Printer giant Hewlett-Packard (Manufacturing) Limited (HP) is to invest €21.4m in a Technology Development Centre at its inkjet manufacturing facility in Leixlip, Co Kildare.
The IDA-supported unit will be responsible for a number of activities, including the co-development of a new generation of integrated print-head inkjet technology, which incorporates a sophisticated integrated circuit on each print cartridge.
Making the announcement, Tánaiste Mary Harney TD said: “This is a further significant high-value high-end project for Ireland from a global leader in its business and it demonstrates that Ireland remains competitive for such strategic investments by international companies. The investment is a perfect fit with the Government’s policy for the expansion of R&D in Ireland and the attraction of further high calibre, knowledge-led activities into Ireland.”
The Tánaiste added that the new unit should also increase the number of joint research projects between HP and research institutions. “Some proposed research programmes are already under discussion with NUI Maynooth, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University and NMRC in Cork,” noted the Tánaiste.
Lionel Alexander, vice-president and general manager of the inkjet facility said: “This investment underlines the natural progression of the site from being purely a manufacturing entity to an organisation having a greater level of responsibility for earlier stages of research and development cycles. In addition, the new centre is a significant capability step-up for [Leixlip] to further exploit the available competencies. This model enables HP to create an effective global R&D capability using the huge talent the company has due to its geographical and global presence.”
The inkjet facility is one of three such plants within HP’s Imaging and Printing Group worldwide. It employs 1,800 people out of a total HP Ireland workforce of 4,000.
By Brian Skelly