Thursday, May 9: Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, announced investment of €230 million in six SFI Research Centres as part of Project Ireland 2040. SSPC, the SFI (Science Foundation Ireland) Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals is part of the investment of funding six world-leading SFI Research Centre. SSPC is led by the University of Limerick (UL) and headquartered at the Bernal Institute. SSPC was represented by Co-Director Prof. Gavin Walker and Dr Sarah Hayes, who gave an overview of SSPC’s Education & Outreach program. The centre’s research activities initiates crucial impacts for the wider community in STEM education. An approach that promotes researcher to engage the non-academic public about its work.
SSPC now recognised internationally as a hub of process innovation and advanced manufacturing for the Pharmaceutical Sector, has demonstrated capabilities in the design and implementation of flow chemistry, asymmetric synthesis, fundamental and applied aspects of pharmaceutical crystallization, amorphous materials, continuous processing, novel pharmaceutical solid forms and emerging pharmaceutical technologies.
Under the Directorship of Professor Michael Zaworotko and Professor Gavin Walker and building on its reputation as an exemplar of academia-industry collaboration, SSPC’s new iteration (2019-2025) will see the centre grow further and expand the research programme.
The programme will use research projects to advance fundamental understanding of chemical, pharmaceutical, engineering, and modelling principles, and exploit these to develop innovative technologies that address key challenges that face the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland. The broader research programme will belong to five themes molecules, materials, medicines, manufacturing and modelling. Interdependencies and synergies will exist across the new research themes and will form a solid basis for multi-disciplinary targeted research projects with industrial partners.
SSPC places an importance on building relationships to generate links between academia and industry recognising priority research areas and outcomes. SSPC phase II will fund 68 investigators who will collectively support over 100 PhD students and over 80 PDRA years. The Centre will work in partnership with University College Cork, National University of Galway, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, University College Dublin, Waterford IT with new partners Maynooth University and Royal College of Surgeons Ireland. Co-Principal Investigators include Prof. Anita Maguire, Prof. Patrick Guiry, Prof. Donal O’Shea, Prof, Thorri Gunnlaugsson, Prof. Martin Clynes, Prof. Åke Rasmuson, Prof. Anne Marie Healy, Dr Abina Crean, Prof. Gavin Walker, Prof. Harry Van Den Akker and Assoc Prof. Damien Thompson.
A major part of the business plan is to go global by working with partners elsewhere in Europe and around the world. The growth will see a broader pool of expertise exist in the centre, with much more focus on increased globalisation in the EU, USA and China. The Centre offers not only an improved flexibility in the research programme but also expanded membership options and a new business plan. Now as the Centre readies itself up to move into a new era, SSPC’s scope and scale will bring to fruition its mission to become the leading centre of excellence for shaping the future of the global pharmaceutical industry.