Med-tech firm confirms €21m investment for Limerick centre of excellence

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Minster of State Pat Breen with Lauren Blake at BD RCI Picture: Liam Burke/Press 22

Minster of State Pat Breen with Lauren Blake at BD RCI Picture: Liam Burke/Press 22

LIMERICK has received another jobs boost after a top global medical technology company announced the creation of 85 new positions in the city.

Becton Dickinson (BD) is set to ramp up the number of people it has working at its sites in Raheen and at the former UniGolf facility in Plassey to 285, following the €21m investment, confirmed this week.

BD is one of the largest medical technology companies in the world and aims to advance health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care.

It has 65,000 staff worldwide – and 1,300 at various sites in Ireland.

Management and staff of the firm joined Dennis Gilbert, the senior vice-president for research and development, to cut the ribbon at its new research centre.

The new roles are for a variety of highly skilled positions including software, hardware and systems engineering.

And it’s anticipated the majority of these will come on stream by the end of this year.

Mr Gilbert said this Wednesday’s opening marks “a new era” for both BD and the life sciences community in Ireland.

“This new centre has been established to serve as a global research and development hub for our business and is key to our long-term strategic growth plans. BD’s decision to open our global research centre here in Limerick is based on the region's highly skilled talent, our strong relationships with local universities, and Limerick’s stellar reputation as an important life-sciences hub,” Mr Gilbert added.

Asked by the Limerick Leader what kinds of graduates BD is looking for, he said: “You can send every great software engineer our way, we’ll take them!

“Also, we need people who have applied views. An engineer who might know about medical devices, or a software engineer that might have more experience in healthcare, for example.”

”For us, it’s about all disciplines of engineering. Our concern was could we get these people and perform in a more advanced capacity.”

This latest jobs boost for Limerick is being supported by IDA Ireland.

Its executive director Mary Buckley said: “This significant investment is a very welcome addition to the Life Sciences sector in the mid-west region. Winning investment for regional locations is a key focus for IDA Ireland and this project is an excellent one to secure for this region.”

Trade Minister Pat Breen, who officially opened the company expansion, said: “This is a vote of confidence in the mid-west region. as a destination for high-end medical technology companies. It will provide excellent employment opportunities and contribute greatly to the local economy of the region.”

BD was founded in East Rutherford, New Jersey back in 1897, and has had a presence in Ireland since 1964.

The firm provides solutions which help advance medical research and genomics, as well as enhance the diagnosis of infectious disease and cancer.

Hundreds of IDA-backed jobs have been inked in Limerick already this year, including sports statistics firm Stats, which announced 100 roles last month.

Uber is also planning further positions, as is NK Communications.

Jaguar Land Rover also plans to deliver 150 new positions to the Shannon area.

And there are high hopes this will continue.