Official Launch of Best Practice Web Portal by An Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan TD - November 2009

An Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan TD, launched the world's first Best Practice web portal, BPX.ie, on the 6th of November last at the Materials & Surface Science Institute. The development of this secure online facility enables unprecedented collaboration among a range of industrial and academic partners, towards establishing best practice in the field of pharmaceutical compound crystallisation.

The web portal has been developed through the Solid State Pharmaceutical Cluster (SSPC), a collaborative research group of Ireland's leading pharmaceutical companies and third level institutions, led by the University of Limerick and funded by the Government through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).

The SSPC brings together leading researchers from, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli-Lilly, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Roche, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Clarochem, Covidien Schering Plough together with counterparts from the University of Limerick, University College Cork, NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. The formation of BPX.ie is a result of the combined efforts of academic and industrial members of the SSPC, working together to define the current state of the art in pharmaceutical crystallisation and related unit operations.

Launching the portal, An Tánaiste said, "This is a landmark day for scientific research in Ireland and, indeed, on a global scale. The development of this secure online facility enables unprecedented collaboration among a range of industrial and academic partners, towards establishing best practice in the field of pharmaceutical compound crystallisation".

The Best Practice Crystallisation (BPX.ie) site is the result of a need highlighted by industrial partners to create a collaborative environment which would focus on best practice techniques. This in turn will assist key research efforts, while supporting the sector locally within Ireland in its strategy to move up the R&D knowledge and value chain.

An Tánaiste added, "this proactive and visionary arrangement illustrates the collective determination among Ireland's scientific community to pool their resources and expertise towards achieving far-reaching outcomes for the benefit of Ireland, and for the stakeholders involved. For me, this unparalleled level of engagement signals the genesis of a new kind of multi-sectoral partnership, which, it is hoped, will be adopted by other disciplines in the wider science and engineering arena, both here and internationally".

Professor Kieran Hodnett, Director of the SSPC at the University of Limerick said, "The launch of the BPX portal is not only a world first in collaboration within the pharmaceutical community but it also further reinforces Ireland's reputation as a leader and innovator in a sector which plays such a vital role in our economy. This project is an excellent example of academic institutions and industry partners working together in a collaborative manner to address a specific need and generating knowledge based solutions to a collective problem".

The pharmaceutical industry in Ireland employs more than 20,000 people and last year accounted for €44b in exports or 51% of exports to the economy.

The Solid State Pharmaceutical Cluster was established by Science Foundation Ireland in 2007 under their Strategic Research Clusters Programme with funding of €6.97 million and currently comprises 39 researchers.

Press Coverage on Official Launch of Best Practice Web Portal