Health Innovation Centre

Local and national government support

As part of a £1.3 billion package of government investment, Northern Ireland is committed to cementing its reputation as a prime location for life and health sciences.

Up to £150 million will be invested through city and growth deals across Northern Ireland, with innovation projects to advance health technology, clinical trials, data analytics and medical devices.

The UK and Northern Ireland are investing heavily in precision medicine, so your company can capitalise on huge momentum in the sector. The Life Sciences Vision aims to build on the scientific successes and ways of working from coronavirus (COVID-19) to tackle future disease challenges.

Invest Northern Ireland offers inward investors financial assistance for employment, capital, training and R&D as well as support with local knowledge, useful contacts, virtual and physical visits.

Success stories

Almac Diagnostic Services

The Almac Group is a contract development and manufacturing organisation headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, with operations in the UK, Ireland, US and Asia.

Almac Diagnostic Services was awarded grant funding through Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund to support an R&D programme for the development of a next-generation genomics biomarker platform for immune oncology therapies.

Sonrai Analytics

Sonrai Analytics is a rapidly growing AIdata analytics start-up based in Belfast that helps biotech, pharma and Contract Research Organisations (CROs) maximise the potential of their data and bring new life-saving drugs to the market faster.

Sonrai Analytics has been selected to lead an Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to deliver novel artificial intelligence (AI) cancer screenings across the NHS, in partnership with the Precision Medicine Centre at Queen’s University Belfast and Roche, a world leader in diagnostics.


Exploristics is a global provider of bio-simulation software and biostatistics services for designing, analysing and reporting clinical trials and real-world studies, based in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Exploristics’ KerusCloud was partly funded by a prestigious £340,000 Innovate UK Smart Award, which recognised the company’s innovative clinical trial modelling and simulation platform.

Other opportunities

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The government is identifying new projects across the whole of the UK. Investors who are interested in our projects can find out more by contacting us.

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