Stryker submits plans for €22m Cork expansion

US surgical device maker Stryker has submitted plans for a $30m (€22m) expansion to its Cork facility that will make the location a hub for the group’s R&D activity.

Stryker, which also makes orthopaedic implants, announced last year that it planned to make the major investment in its existing Cork facility. The plans have just been lodged with Cork County Council.

They call for a 4,144sq m (44,600sq ft) two-storey research and development and product innovation centre.

“This will provide for product design and technology development, product testing facilities and manufacturing process development areas at ground-floor level,” the application notes. It will also include product training facilities and other ancillary works.

The first floor of the new building will house technical support areas.

The investment in the Stryker plant will see the company develop its next generation of surgical devices in Cork.

Staff at the facility will work closely with the company’s headquarters in Kalamazoo, Michigan, as well as other divisions to develop those products. The new implements will eventually be used in a range of medical procedures at hospitals around the world.

It is expected that the new R&D facility will employ 20 people when it’s completed.

“The products being developed in Ireland have the potential to significantly impact the efficiency with which surgical procedures are carried out,” said IDA chief Barry O’Leary last year.

“Ireland enjoys a strong global reputation as a leading location for R&D in the life sciences sector and this reputation is further enhanced with Stryker’s decision.”

Initially announcing the plant last year, Stryker said the new facility represented an important investment for the company.

Stryker has two facilities in Cork, at Carrigtwohill, as well as another plant in Limerick.

In 2011, it announced that it was making 142 people redundant in Cork due to plans to merge its two facilities there into one operation. It employed a total of 700 people in Cork at the time. Another 500 people are employed in Limerick.

Stryker is the world’s second-biggest seller of orthopaedic devices. Last month, it agreed to pay $1.65bn (€1.2bn) to buy a company that makes technology used in robot-assisted surgery.

Last week, Stryker said that its net profit in the last quarter slumped 70pc because costs related to recalled products impacted sales of its products. Its net sales in the period rose to $2.15bn (€1.57bn) from $2.05bn (€1.5bn)

Stryker is the subject of a mass of lawsuits regarding some products it had to recall. Source: the Irish Independent.