State-of-art biotech R&D plant opens in Athlone

11 Jul 2008

Following its acquisition of the BioClin Research Laboratories in February, global provider of quality and safety solutions Intertek has opened an extended, state-of-the-art biotech facility in Athlone.

The opening occured in the same week as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan TD, emphasised the Government’s continued commitment to attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) of this kind when clarifying her department’s position following the government cutbacks announced this week.

“A strong R&D and innovation performance is one of the many elements in ensuring Ireland remains a competitive location for attracting FDI.

“Such FDI has been and will continue to play an important role in the development of our economy.

“In recognition of this, the FDI Sub-Programme, of the National Development Plan, IDA Ireland (and Shannon Development in the Shannon Free Zone) will invest €1.6bn over the lifetime of the plan to promote new and expansion FDI in Ireland. While international competition for FDI continues to be relentless, Ireland continues to punch above its weight when it comes to attracting overseas investment,” she said.

At 9,500ft, the new Intertek facility is about 40pc larger than the original one operated in Athlone for the past five years.

It provides contract bio-analyses and analytical R&D, with advanced analytical services including liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to the local and international pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and medical device industries. It employs 20 people, 95pc of whom are science graduates or postgraduates.

“As Intertek’s first significant laboratory in Ireland, we are pleased to bring the reach of our global network of quality and safety services and laboratories to Irish business looking to trade globally and support business growth in Athlone and greater Ireland,” said Wolfhart Hauser, Intertek’s CEO at the opening.

By Sorcha Corcoran