BMS and UCD partner on talent pipeline project

2 Mar 2017

From left: Prof Andrew Deeks, president of UCD, with Dr Noel Heaney, GM of BMS. Image: Jason Clarke

UCD and BMS have teamed up to develop a programme to bring skilled graduates into the biopharmaceutical industry.

Well into its primary aim of investing €1bn into a new biologics manufacturing facility in Dublin, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has joined forces with University College Dublin (UCD) on a talent pipeline project.

The aim is to support the university’s programme to expand skills and talent to help supply the growing demand for well-qualified graduates in Ireland’s pharma sector.

The partnership will see collaborations across a variety of areas with the main focus on talent, research, and CSR. Course content will be consistently under review to ensure that it stays relevant.

BMS staff will contribute to courses, with lecturing a possibility, while a formal internship programme is also in the works.

A number of research activities will be undertaken between the duo, with the CSR side of things relating to scholarships and further support for students yet to attend university.

“I am particularly pleased that our partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb will contribute directly to the national economy,” said Prof Andrew Deeks, president of UCD.

“In addition to working together in research and corporate social responsibility, collaboration in talent development will provide excellent opportunities for the next generation of scientists and engineers.”

BMS is making continued progress in its Cruiserath investment, with around 200 of the 400-strong workforce announced two years ago already in place.

“This development has been supported by the strong relationships we have built with academic institutions and the innovation community across Ireland,” said Dr Noel Heaney, GM of BMS.

“Our partnership with UCD is one which is well established and multifaceted, and has contributed towards many of our recent successes. This agreement signals a new strategic approach to our engagement with UCD, which will consolidate and build on this important relationship.”

Last year, BMS announced a €1m collaboration with the National Institute of Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) in Dublin to create a sci-tech hub.

The new bioprocessing lab will be based at NIBRT, where 12 BMS scientists will work with their hosts to help improve the research and supply line of their drugs.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic