Dublin to host major biopharma conference and MIT health hackathon

26 May 2016

Pictured at the launch of BioPharma Ambition at The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT), Dublin were )l-r): Matt Moran, Director of BioPharmachem Ireland; Dominic Carolan, Chief Executive, NIBRT; Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell-O'Connor; and Leisha Daly, President of the Irish Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association (IPHA).

The biopharma world will descend on Dublin this September for two major events: BioPharma Ambition 2016 and the first MIT health hackathon in Ireland, co-hosted with DCU Alpha.

The major biopharma event comes following a collaboration between the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) and BioPharma Chem Ireland (BPCI) with help from the National Institute for BioProcessing Research and Training (NIBRT), and takes place on 21-22 September this year.

NIBRT recently hosted a major biopharma jobs fair for Ireland, attended by many of the leading pharma MNCs based here, and will now be hosting international policy leaders, researchers and senior industry personnel to shine a spotlight on the booming sector.

Over the course of the two days, the organisers of BioPharma Ambition 2016 will showcase the latest research and discuss how Ireland plans to facilitate the sector, with events taking place across a number of venues, including Dublin Castle, the Trinity Biosciences Institute, NIBRT and Dublin City University (DCU).

Health hackathon prior to convention

A second event will also be hosted as, for the first time in Ireland, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Hacking Medicine programme will co-host a health hackathon in partnership with DCU Alpha.

The hackathon will be held the weekend prior to the convention and will aim to bring in a number of teams to help trash out ideas on ways to improve patient pathways and clinical care.

Speaking at the announcement of BioPharma Ambition, the IPHA president Dr Leisha Daly said: “This is perhaps the biggest and most ambitious pharma-related event ever hosted in Ireland.

“It is very fitting that we are having it here, as Ireland is today a global player when it comes to the development and manufacture of new medicines.”

As for the hackathon, Christopher Lee, leader of MIT Hacking Medicine, said: “MIT Hacking Medicine is extremely excited to bring its healthcare hacking and design-thinking model to Ireland.

“We are honoured to have the opportunity to bring a piece of the Boston and MIT entrepreneurship ecosystem to Ireland, and hope this is the beginning of an even more fruitful collaboration.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic