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Third-level students across the globe to study Signify Health’s strategic opening of overseas R&D hub in Galway

By Signify Health News on 11/27/23 11:00 PM

Signify Health Ireland VP and Site Lead, Ireland Operations, Elaine Murphy with students from The University of Galway.

  • U.S. company collaborates with University of Galway on new case study for business syllabus
  • Case study was also piloted at WU Vienna
  • Opportunity for students to analyse company’s strategy of looking abroad to scale up operations

A case study examining the business strategy behind Signify Health’s decision to open its first overseas hub in Galway is to become part of the syllabus for students based in third-level institutions around the globe.

The U.S. healthcare technology firm first announced the opening of its technology centre at Bonham Quay in the centre of Galway city in March last year. Signify Health is a healthcare services company using advanced technology and data analytics to enable value-based care in the U.S. healthcare market.

Some 80 people in technology innovation roles have already been recruited in Galway and recruitment is continuing. The tech team in Galway is creating tech solutions for some of the biggest challenges in the U.S. healthcare system.

The case study, developed by the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at University of Galway in collaboration with Signify Health, offers students a unique insight into the company’s motivations for looking abroad to scale up operations, the key factors informing the choice to move to Galway, and the different management structures considered for the company’s first overseas hub.

The study allows students to critically analyse Signify Health’s strategy and present ideas for how they might have scaled and structured the company’s R&D operations differently.

The Signify Health team provided key details for the case study, including how Ireland compared with international competitors like India, Germany, United Kingdom, and Poland in terms of GDP, digital skills, enrolment in third-level education, and average salary.

The study also reveals how the availability of talent in Galway’s existing ecosystem of MedTech and healthcare industries superseded management concerns that Ireland’s housing and health crises would inhibit growth at Signify Health.

Other advantages enjoyed by Galway as outlined in the case study include its cultural and geographic proximity to the US, strong links between business and academia, and the advocacy of Chief Technical Officer, Josh Builder, who had previous experience setting up a similar operation in the city.

The study has been well-received by students after being piloted at University of Galway and WU Vienna. The authors and Signify Health are hopeful that the case study’s publication with Ivey Publishing, a leader in publishing business case studies with a reach of more than 25,000 faculty and staff in more than 160 countries, will lead to it being taught to many high-level students across the globe.

Signify Health VP and Site Lead Ireland Operations Elaine Murphy says:

“Signify Health was delighted to partner with University of Galway on this study. Our new premises on Bonham Quay in Galway represents Signify Health’s first foray outside the U.S. We feel students will benefit from this unique insight into our internal process – how we assessed the risks involved and the macro and microeconomic factors that informed our choice of both location and management structure.

“The case study was well-received by students during the pilot phase at University of Galway. Much of the feedback focuses on the fact that the events and considerations detailed within the case study occurred in the recent past and so close to home. It’s powerful for students to study something that has had such an impact on their local economy, rather than a remote event which they struggle to envision from a textbook.

“The success of the study has attracted attention from WU Vienna, where it was trialled earlier this year. That is a very positive development. We look forward to seeing how it will be received there and to continuing to build on the strength of the HealthTech industry’s relationship with academia here in Ireland.”

Professor of Strategy, Leadership and Change, University of Galway, Esther Tippman, says:

“Signify Health’s decision to open its first overseas hub in Galway demonstrates the city’s attractiveness for foreign direct investment and its reputation as a hotbed for technology companies. It is also a perfect example of a platform-type business model scaling out of the US, a now-common phenomenon in the modern business landscape.

“We are proud to have worked with Signify on the creation of this case study for our business syllabus. This document represents a huge opportunity for students at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at University of Galway – and indeed for students from across the globe - to critically analyse the key considerations in Signify’s decision to set up in Galway, and offer their views on what Signify Health could have done differently.”

Link to published study:

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact, Martha Kearns at StoryLab on + 353 872720212

Notes to Editors: 
About Signify Health
Signify Health, a CVS Health Company (NYSE: CVS), is a leading healthcare platform that leverages advanced analytics, technology, and nationwide healthcare provider networks to create and power value-based payment programs. Our mission is to build trusted relationships to make people healthier. Our solutions support value-based payment programs by aligning financial incentives around outcomes, providing tools to health plans and healthcare organizations designed to assess and manage risk and identify actionable opportunities for improved patient outcomes, coordination and cost-savings. Through our platform, we coordinate what we believe is a holistic suite of clinical, social, and behavioral services to address an individual’s healthcare needs and prevent adverse events that drive excess cost, all while shifting services towards the home.