A major investment from biopharma giant GE Healthcare in Cork will produce 500 new jobs upon the completion of a ‘BioPark’
With building work targeted to begin in under 12 months, GE’s biopharma manufacturing campus will play host to a number of new companies, helped by the provision of an interesting facility on site.
Called KUBio, the facility will be the first of its kind in Europe, providing prefabricated, off-the-shelf bio-manufacturing facilities to independent biopharma companies, and will serve as a focal point for further investment in next-generation biopharmaceutical manufacturing in Ireland.
GE jobs in Cork
There will be four KUBio sites in the BioPark, each owned by a separate company. These companies will create 400 of the expected 500 jobs coming down the line.
The final 100 will be directly employed by GE, which will run centralised shared utilities and site services on site.
“The choice of Ireland for this strategically important investment by GE is a significant win,” said Martin Shanahan, CEO of the IDA.
“The biopharmaceutical manufacturing campus will greatly assist IDA Ireland win additional bio-manufacturing investments by acting as a catalyst to attract new innovator drug companies and to transition and grow existing operations.”
History of investment
“Ireland has won more than €10bn in the past 10 years in biotech investment, building on a long history in pharmaceutical manufacturing, and is now one of the world’s top locations for biopharma, which creates significant secondary employment in construction and other services.”
Production capacity for biopharma companies is set to rise across the board amid “rapid, global growth” of the industry, according to the IDA.
The idea behind KUBio sites is that they allow host companies to quickly deploy new manufacturing processes, getting medicines to market faster.
KUBios increase manufacturing flexibility and are up to 50pc more cost-effective to build than comparable traditional facilities, according to the IDA.
“Carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced by 75pc and water and energy use by approximately 80pc. Build time can be shortened to 18 months from the usual three years,” the body said.
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