A €52m research and teaching project at the University of Limerick has been described as one of the most significant investments in science and engineering ever in Ireland.
More than 220 new jobs in teaching and construction will be created by the Bernal Project which is designed to give Ireland the edge in research in the pharmaceutical, biomedical and energy sciences.
The project was officially launched by Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday.
"Today is an exceptional day not for Limerick and the mid-west but for the entire country," Mr Kenny said.
"This project is exactly the kind of development Ireland needs as we continue to enhance our attractiveness as a location for inward investment and jobs in research and development," he added.
Some 75 long-term research and teaching jobs will be created and an estimated 150 construction jobs.
The Bernal Project involves the recruitment of 10 leading professors, from some of the top 100 ranked universities in the world.
According to Dr Mary Shire, UL vice president of research, the project will have a major impact in promoting Ireland as a location for investment.
Meanwhile, there was further good news on the jobs front as more than 100 new highly skilled positions are to be created with the opening of a €10m expansion at Alltech.
It is to double its workforce at its European headquarters in Dunboyne, Co Meath, which will see staff numbers rise from 100 to over 200.