Project title: The Application of Industry-Academia Collaboration to Enhance the Development of the Biopharmaceutical Industry Workforce in Ireland
Student Name: Kathleen Love
Supervisors: Kieran Tobin, Dr Sharon Barrett, Dr Etain Kiely
The Irish Biopharmaceutical Industry is one of the significant success stories of recent years. Ireland exports over €55 billion in pharmaceuticals annually and is experiencing particularly fast growth in the biopharmaceutical segment of the industry. International competition for biotech investment is very intense, so much so that the number of countries and regions globally that are competing for biotech investment vastly outnumbers the total number of biopharmaceutical drugs that are currently in large scale manufacture. Ireland has succeeded in securing a large number of biopharmaceutical manufacturing investments and is continuing to attract investment. In September 2005, the IDA Ireland made a commitment to fund the establishment of a National institute for Bioprocessing, Research and Training (NIBRT) as a centre of excellence in bioprocessing and biomanufacturing technology training and research to support the rapidly growing biopharmaceutical Industry in Ireland. Using industry and academia collaboration, the institute now provides a supply of people across the spectrum of the biopharmaceutical industry with the necessary skills in best practice and a real time environment. The Institute gives Ireland a competitive advantage and acts as a magnet of attraction for major biopharmaceuticals investments from both overseas and indigenous companies.
The current research project is using industry-academia collaboration to develop, deliver (using on-line and blended technologies) and evaluate suitable educational resources to address the needs of the rapidly growing Biopharmaceutical Industry in Ireland.
Currently a suite of industrially relevant lab practicals in the areas of Cell Culture Processing, Protein Purification and Bioanalytics have been generated and transferred to the NIBRT facility.
The research has evolved into evaluation whereby it is now evaluating the impact educational upskilling of a company’s workforce using industry focused online courses provided by IT Sligo and NIBRT is having on the workplace. This involves a case study on a global healthcare company who are using the courses to develop employees at all levels in the organisation with a view to developing a ‘talent pool’ of employees that will be able to contribute to the organisations goals of ‘taking a central role in the country’s future in a knowledge-based economy’ in a bid to maintain their manufacturing footprint here in Ireland.