The US healthcare products company Covidien is to invest €900,000 in medical technologies research and development projects at the National University of Ireland (NUI) in Galway, over the next two years. This is the first phase of an investment of €1.8 million with Irish academic institutions, which Covidien announced in July.
Covidien plans to set up three collaborative programmes to support active technology development projects. The Galway investment covers the first two of these, with information about the third project to follow in the coming months.
Speaking about Covidien’s investment, Scott Flora, President, Surgical Devices, said the medical devices sector in Ireland is of critical importance to the country’s economic recovery. “We believe the medical devices and health sectors will be a thriving part of Ireland’s business growth and high-technology job creation in the future.” Through these collaborative programs, Covidien hopes to incentivise students to choose science as a career.
The projects will involve a number of research groups based in the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway, including the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) and the Centre for Pain Research (CPR). Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway Terry Smith said the investment is “yet another” tangible benefit arising from government investment in R&D. “[It] acknowledges the part which Irish research plays in translating research from the bench to the clinic.”
Project Number One will take forward research at NUI Galway in biomaterials that can be coupled with biologic factors such as growth factors and/or other biologics that promote wound healing and tissue regeneration. The aim of the project is to develop materials containing microspheres for growth factor delivery and to produce assays to test the efficacy of these systems in promoting local wound healing.
Project Number Two aims to is to model conditions created during surgery and understand how product concepts perform under these conditions.