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Posted 10 June 2011

Minister opens €57 million facility to support biopharmaceutical industry

The Minister for Research & Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD has officially opened the new €57million National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT).

The 6,500sq metre facility will support the biopharmaceutical industry in Ireland by educating and training highly skilled staff and conducting ground-breaking research in collaboration with industry.

NIBRT represents a major strategic investment in the bioprocessing industry in Ireland and is an innovative collaboration between four leading Higher Education Institutes – University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Institute of Technology, Sligo and Dublin City University, and supported by the Irish Government and IDA Ireland.

The NIBRT facility closely replicates an industrial bioprocessing environment. This unique design will allow trainees to learn and practice complex technical bioprocessing procedures and to enhance their skills using the most modern equipment and facilities available.

“The pharmaceutical industry plays a critical role in the economic well-being of Ireland and the new NIBRT facility sets Ireland apart as a world class location for these companies,” said Minister Sherlock who officially opened NIBRT.

“This is a far-sighted investment by the Government and IDA Ireland, to underpin the development of the pharmaceutical industry by supporting the collaboration with the founding Higher Education Institutes to establish NIBRT.”

Mr Joe Harford, Chairperson of NIBRT said:

“This new facility will play a vital role in training personnel for the bioprocessing industry in Ireland. The availability of such excellent research facilities and highly skilled staff will also support IDA Ireland as it seeks to attract further biopharmaceutical companies to establish operations here.

Our ability to successfully integrate ground-breaking research with world class training and education makes NIBRT globally unique”.

Professor Ian Marison, Interim Director of NIBRT, said:

“We are offering trainees and students an incredible learning experience. NIBRT will help to position Ireland as a global centre of excellence in bioprocessing. Our trainees will be the future leaders in an industry which plays such an important role in the Irish economy. Our aim is also to work with industry to identify the key issues affecting the biopharma industry today and to put together expert teams of scientists to solve these problems”.

CEO, IDA Ireland, Mr Barry O’Leary said:

“Ireland has a long, successful track-record of attracting significant pharmaceutical investment from multinationals. We have now established Ireland as the second largest Development and Manufacturing (D&M) location in the world for Biopharmaceuticals, after the US. Global leaders in the Biopharmaceuticals  sector that have already undertaken significant investments in Ireland include Pfizer, Merck, Amgen, Genzyme (Sanofi), Lilly, Centocor (Johnson & Johnson), Allergan and Mylan. The establishment of NIBRT will further improve Ireland’s value proposition in attracting further Biopharmaceutical investment to Ireland.”

In a joint statement, the partner academic institutions, University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Institute of Technology Sligo, and Dublin City University said:

“We are delighted to see the efforts of the partners and the IDA come to fruition. Ireland needs to retain its global leadership in research and education and NIBRT is a major step towards that ambition. NIBRT unifies our best talents in industry and academia to generate the next generation therapies. By building a unique talent pool and knowledge base, Ireland will continue to be a competitive location for the pharma industry.”


Ireland is a key location for the Life Sciences industry, with 9 of the top 10 global companies based here. The sector employs over 47,000 staff between indigenous and multinational companies in the areas of Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Medical Devices and Diagnostics. Exports last year were in excess of €46 billion - 42% of total exports from Ireland. 


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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