Leaders in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector in Ireland gathered at University of Limerick today for the third annual Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre (PMTC) Knowledge Day.

The event provided a showcase for the cutting-edge research supported by the centre with key note addresses from industry thought leaders who shared their vision of the future for the pharmaceutical sector.

Speakers included industry experts and academic leaders from international organisations such as Hyde Engineering, Pfizer, University of Cambridge, Novartis and Ecolabs, among others.

“Ireland has a renowned pharmaceutical sector: Research and development in pharmaceutical manufacturing and process efficiencies is critical to strengthening and developing it. PMTC research is bringing forward novel technologies to advance Irish-based biopharmaceutical companies which ultimately will deliver highly-skilled postgraduate jobs, driving enterprise and employment growth in the region,” PMTC Director, Chris Edlin said.

“This annual event brings together academic groups, industry and government agencies to showcase state-of-the-art applied research into contemporary industry problems. It was extremely pleasing to welcome established partners plus a growing cohort of new companies interested in collaboration,” Dr Edlin continued.

In his address at the Knowledge Day, Seán Kelly, MEP, said: “The idea of BIOPHARMA in Europe is one I fully support and want to help make a reality. It can fill a unique position in driving innovation in pharmaceutical manufacturing: indeed, without innovation in this area we will not be able to achieve our objectives in Europe to realise the ambitions of personalised and targeted medicine. For this to happen we need to understand better the manufacturing process and drive innovation to reach a new, more flexible and productive manufacturing paradigm”.

Commenting on the Knowledge Day, Fearghal Downey, Technical Director Europe, Hyde Engineering, said “It was great to see such a diversity of delegates and also that the PMTC has become a centre of excellence in pharmaceutical research and indeed a focal point for industry to congregate and network. I believe in such a fast changing market environment driven by scientific and technology advancements. From Hyde’s perspective, the PMTC provides the potential for us to access highly-skilled workers and technology which can support our R & D activities and our business growth strategy around the world. This is an invaluable service to industry and one that Ireland can be very proud of”. 

Professor Ian Wilson of University of Cambridge described the Knowledge Day as “a great opportunity to present to a wide range of industry and academic delegates with the shared vision and key science for improving pharmaceutical manufacturing”.

Speaking at the Knowledge Day, Dr Majella Maher from Enterprise Ireland discussed the supports available from Enterprise Ireland. Dr Jay Chopra from Making Shift Happen spoke about inspiring creativity and innovation in organisations. Sean Kelly,  MEP addressed their audience and gave valuable insight on the importance of collaborative research and accessing European Union funding vehicles to address Bio pharma requirements collectively.

More than 250 delegates attended the event with more than 40 pharmaceutical companies and key Government agencies represented.

PMTC is funded through the Technology Centre Initiative, a joint programme between Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland allowing Irish companies and multinationals to work together.