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Government announces €72 million research
investment on UCD campus.

Micheal Martin TD.
Micheal Martin TD, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment .

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin TD announced that the Government has approved a proposal from IDA Ireland to fund the establishment of a National Institute for Bioprocessing, Research and Training (NIBRT).

This new State-of-the-Art Institute to be established by UCD, TCD, DCU and Sligo IT and will be based at the UCD Industry Park. It will receive in excess of €72m over the next 7 years in state support to establish the Institute, its world class research and training programmes and a 9,000 sq. metre facility with a substantial scale up capacity.

In July 2004, IDA Ireland issued an invitation for proposals to establish this new Institute and following an extensive independent international review and negotiation; the submission from a consortium led by UCD in partnership with TCD, DCU and Sligo IT was accepted and submitted to government for funding through IDA Ireland.

The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT), which will be only one of a small number of its kind in the world, will be a centre of excellence in bioprocessing and biomanufacturing technology training and research to support the rapidly growing biopharmaceutical industry in Ireland. A key element will be the substantial investment in a scale up capability within which the training and research can take place. This relatively unique capability will make the training and research carried out at the Institute highly relevant to the needs of the Biopharmaceutical industry in Ireland and throughout the world.

Dr Hugh Brady, president of UCD, warmly welcomed the announcement. “Through this initiative Minister Micheal Martin has confirmed the Government’s commitment to developing the knowledge economy. Co-operation between the higher education sector and the IDA is a recipe for success in the next phase of economic development for Ireland.”

The pharmaceutical sector employs over 20,000 people at 83 locations throughout the country and annual exports from the sector exceed €30 billion. Ireland has the enviable record of attracting 25% of the entire pharmaceutical industry’s foreign direct investment. Through NIBRT we are taking a quantum leap in providing world class facilities for pharmaceutical bioprocessing researchers in Ireland and will provide a unique opportunity for our highly skilled graduates. National, intervarsity investments such as NIBRT underline the education sector’s commitment to supporting the Government’s vision of developing the knowledge economy in Ireland and attracting industry.”

The NIBRT facility will include large-scale fermentation facilities that are capable of growing fragile cell cultures under controlled conditions, a core technology for the growing bioprocessing sector in Ireland. The facility will ensure that Ireland has the skilled workforce required to support this technology-intensive industry.

NIBRT will be an independent national institute owned by the collaborating academic institutions, University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University and Institute of Technology, Sligo. It will be operated independently of the third level institutions and run by an independent board with the Chairperson appointed by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

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