A €68m centre for medical device research has been officially launched at NUI Galway.

The Centre for Research in Medical Devices involves more than 250 researchers from a total of six academic institutions across the country.

It is being supported by Science Foundation Ireland.

The medtech industry in Ireland is booming, with more than 400 firms in operation, employing 29,000 people, and producing nearly €13 billion worth of exports a year.

Based at NUI Galway, Cúram brings together areas such as glycoscience, biomaterials science, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, drug delivery and medical device design.

It will train graduates from basic science right through to clinical application.

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It will develop medical devices that mimic the body's biology, targeting chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and Parkinson's.

Devices like electrodes that degrade inside the body and 3D printed tendons and muscles will also be designed.

The centre has secured €68m in funding, with €37m coming from SFI, €12.5 million from two dozen Irish and multinational industry partners and €19 million from the EU's Horizon 2020 research fund.

Cúram will be opened by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O'Connor, who has welcomed its establishment.