The annual Irish Pharma Industry Awards ceremony takes place this Thursday, October 24, 2019. Since launching in 2014, the Pharma Industry Awards has established itself as the benchmark for excellence for those operating in Ireland’s pharma industry.
This year SSPC, the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals is shortlisted in the categories for Pharma Research Centre of the Year, the Communications Award for Six Years in the Making and Pharma Education and Training Award for both SSPC’s PhD Industrial Placement Programme and the Specialist Diploma in (Bio) Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs at the University of Limerick.
2018 was a significant year for SSPC, as the Centre secured the outcome of a Phase II SFI Research Centre application with a total value of €61M. This phase will fund 68 investigators who will collectively support over 100 PhD students and over 80 Post-doctoral researcher years. SSPC, led by the University of Limerick (UL) in partnership with eight Higher Education Institutes, will continue and grow from (2019 – 2025), with an expanded research program, flexible business model and greater focus on single-industry partner targeted projects.
SSPC published 164 journal articles, many industry collaborative papers, delivered 40 conference presentations, yielded over 30 highly skilled researchers and accumulated an additional €7.5M in funding revenue this year. SSPC has developed an existing international profile due to the quality of our research outputs, and our people – 70% of SSPC graduates and participants now work in the pharmaceutical sector globally, for example, Vertex, US, Bayer, US, Polpharma, Poland, Sanofi, France, Ardena, Belgium, Leo Pharma, UK, Marinomed, Germany and Rg Pharmaceuticals, US.
On Thursday, March 8, International Women’s Day, SSPC launched WomenInSSPC (WiSSPC), an initiative set up to combat gender inequalities in the research team. SSPC executed their first Industry Recruitment event for SSPC graduates with 9 industry partners participating at the UL, meeting over 50 PhD & post-doctoral researchers. Finishing up last year, the CCID partnership was the collaboration between UL, Pfizer and Lilly, resulting in the successful scale up of a UL developed continuous crystallisation process to the Pfizer KTL facility in Ringaskiddy.
SSPC engaged with four new industry partners on a funded project basis, Zentiva, Prague, Jazz Pharmaceutical, Dublin & Athlone, Regeneron, Limerick and Perceptive Engineering, UK in partnership with Merck, US. SSPC hosted an international meeting with over 40 international industry and academic partners at AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) Annual Meeting 2018 in Pittsburgh, USA. SSPC also hosted the very successful British Association for Crystal Growth (BACG) Conference held for the first time in the Mid-West.
SSPC have an outstanding and highly reviewed Education & Public Engagement (EPE) programme in place and SSPC researchers play a key part in communicating their work and volunteer annually across hundreds of events.
SSPC is a hub of Irish pharmaceutically relevant research expertise developing innovative technologies addressing key challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry with focus on continuous manufacturing, modular equipment and process control systems. The new phase will see a new business model come into effect. Feedback from industry formed the basis of the model, providing opportunity for direct engagement through targeted single or multiple industry partner projects. Targeted projects by their nature offer increased opportunity to generate measureable intellectual property and will be an important aspect of the Centre into the future.
SSPC has a substantial effect on the yield of Research and Development (R&D) and economic outputs in Ireland and are the support mechanism that will help build Ireland as a global leader in innovation. SSPC is led by the University of Limerick (UL) at the Bernal Institute, in partnership with University College Cork, National University of Galway, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, University College Dublin, Waterford IT, Maynooth University and Royal College of Surgeons Ireland.