Taoiseach Brian Cowen has officially opened a European Services Centre in Dublin for Covidien, a multinational medical supplies company.

The company announced plans to invest €1.8m in medical technology research, and into a development project with three Irish academic institutions. But the details will not be announced until later this year.

200 people are employed at the European Services Centre. In 2008, the firm announced plans to close down 17 operations across Europe and consoldiate them at the centre in Cherrywood.

In May, Covidien announced that it was seeking 199 redundancies at its plant in Tullamore, Co Offaly, reducing the number of staff to 450.