Establishment of four factories is expected to create up to 500 jobs
GE is set to invest €150 million in a new biopharmaceutical manufacturing campus at the IDA’s strategic site at Loughbeg, Ringaskiddy, County Cork.
It will establish four prefabricated, off-the-shelf biologics factories for GE customers in the GE Biopark Cork, creating up to 500 jobs in the process.
Some 400 of these positions will be with biopharma companies and a further 100 will be employed directly by GE.
The construction phase, subject to planning approvals, is expected to begin by mid-2017 and create up to 800 construction jobs.
GE BioPark Cork will be a GE-managed campus including four fully-equipped KUBio factories owned by independent biopharma companies manufacturing proprietary medicines, with GE running centralised shared utilities and site services.
KUBios increase manufacturing flexibility and are between 25-50% more cost-effective to build than comparable traditional facilities. They can also be constructed in a mere 18 months, as opposed to the typical three years.
GE is also in the process of setting up a training collaboration with the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) to develop skills for Ireland’s biologics sector, training 1,500 professionals per year.
The NIBRT-GE Single-use Centre of Excellence will be housed in NIBRT’s Dublin facility.
Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said:
"The biopharma industry makes a huge contribution to the Irish economy in terms of jobs and manufacturing exports, and is one of the fastest growing sectors. I am delighted that GE is making a significant investment in Cork.
"This is a further testament to our talented workforce. All investment and jobs created has a positive knock on effect on the wider region. Over 28,000 people currently work in biopharma and 6,000 of those work in biologics.
"This subsector is expected to double in the coming years and will provide both a challenge and an opportunity for the industry and training providers to collaborate on promoting the range of career opportunities available. I welcome GE's commitment to Ireland and wish them every success in the future."
Kieran Murphy, CEO of GE Healthcare Life Sciences, commented:
"Pharma companies worldwide are racing to respond to patient needs with new life-changing biological medicines and GE is investing in technology and service solutions, as well as industry skills and expertise, to enable them to make and get their products to market more quickly.
"We are delighted to be investing once again in Ireland, where we have ourselves a long history of manufacturing our own medical imaging products."