In communities large and small, Abbott seeks to make a significant and long-lasting difference in the quality of people’s lives. In 2015, Abbott employees in Ireland volunteered more than 7,000 hours through our Croi an Óir volunteering programme.
Abbott supports a diverse range of community projects, with particular emphasis on promoting science education at primary and secondary schools. As an example, we are members of Smart Futures, a collaborative government-industry framework initiative promoting science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers to postprimary students in Ireland. Abbott Family Science is one of our major initiatives to interest children in science and inspire them to pursue scientific careers. The program, developed by the Abbott Fund, brings children along with their parents and teachers, to learn about science and innovation through exciting experiments and activities led by Abbott scientists and engineers. Another programme, Operation Discovery, brings students to an Abbott facility, where our scientists and engineers guide them through hands-on lab experiments. These programmes have been in place for the eight years and our follow-up studies show that these programmes have a significant impact on the way participating children and their parents perceive science. A critical part of these programmes is collaboration with teachers, and more than 100 have participated since 2009. Complementing our science programmes, Abbott engages in National Engineering Week, Smart Futures, Sci Fest and Teen Tech in Ireland.
Since 2003, we have also worked closely with Junior Achievement Ireland, which encourages students to remain in school and teaches them a variety of skills they need to succeed in a changing world. To date, our work with Junior Achievement has reached nearly 14,000 students in more than 100 of Ireland’s primary and secondary schools.