Limerick pharma tech research centre enters ‘new phase’ with €5m funding

4 Sep 2019

From left: Pat Macken, PMTC; Darren Whitaker, Perceptive Engineering; and Sarah Hayes, PMTC, at the fifth annual Knowledge Day event at UL. Image: Oisin McHugh/True Media

Based in the University of Limerick, PMTC has big plans in place for pharma manufacturing after securing new funding.

Coinciding with its fifth Knowledge Day event, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre (PMTC) – based at the University of Limerick’s (UL) Bernal Institute – announced plans to embark on a ‘new phase’ of development, having secured €5m in fresh funding.

Its organisers said that the event is a means of showcasing cutting-edge research supported by the centre, with the addition of keynote addresses from industry thought-leaders to share their vision of the future for the biopharma sector.

A key objective for PMTC is to place SMEs into direct contact with multinational corporations operating in the pharma and biopharma sectors in Ireland, allowing them to collaborate in an innovative research programme.

Irish research collaboration ‘looked at with envy’

The centre recently appointed a new director, Sarah Hayes, who said that the confirmation of funding from Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland shows “there is an appetite for innovation from the broad industry base in Ireland with its globally unique ecosystem in the biopharma sector”.

“If you ask peers in pharma multinationals in Europe and the US, the research collaboration in Ireland is looked at with envy,” she added.

Among its three core research themes are plant cleaning, process control and the optimisation of data analytics. A recent evaluation found the projected economic value-add of PMTC will be €17.24 for every €1 invested by the State through Enterprise Ireland by 2022.

“PMTC aims to grow its membership and work more closely with those existing members so that we understand their long-term business needs and can quickly position ourselves to meet those opportunities,” Hayes said.

“PMTC provides an introduction platform, giving the SMEs a place at the table so that they can directly engage in technical discussions with MNCs, which is a key enabler for those indigenous companies.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic