Abbott brings €440M and 1,000 jobs to Ireland to ramp up diabetes tech production

Ireland has found its pot of gold—no leprechaun needed. Bringing the luck is Abbott, which has laid out plans to expand its Irish footprint, focusing primarily on building up production capacity for its continuous glucose monitoring technologies.

The growth plan—which has already received the support of the Irish government, through its Industrial Development Agency—will target two regions of the Emerald Isle, which will receive a total investment of 440 million euros (about $451 million) and up to 1,000 high-skill jobs, according to a Friday announcement from the IDA.

In Kilkenny, a town located in southeast Ireland, Abbott will build a new manufacturing facility—pending local planning permission—to “substantially increase” production of its diabetes division’s flagship FreeStyle Libre CGM system, per the agency. If approved, the facility will be located within the IDA Business and Technology Park in the Loughboy townland of Kilkenny.

The 250,000-square-foot space will be a greenfield facility, meaning it’ll be built on an undeveloped area of land. It’ll mark Abbott’s first entry into the area, joining the medtech giant’s outposts in seven other towns and cities of Ireland.

The second prong of the 440 million euro investment plan will build on one of those existing outposts: Abbott’s diabetes care facility in Donegal, a town in the northwest region of the country. According to the company, the Donegal facility is its sole producer of the entire global supply of blood glucose test strips used with its FreeStyle technologies.

IDA didn’t disclose exactly how the Donegal space’s portion of the funding will be used, describing it only as a further investment in the diabetes-focused facility.

“This new investment by Abbott in Donegal and Kilkenny is hugely welcome news,” Micheál Martin, Ireland’s taoiseach, or prime minister, said in a statement. “Abbott has a long and successful history, first establishing operations in Ireland in 1946, and this new investment is a great vote of confidence in the workforce here and in this country as a place to invest.”

It’s been a busy year for medtech investments in Ireland. In recent months, both Cerenovus—Johnson & Johnson’s neurovascular device-focused business—and Boston Scientific have flooded millions of euros into their existing Galway locations to expand manufacturing.

And earlier this month, Stryker doubled down on its own Irish footprint. It opened a new, 156,000-square-foot 3D printing facility in Cork, joining the 100,000-square-foot facility it already operates in the area. Though neither the devicemaker nor the IDA detailed the cost of Stryker’s investment, the new facility was estimated to add 600 jobs to the area.