Lens manufacturer Alcon has a clear vision for Cork

11 Sep 2008

Global eye-care company Alcon is to create 186 jobs at its operation in the IDA Business & Technology Park, Model Farm Road in Cork with an investment of €21.14m, announced today.

Alcon is involved in the development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals, surgical equipment and devices, contact-lens care and other vision care products.

In Cork since 2000, the operation is the first site outside of the US to manufacture Alcon’s leading surgical product – the AcrySof intraocular lens – which is a prosthetic lens that replaces the eye’s natural lens following cataract surgery.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin TD officially opened the first phase of a €15.6m expansion of the Cork facility today, which was announced in 2005 and supported by IDA Ireland.

“Ireland is now a leader in the field of medical technologies and the biggest and best companies globally in this industry are setting up and expanding here,” he said.

“Alcon has been particularly pleased with the demonstrated ability of the Irish workforce to consistently meet stringent manufacturing and quality demands in a short timeframe.”

Ed McGough, senior vice-president of manufacturing for Alcon, said the successful transformation of its Cork plant from the production of large refractive lasers to small, complex intraocular lenses is a testament to the ingenuity of the highly motivated workforce there.

“Producing intraocular lenses in Cork fits very nicely into our global strategy of producing the finished format of certain products as close to the final customer as possible.”

With its major operational office in Texas in the US, Alcon employs 13,500 people worldwide and has operations in more than 75 countries. It reported sales of US$5.6bn and profits of US$1.5 bn in 2007.

By Sorcha Corcoran