UL pharma centre receives €1.3m funding to clean up industry’s act

14 Jun 2017

Image: Rattiya Thongdumhyu/Shutterstock

A pharmaceutical centre at UL has secured significant funding from Enterprise Ireland to support ‘economically important’ research projects.

The pharma industry in Ireland, and globally, is immense. It also plays a key role in the State’s plans to spread industry and employment throughout the country, with its strong west-coast heritage meaning Connacht isn’t left behind.

On that note, Enterprise Ireland funding heading in this direction is rarely a surprise, which is why the new investment of €1.3m for pharma manufacturing research finance at University of Limerick (UL) makes sense.

Future Human

UL pharma

The Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre (PMTC), based at UL, is the organisation receiving the funding, with ‘economically important’ research projects the primary focus.

The funding will aid efforts to improve cleaning processes in the industry, and contribute to network competitiveness in areas such as product-to-product changeover. The research will lead to increased cost savings, and will ensure improved effectiveness in the biopharmaceutical industry, helping to secure jobs.

“Our primary focus in PMTC is to advance cutting-edge innovation; bringing forward novel technologies to advance Irish-based biopharmaceutical companies,” said Dr Chris Edlin, director of the centre.

Edlin claims that the funding will help PMTC to “strengthen our capabilities and expand our services to more partners”, of which some are involved in the Enterprise Ireland allocation.

Dr. Chris Eldin (left), director PMTC and Prof Gavin Walker, Bernal chair of pharmaceutical powder eng. Image: Alan Place

From left: Dr Chris Eldin, director at PMTC, with Prof Gavin Walker, Bernal chair of pharmaceutical powder engineering at UL. Image: Alan Place

For example, the centre currently assists more than 30 companies on pharmaceutical manufacturing projects, including continuous manufacturing, plant cleaning and process engineering.

Pfizer is one of the businesses involved, and Dr Liam Tully, director of Pfizer API technology, said that PMTC enhances his company’s competitiveness.

He added that it “ensures, through direct engagement on innovative partnership projects, a sustained focus on applying innovative science and technology in our manufacturing facilities”.

Outstanding project performance relating to industry-informed research activities at PMTC led to the allocation of the funding.

Edlin concluded: “Furthermore, this investment will deliver highly skilled postgraduate jobs, driving enterprise and employment growth in the region.”

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic