By David Raleigh
A leading global medical technical firm has announced 100 jobs in Limerick.
BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), is to invest €21m in a research and development Centre of Excellence in the Treaty City.
The investment includes an extensive renovation of the former UniGolf facility in the National Technology Park.
Once completed, it is planned to house more than 200 high-tech positions, including more than 100 existing BD jobs.
The facility will initially be focused on product and software development, clinical research instrumentation and prototype development, primarily for the company’s Life Sciences businesses.
Ellen Strahlman, MD, MHSc, Executive Vice President R&D and Chief Medical Officer for BD described Ireland as "an important part of our growth plans, and the Limerick Centre of Excellence is foundational in our objective to build an agile, world-class global organization to deliver an R&D portfolio that drives growth".
The company's plan, going forward, will require significant hiring of R&D associates, collaboration with local universities and the development of new technical capabilities.
“Areas served by activities and products arising from our new R&D Centre of Excellence will include the fields of microbiology and molecular biology, clinical and cellular research analysis, and industrial microbiology," Strahlman said.
“Customers will include hospitals, laboratories and clinics, reference laboratories, industrial laboratories, physicians’ office practices, alternate site health care, academic and government institutions, and research facilities."
Speaking in Limerick, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O'Connor said the "Life Sciences sector makes a huge contribution to the Irish economy in terms of jobs and exports, and is one of our fastest growing sectors."
"BD’s decision to open this new Research and Development Centre of Excellence is a great vote of confidence in Ireland and brings an additional 100 high quality jobs to Limerick."
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, who also attended the announcement, said: "The company will now begin the process of giving 100 highly skilled workers the opportunity to improve their own lives through employment and also contribute in a meaningful way to the growth of this world class company."
BD has had a significant presence in Ireland since 1964 with two sites in Drogheda and Dun Laoghaire, employing more than 500 people.