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2 minute read - 27th November 2023

Eakin Healthcare invests £19m in new R&D centre

Eakin Healthcare has invested £19m in a new ostomy R&D centre of excellence at its international headquarters in Comber, Northern Ireland.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Eakin Healthcare is a family-owned business which manufactures and supplies medical devices for ostomy, wound, respiratory and surgical needs.

Supported by Invest Northern Ireland, the investment in R&D will enable Eakin Healthcare to add pilot lines including skin friendly medical adhesives and the creation of the next generation of ostomy pouches. Eakin Healthcare’s products are available in over 60 countries, with employees spanning across nine countries including France, Germany, the Netherlands and Japan.

Eakin Healthcare has invested £19m to create an ostomy R&D centre of excellence at its HQ in Northern Ireland / Picture: Eakin Healthcare

Padraic Dempsey, CEO of Eakin Healthcare, said: “The patient has always been at the heart of everything we do. As we have an aging population with more chronic conditions, our purpose continues to be ensuring that we help people to live as normal a life as possible. Our new centre of excellence will support us to achieve this by developing life enhancing products which will support people who have had stoma surgery globally to lead a life with confidence and dignity for many years to come. We are extremely grateful to Invest NI for its partnership and support.”

Dr. Martin Crockard, director of development at Eakin Healthcare, added: “An important aspect of the ostomy centre of excellence is collaboration with our excellent local universities and further education colleges, the regional City Deal initiatives and Northern Ireland’s renowned small to medium businesses, particularly in engineering and support services. These links will increase Eakin’s knowledge base, driving innovation and agility to provide competitive advantage while, crucially, supporting Eakin’s desire to create products that meet the complex needs of our customers across the world.”

Dr Vicky Kell, director of innovation, research and development at Invest Northern Ireland, said: “Today’s announcement secures the future of Eakin as a homegrown pioneer in ostomy healthcare, while simultaneously enhancing Northern Ireland’s reputation as a global centre of innovation in engineering and healthcare. It’s also great to see this investment supporting the creation of up to 16 new roles within the company’s R&D, operation and commercial teams at its Comber facility. The economic benefits of R&D within key growth sectors such as advanced manufacturing and life and health sciences are recognised within the Department for the Economy’s 10x Vision. As we seek to grow our local economy, investments such as this are vital.”

Invest NI’s R&D support is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth and Jobs Northern Ireland (2014–2020) programme.

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