€69m Lucent research facilities

THE American telecommunications company Bell Labs plans to develop two state-of-the-art research centres in Ireland at a total cost of €69 million.

Bell Labs, a subsidiary of Lucent Technologies, will set up a research base in Blanchardstown in Dublin, the site of an existing Lucent facility.

Bell Labs is one of the world’s best known research companies and has been behind several major developments in the telecoms market over the year.

The centre at Blanchardstown will be a global headquarters for research into telecommunications and supply chain technologies.

Bell will also establish the Centre for Telecommunications Value-Chain-Driven Research (CTVR) at Trinity College Dublin.

The two centres will create up to 120 jobs over the next couple of years.

The Bell Labs centre will focus on research into photonics, electronics and the next generation of fixed and wireless telecom networks.

The announcement is the latest jobs and investment boost in recent weeks. Last month Intel said it is planning to invest €1.6 billion, creating 400 new jobs, while medical manufacturer Guidant plans to create 1,000 jobs in Clonmel.

Tánaiste Mary Harney said the project is “one of the most significant direct investments by the state in a joint corporate and academic research project”.

“The investment moves us a step closer to becoming a globally acknowledged world leader in next-generation technologies.”

The CTVR will have research collaborations with eight third-level colleges: University of Limerick; NUI Maynooth; Dublin Institute of Technology; Institute of Technology Sligo; University College Dublin; Dublin City University; and University College Cork and the NMRC in Cork.

Lucent’s European supply chain operations currently employs 500 in Ireland. Around 40 of the jobs will be located in Blanchardstown, where €43m will be invested. This centre will require research scientists and engineers.

The remainder of the investment will go to the CTVR and this funding will come from Science Foundation Ireland.

Since it was founded Bell Labs has generated more than 30,000 patents since 1925 and 11 workers have been Nobel prizes.

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