Updated: 22/02/18 : 07:15:06
Printable Version   Bookmark and Share Share This


Major US university turns to IT Sligo's NIBRT group for training model

A major US university has turned to Ireland to find a model to train staff working at the leading edge of the pharmaceuticals sector.

The UCD-based National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT), is teaming up with Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University to set up the first education and training centre for biologics manufacturing in North America.

The collaboration is valued at about $10 million.

NIBRT, which is located on University College Dublin’s Belfield campus, is a €57 million facility built to resemble a modern bioprocessing plant.

Established in 2011, it is the result of a collaboration between UCD, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, and the Institute of Technology, Sligo.

NIBRT works closely with industry in Ireland – including many US firms with operations here – to train staff in the skills needed for modern drug development and manufacture.

Now, the Dublin centre will establish a similar facility in Philadelphia. It will serve about 2,500 people annually once it is fully up and running, preparing engineering students and industry professionals to lead in what is still an emerging field.

Biologic pharmaceuticals are manufactured in a living system such as a microorganism, plant or animal cell, often using recombinant DNA technology. The development of such pharmaceuticals is growing rapidly, representing a major shift in the industry from traditional chemical synthesis techniques.

It is estimated that more than 40 per cent of therapeutics currently in research and development are biopharmaceuticals and each of the world’s top 10 companies has a presence in Ireland, including Sligo..