Galway centre gives Ireland cutting edge in medtech

Cúram research facility will assist in attracting new foreign direct investment

Galway has copperfastened its position as the hub for medical device companies in Ireland with the opening yesterday of a €68 million research centre, Cúram.

The new centre at NUI Galway marks a significant investment in focusing research and development in the sector and its position is greatly enhanced by the fact that all six major universities in the Republic are involved alongside industry.

Cúram has a particular focus on tackling chronic illnesses and hopes to capitalise on bringing together varies elements of biomedical science that have developed strongly over recent years, including glycoscience, biomaterials science, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, drug delivery and medical device design.

These are all areas where, as Science Foundation Ireland boss Mark Ferguson says, Ireland has a strong track record. The industry partners are also leaders in their field and include most of the big names in international medtech as well as some of the most innovative of Ireland's young indigenous medical device companies.


"Bringing together expertise from various fields leads to tantalising possibilities," says Prof Abhay Pandit, the man charged with running the centre and managing the research activities of its 250-plus researchers.

As Helen Ryan, the Cúram chairwoman and former chief executive of medical device firm Creganna Medical says, Cúram will provide research access to world-class scientists in a multi-disciplinary environment. It will also de-risk the R&D process, especially for start-up businesses and SMEs.

The venture, which according to Ferguson has been 15 years in the making, seems certain to strengthen Ireland’s appeal for foreign direct investment in the medical device sector as well as encouraging innovation culture among indigenous firms.

For once, it does not seem misplaced to suggest that this new centre will deliver a genuine competitive edge for Ireland Inc.