170 new jobs are to be created at one of Europe's leading technology research facilities based in Cork.

The jobs will be created over the next four years through a €50m investment at the Tyndall National Institute, the country's biggest information and communications technology research centre.

The Tyndall Institute was established by University College Cork, the Department of Enterprise and Science Foundation Ireland just three years ago and already employs 330 people.

Almost 100 of these are PhD students. The institute brings together researchers from UCC, Cork Institute of Technology and the National Microelectronics Centre.

Tyndall undertakes research work for some of the world's leading technology companies, including Intel, Analog Devices and Hewlett Packard.

The €50m investment will allow Tyndall to develop new laboratories and dedicated space for industry researchers.

Tyndall forecasts that by the time the expansion programme is completed, the institute will be generating €40m in annual research income.

Enterprise Minister Micheál Martin said the investment will confirm the Tyndall Institute as a world class research facility and will help meet the Government's target of doubling PhD numbers by 2013.

Meanwhile, an Indian-owned software company is to create 200 jobs in Belfast.

Tech Mahindra is involved in the IT and telecoms sector. The new investment means that 2,500 people are now employed in Northern Ireland by Indian IT companies.