Minister Bruton announces expansion of Amgen Biotech Experience


Over 13,500 secondary school students are to benefit from a biotechnology hands-on lab experience over the next three years, after the Amgen Foundation announced an expansion of its Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) progamme in partnership with University College Dublin (UCD) and Dublin City University (DCU). By 2020, ABE will have reached over 21,000 students in Ireland, bringing the Amgen Foundation’s investment in the Ireland to approximately €470,000.

2018 Launch ABE Global Meeting - Minister and Rockford Manor pupilThe Amgen Biotech Experience programme empowers secondary school science teachers to implement real-world biotechnology labs in their classrooms, helping their students better understand science and how it influences their daily lives. The three-week in-class lab initiative provides teacher professional development, teaching materials and research-grade equipment to classrooms, to immerse students in the concepts and techniques scientists use to discover and develop medicines.

Operational in Ireland since 2014, ABE has already benefited over 7,500 students. This latest announcement is part of the Amgen Foundation’s global efforts to reach nearly 900,000 secondary school students in 18 regions around the world by 2020, bringing its total commitment to ABE to more than $25 million. In addition, the Foundation's total commitment to STEM education has now reached more than $125 million globally.

The announcement was made at the Amgen Biotech Experience Global Conference in Dublin, attended by over 60 science education leaders, representing many top global third level institutions, including Harvard University, UC Berkeley, École Normale Supérieure, Technical University of Munich and other world-renowned universities and educational organizations. The conference coincided with the STEM Alliance European STEM Discovery Week 2018, an EU wide initiative that brings together industries, Ministries of Education and education stakeholders, to promote STEM education and careers to young Europeans.

Opening the conference, the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD said,
“Encouraging more students to pursue an interest in STEM education is a priority for my Department. Our goal is to make Ireland the best in Europe in the provision of STEM education. For that objective to be reached, we need our students to be equipped with the necessary skills to adapt to a rapidly changing world and transformed employment market. That is why initiatives such as the Amgen Biotech Experience play such an important role in the development of Irish STEM education.”

Pictured: Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD and Alannah Fagen from Rockford Manor Presentation Secondary School, Blackrock at the Amgen Biotech Experience Global Conference in the Herbert Park Hotel, Dublin.

“The Amgen Foundation’s partnership with UCD and DCU has been a vital part of the Amgen Biotech Experience’s proven impact in boosting students’ interest and confidence in studying science and biotechnology,” said Rayne Waller, VP of Regional Manufacturing and Site Head at Amgen Dun Laoghaire. “We are excited to build on this programme’s proven success and bring hands-on science education to even more students, teachers and communities in Ireland.”

ABE has been proven to make a positive contribution to the delivery of STEM education. Results of an independent and rigorous evaluation by educational experts, WestEd, found that ABE students have shown significant and substantial gains in biotechnology learning, as well as increased confidence and interest in studying science and biotechnology. The results show that:

• ABE students had a statistically significant increase of their biotechnology knowledge and skills (p < 0.001);
• Averaged a 20 percent increase between pre- and post-test scores;
• 82 percent of students got new ideas about what happens in science labs;
• 72 percent of students got new ideas about what science is;
• 53 percent of students are more interested in learning about science research; and
• 53 percent of students report increased interest in science careers from ABE participation.

About the Amgen Foundation

The Amgen Foundation seeks to advance excellence in science education to inspire the next generation of innovators and to invest in strengthening communities, where Amgen staff members live and work. To date, the Foundation has donated nearly $300 million to local, regional, and international non-profit organizations that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways. The Amgen Foundation brings the excitement of discovery to the scientists of tomorrow through several signature programs, including Amgen Scholars, Amgen Biotech Experience, Amgen Teach, and Khan Academy. For more information, visit

About Amgen Biotech Experience
Established in Ireland in 2014, the Amgen Biotech Experience is delivered by Systems Biology Ireland, UCD and the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, DCU. It is an innovative science education programme that provides teacher professional development, curriculum materials, and research-grade equipment and supplies to secondary schools. The programme features a hands-on molecular biology curriculum, designed to introduce students to the excitement of scientific discovery. Each year, over 80,000 students and more than 1,000 science teachers participate in this programme, and have the opportunity to explore the methods scientists use to create biotechnology medicines.

For more information on Amgen Biotech Experience, visit: (global)

About Amgen
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.

Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world's leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.

For more information, visit

About Amgen Dun Laoghaire (ADL)
Amgen Dun Laoghaire is a 37,000 square metre aseptic operations facility, specialising in secondary manufacturing activities – formulation, fill, lyophilisation and packaging. The ADL site also includes laboratories and cold chain warehouse capabilities. We have developed the capability to produce over 90% of our medicines in Dun Laoghaire, helping to ensure continuity of supply of Amgen medicines as we expand internationally. The site is also the winner of Pharma Industry Company of the Year 2016 and winner of Biopharma Company of the Year 2017.