Up to 90 jobs are to be created at Medtronic’s new Customer Innovation Centre, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation, and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn confirmed yesterday as she turned the first sod on the site at Parkmore business park.
Medtronic, a global leader in medical technology, employing 36,000 people worldwide with more than 2,000 of that number based in Galway, plans to hire up to 90 people during the construction phase of the new Customer Innovation Centre which is scheduled to be completed by 2013. The centre will feature state-of-the-art facilities, including a virtual cath lab, a wet lab, and an innovation workshop.
Speaking at the turning of the sod ceremony Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn said: “The new centre is a testament to Medtronic’s commitment to working with clinicians, surgeons, researchers, and patient groups in the development of new technology so as to improve the quality of health for patients throughout the world.
“It will afford the opportunity for the users of this centre to learn about the new medical devices available from Medtronic and to contribute to research into new medical devices in the future. The centre will build on the very strong expertise and proven record that Medtronic has in bringing new innovation medical devices into the market place, and once completed, it will attract the best scientists and researchers from all parts of the world to Galway.
“Ireland is a leader in the medtech sector, employing the highest per capita of medical technology personnel in Europe. Eight of the top 20 global medtech companies have a manufacturing base here... The Galway medtech cluster is an example of a vibrant place for stimulating innovation and promoting entrepreneurial activities in the sector, thanks to multiple interfaces and the presence of academic and private research centres nearby. Together with the support of the National University of Ireland, Galway, there are now approximately 40 medtech SMEs located here. So Galway is not only a labour pool for skilled graduates, but is also an international hub for the start-up of MedTech companies.”
The commissioner went on to argue that with a strong innovation base Ireland is well positioned to emerge out of the current financial crisis with an improved economy that will compete globally. It is her belief that an important element of this is to build confidence for investors, employers, and markets alike, and that a ‘yes’ vote in the May 31 referendum on the Treaty on Stability, Coordination, and Governance (the Fiscal Treaty ) is vital.
The Commissioner concluded by saying: “As a Galwegian, I am delighted to see that Medtronic has decided to build this facility in Galway, since Ireland is not only the gateway to Europe, it is central to Europe and will continue to be so. Medtronic’s investment is a strong vote of confidence in the Irish economy, today and in the future.”