SSPC lead (bio) Pharma Ireland High Level Seminar in Brussels


Pictured after the successful event in Brussels, hosted by (Bio) Pharma Ireland, (L to R): Jon O'Halloran, SSPC GM, Mary Shire, VP Research, University of Limerick, Prof. Kieran Hodnett, SSPC Scientific Director, Kristy Butler, SSPC Reporting and Compliance Officer, Aisling Arthur, Spokes Project Manager, Louise O'Neill, Communications Officer and Donald McDonagh.

On 28 February 2017 (bio)Pharma Ireland, a national working group led by SSPC and comprising representation from PMTC, NIBRT, SFI, EI, IDA and BPCI, organized a high-level seminar entitled The Future of (Bio)Pharmaceutical Manufacturing in Brussels. This international seminar, brought together over 80 participants from over 10 countries representing industry, academia, the EU commission and parliament, and other interested stakeholders to explore the future of advanced drug manufacturing in Europe. The purpose of the seminar was to communicate the importance of fostering an innovative environment in Europe to sustain the biopharmaceutical manufacturing sector into the future. 

(bio)Pharma Ireland presented a draft White Paper highlighting the sector’s key research priorities and invited European collaborators to add their voice and support to the paper.  The long-term goal of this initiative is to inform research and regulatory policy and create more opportunity for innovative manufacturing processes and technologies in the next framework programme.

Keynote speaker Mark Ferguson, Chief Science Advisor to the Government of Ireland, emphasized the importance of the pharmaceutical industry as one of the most competitive high technology sectors in Europe. Mr. Ferguson stated that supporting innovation in pharmaceutical manufacturing, through the upcoming framework programme, is key to the future competitiveness of this industry.

UL VPR, Mary Shire, also presented at the seminar and stressed the need for new business models to address the changing societal challenges and market opportunities.  Europe needs to come together to enable the efficient, safe, and economic manufacture of next generation therapeutics for its citizens.

In parallel to the seminar, Jon O’Halloran, SSPC General Manager hosted 5 meetings in the European Parliament with key MEP’s from various member states.  Political support for the sector is essential when advocating for policy change.  The recommendations outlined in the White Paper were well received by the MEP’s who recognise the value this sector brings to Europe and have agreed to actively support this initiative in Parliament.


From left: Paul Rubig, MEP, meeting with Mary Shire, (Bio) Pharma Ireland, Kurt Zatloukal, University of Graz, Jon O'Halloran, (Bio) Pharma Ireland, and Mark Ferguson, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, at the European Parliament.

Sean Kelly, MEP, with Aisling Arthur, Spokes Project Manager, SSPC and Kurt Zatloukal, University of Graz.

Mark Ferguson, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, with Marian Harkin, MEP, Mary Shire, VP Research University of Limerick and Jon O'Halloran, General Manager SSPC.