I-Form, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing, has signed a multi-year agreement with Castlebar-based Fort Wayne Metals to develop components for use in next generation medical devices.

The agreement is part of a €10m five-year expansion programme which created 80 additional science and technology jobs in Co Mayo since 2019.

The company said today's announcement will result in additional job opportunities due to the new research collaboration.

The US firm is researching Additive Manufacturing (3D printing) of wire and tubing using metal alloys as part of the four-year deal. 

End products in the medical field that can use these devices will include next generation catheters and stents. 

I-Form said its mission is to shape the future of manufacturing through high-impact research into the application of digital technologies to materials processing.

"This long-term engagement with I-Form will be an important part of our R&D programme and supports our recently announced expansion at the Castlebar site.

"We look forward to collaborating on the development of additively manufactured components for the medical device industry," said Michael O'Donnell, Managing Director of Fort Wayne Metals Ireland.

The I-Form research team will be led by Professor Dermot Brabazon at Dublin City University (DCU). 

"The cutting-edge additive manufacturing equipment and expertise across the I-Form Centre will support the delivery of this collaborative research programme with Fort Wayne Metals.

"We are excited to partner with the company on developing innovative components for the next generation of medical devices," Professor Brabazon said.

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said that collaboration and innovation are at the very core of the SFI Research Centre network, which continues to build on Ireland's international reputation for research excellence.