Biopharma company GE Healthcare is to create up to 500 jobs in the Republic with a €150 million investment in a manufacturing campus.
The company plans to establish four prefabricated, off-the-shelf biologics factories at GE BioPark, Cork.
In addition, it will also establish an advanced manufacturing training centre at the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training in Dublin.
GE Healthcare said the factories would be between 25 and 50 per cent more cost-effective to build than traditional manufacturing facilities
The site in Cork is expected to be home to more than 500 new jobs when fully operational; 400 with biopharma companies and a further 100 employed directly by GE.
The construction phase, subject to planning approvals, is expected to begin by mid- 2017 and create up to 800 construction jobs.
GE Healthcare chief executive Kieran Murphy said pharma companies worldwide were "racing to respond to patient needs with new life-changing biological medicines" and that GE was investing in technology and service solutions, as well as industry skills.
IDA Ireland chief executive Martin Shanahan said the "strategically important investment" by GE was a "significant win" for the Republic.
“The biopharmaceutical manufacturing campus will greatly assist IDA Ireland win additional bio-manufacturing investments by acting as a catalyst to attract new innovator drug companies and to transition and grow existing operations,” he added.
Minister for Jobs Mary Mitchell O’Connor said the biopharma industry makes “a huge contribution” to the Irish economy in terms of jobs and manufacturing exports, and is one of the “fastest-growing sectors”.
“I am delighted that GE is making a significant investment in Cork,” she said. “This is a further testament to our talented workforce. All investment and jobs created has a positive knock-on effect on the wider region.
“Over 28,000 people currently work in biopharma and 6,000 of those work in biologics. This subsector is expected to double in the coming years and will provide both a challenge and an opportunity for the industry and training providers to collaborate on promoting the range of career opportunities available.”
Separately, software developer Mathworks is to create 50 jobs in Co Galway as part of plans to establish a shared sales and services centre there.
The company’s “long-term investment” in Galway includes plans to fill the positions in its new location. Mathworks is actively recruiting to fill more than 20 of these positions.