A NEW research centre at the University of Limerick should help anchor existing pharmaceutical companies in Ireland and attract more investment in a sector that already accounts for €40 billion in exports.
That’s according to Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English, who was in UL to officially open the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre (PMTC).
One of 15 state-supported technology centres around the country, the PMTC is supported by the IDA and Enterprise Ireland and will get €5m in Exchequer funding over the next five years.
It brings together in UL some 24 multinational and Irish companies and nine third level institutions.
Among the key areas of the research will be containing manufacturing costs and issues around patent expiry, both crucial to the sector’s continued strength here.
“The pharmaceutical industry is a very important provider of employment and growth in Ireland’s economy,” commented Minister English.
“This joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland to make the pharma industry more competitive and efficient is most welcome. The fact that the research agenda is defined and informed by the companies, involving both Irish SMEs and multinationals, gives strength to the industry’s effort to tackle challenges such as the patents cliff and manufacturing competitiveness.”
And Dr Mary Shire, vice president research, University of Limerick added: “Ireland has one of the best reputations globally in pharmaceutical manufacturing and it’s important that we continue to support the sector so we attract further investment and retain existing investments. The PMTC provides companies with the opportunity to work together and harness academic expertise to address key manufacturing challenges they face.” Among the major multinationals involved in the centre are Pfizer, Roche, Eli Lilly and GSK.