Minister Mary Hanafin performs ground-breaking ceremony for new National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT)
Minister Mary Hanafin TD, Minister for Social and Family Affairs, recently performed the ground breaking ceremony for the commencement of construction of the new National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) – the Government’s most strategic investment to-date in Ireland’s biopharmaceutical and biotechnology sector – at Belfield Innovation Park in Dublin. The investment, in the region of €50 million, is funded by IDA Ireland.
Prof Eugene Kennedy (DCU), Prof Terri Scott (IT Sligo), Minister Mary Hanafin TD, Dr Hugh Brady (UCD), Dr David Lloyd (TCD)
The Minister said “The investment in NIBRT illustrates the commitment of the Irish Government and IDA Ireland to developing Ireland as one of the world’s leading locations for biopharmaceutical research and production. Biotechnology is one of Ireland’s most successful business sectors with over €4.5 billion invested by companies to-date. The sector is the major growth segment of the pharmaceutical industry and now accounts for over 30% of all new drugs in development.”
As the sector world-wide suffers from a shortage of skilled people, and the industry faces challenges around process improvement and scale-up, NIBRT as a unique one stop shop differentiates Ireland by bridging the skills gap and assisting industry to overcome these challenges. NIBRT was established in 2006 and its research initiatives and education and training programmes are playing an important role in the development of Ireland’s Smart Economy.
NIBRT is an independent national institute owned by the collaborating academic institutions, University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University and IT Sligo and run by an industry-focused Board. Its training and research programmes have been underway since 2006 using the facilities at the four colleges and in conjunction with other training and education establishments throughout Ireland.
The Minister continued “NIBRT gives Ireland a competitive advantage. It also acts as a magnet of attraction for further significant investment from the bio-pharmaceutical sector and encourages the development of existing companies in the sector and the establishment of new start-up ventures in Ireland.”
NIBRT will include state-of-the-art dedicated training facilities, which will ensure Ireland has a world-class workforce to capture this growing sector, and its scale-up expertise and leading edge equipment will enable industry to solve its technical challenges and improve its processes rapidly. NIBRT builds on investments to-date in the biotechnology sector by providing real solutions to industry questions.
The Minister said “NIBRT focuses on meeting industry needs through creating a unique partnership between academia and industry. As a National Institution, NIBRT utilises the training and research capacities of the Irish universities, 3rd level institutions and training organisations to provide the breadth and depth of research needed by industry, leveraging off the State’s investment in Research, Development and Innovation to-date.”
Dr. Maurice Treacy, CEO of NIBRT, commented “We are delighted to commence construction of this strategic infrastructure. This is not just a building: this is realisation of a vision and tangible mechanism to allow the growth and expansion of the bio-pharmaceutical sector in Ireland. The state of the art facilities, the educational and training modules, the research programmes and engagement with the biopharma sector internationally will ensure the knowledge and human capital that will emerge from NIBRT will keep Ireland at the forefront of the Bio-pharmaceutical sector, and will ensure the parallel economic benefits of new jobs creation and additional inward investment will ensue.”
Joe Harford, Chairman of NIBRT, added “NIBRT’s existence, the development of its advanced research and training programmes focused on the needs for the biologics industry will provide a realistic and well co-ordinated infrastructure which will add to Ireland’s attractiveness for international biologic companies seeking a secure successful location for investments in next-generation R&D and product manufacture.”
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