Oct 21 2014 Posted: 00:00 IST

• NUI Galway to lead new national medical device research centre
• NUI Galway to play key role in 3 of 5 new centres
• €155 million of new Exchequer funds for 5 world-class Research Centres
• €90 million co-investment by over 165 industry partners in new Centres


A new world-class medical device research centre is to be established at NUI Galway as part of a €245 million Government investment in science and technology. In addition, NUI Galway is to play a key role in two other research centres announced today in Dublin by Richard Bruton, T.D. Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and Damien English, T.D. Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation.


An announcement of a total of five new SFI Research Centres today is a major investment by the Government in scientific research which is closely aligned to industry and enterprise needs, job opportunities and societal goals. A total of €155 million of Irish exchequer funding will be invested in the new world class research centres of scale. The new funding will be delivered through Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Research Centres Programme coupled with over €90 million in cash and in-kind contributions from industry partners. The funding will be provided over the next six years with a mid-term review.


CÚRAM - The Centre for Research in Medical Devices


This major new national research centre will be based at NUI Galway. The prime objective for CÚRAM will be to radically improve health outcomes for patients by developing innovative implantable medical devices to treat major unmet medical needs.


NUI Galway’s Professor Abhay Pandit, who is currently Director of the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB), will be the Director of CÚRAM. Three high-profile Co-Directors will bring a depth and breadth of expertise to the new research centre: Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President of Research and Stokes Professor of Glycosciences and Director of AGRC at NUI Galway; Professor Tim O’Brien, Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and Professor of Medicine at NUI Galway; and Professor David Brayden, Professor of Drug Delivery at UCD.


CÚRAM will design and create implantable ‘smart’ medical devices. Implants will be designed and manufactured to respond to the body’s environment and to deliver therapeutic agents, such as drugs, exactly where needed. Cutting-edge science will develop devices using the very latest research from biomaterials, stem cells and drug delivery. Devices will be developed with strong clinical collaborations and with industry partners and hospital groups to enable rapid translation to the clinic.


CÚRAM’s outputs will benefit in particular patients with chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and musculoskeletal diseases. As the global population ages, with one in 3 people expected to be over 65 by 2050, the financial burden for healthcare is expected to rocket. CÚRAM will position Ireland as the driver in developing medical device technologies which will provide affordable transformative solutions for chronic diseases to meet this challenge.

Crucially, CÚRAM will also sustain and permanently strengthen Ireland’s standing as a major global hub for medical device sector research and development. CÚRAM brings together researchers from NUI Galway, UCD, DCU, UL, UCC and RCSI. The centre will include almost 40 industry partners and support product development and the creation of new spin-out companies. Partners will include indigenous Irish companies and multi-nationals such as Arch Therapeutics Inc, Aerogen, Medtronic Vascular Galway Ltd.

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