Nestlé is to invest over €25m to expand its Research and Development (R&D) Centre is Askeaton, in Co. Limerick.

Nestlé's existing plant in Askeaton, produces a range of high-quality premium powdered milk-based products for infants, young children and mothers for export to world markets.

The Centre will focus on global product innovation for Nestlé's Wyeth Nutrition infant and maternal nutrition business and is anticipated to open in late 2017.

Stefan Catsicas, Chief Technology Officer, Nestlé Research said that Nestlé has a long-standing reputation for excellence in food and nutrition research.

"This Centre will be a leading laboratory in food and life sciences to continue to position Nestlé at the fore of infant and maternal nutritional product development.

"It will enable our scientists to explore nutritional opportunities that can improve the health and wellness of children’s lives."

This major product development centre will be an essential part of our Global Nestlé Nutrition R&D network.

The extended R&D Centre, part of Nestlé's global R&D network of close to 5,000 people, will concentrate on developing premium, high quality, innovative, science based products for mothers and infants.

It will incorporate state of the art laboratory facilities as well as a full pilot-scale manufacturing line to facilitate development and testing of new products from initial concept through to finished product development.

The project investment is being supported by Enterprise Ireland.

Michael Cantwell, Director of the Food Division, Enterprise Ireland added that this is a strategically important investment for Ireland and is a huge vote of confidence in the future of the Irish dairy industry and the research connectedness in Ireland.

"Nestlé’s decision to extend its R&D centre at its manufacturing plant at the Askeaton site is of critical strategic importance and underpins Nestlé’s commitment to its Irish based operations."