Biotech R&D funding directory published

29 Nov 2004

A new directory aimed at making it easier for Irish pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to access vital venture capital funding both locally and overseas has been published by two groups within IBEC, PharmaChemical Ireland and the Irish BioIndustry Association (IBIA).

The first directory of its kind to be produced in Ireland, it will help companies to navigate the maze of research and development funding and connect with the most suitable funder, said the Government’s chief scientific advisor, Barry McSweeney. The directory details the various programmes administered by national agencies and those available through the EU and will make it easier for companies to access research funding.

While the level of financial support from Government has increased, the industry is concerned at the lack of central co-ordination of the funds. “Companies often find the myriad of funding programmes and proliferation of agencies difficult to decipher,” said Ciara D’Arcy, technical director of PharmaChemical Ireland.

PharmaChemical Ireland is the trade association within IBEC representing the pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing sector in Ireland. The sector employs more than 24,000 people and its exports represent 38pc of total exports in Ireland. The Irish BioIndustry Association (IBIA) is the leading representative body for the biotechnology industry in Ireland and has nearly 40 member companies

Speaking at the launch, the chairman of PharmaChemical Ireland, Padraig Somers, stressed the need for companies to move from basic manufacturing to R&D-based activity. “In an increasingly competitive marketplace, it is vital that pharmachem and biotech companies innovate and invest in R&D activities.

“Given the increasing competition, innovation is key to the long-term future of the Irish pharmachem sector. While many companies are benefiting from funding, the level of participation could be enhanced if the funds were easier to access,” he said.

By John Kennedy