Medical technology company Becton Dickinson has formally opened a new research facility at Plassey Technological Park in Limerick, creating an additional 85 jobs at its Irish operations.

BD has been in Ireland since 1964 after it established its first manufacturing site in Drogheda. 

It currently employs more than 1,300 employees in Ireland across Drogheda, Dun Laoghaire and its two sites in Limerick.

The global company is involved in medical technology, diagnostics, medical research and health care management. 

The company said the €21m investment in its new R&D centre of excellence in Limerick will drive its international growth. 

It will concentrate on product and software development, clinical research instrumentation, and prototype development primarily for its life sciences business. 

BD said this will require significant hiring of R&D staff, collaboration with local universities and the development of new technical capabilities. 

An extensive renovation of the former Unigolf premises at Plassey Technological Park at Castletroy in Limerick has now taken place to house its current 100 employees in Limerick as well as the further 85 new employees.

"BD's decision to open our global research centre here in Limerick is based on the region's highly skilled talent, our strong relationships with local universities and Limerick's stellar reputation as an important Life Sciences hub," commented Dennis Gilbert, Senior Vice President for R&D at BD. 

"Announcing 85 additional new jobs today further strengthens our commitment to investing in Ireland, and we will be able to further accelerate our recruitment efforts here to continue to build on our expertise and capabilities," he added.