Saturday, 24 September 2016

BioPharma Ambition Conference

The 2016 BioPharma Ambition Conference Plenary Session has been opened by Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, Minister of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Simon Hamilton MLA, Economy Minister of the Northern Ireland Executive. The plenary session features world leading industry experts from the pharmaceutical industry, which is worth over €30 billion in exports and has the potential to add 8,000 jobs over the next three years[1] in Ireland and has the potential to double its size in Northern Ireland by generating revenues of £1.6 billion per annum by 2020[2].

In order to meet this ambition and realise the future full potential of the industry across the island of Ireland, North and South, the BioPharma Ambition Conference organisers,BioPharmaChem Ireland, the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association, the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training have called for:

· An emphasis on talent: invest in education and create a sustainable basis to fund excellence in STEM education particularly at university level in Northern Ireland and Ireland

· Growth in competitiveness: focus on the fundamentals of a competitive business environment to facilitate the long term investment decisions made for bioprocessing

· Growth in health innovation: ensure health services are capable of evaluating and bringing innovative medicines to patients quickly, by promoting more clinical trials and greater investment in IT and key specialists

The BioPharma Ambition Conference brings together international leaders from the US Food and Drug Administration, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and leading biopharma and medical researchers from MIT, the University of Pennsylvania, Queen’s University Belfast and Trinity College Dublin.

Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, Minister of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation stated; “This is an important event for the island of Ireland and one which highlights both the extensive level of BioPharma activity already taking place here and the future ambitions of the industry as a whole. Ireland is a recognised centre of excellence for the global biopharma industry. We are proud of that hard-won reputation but the Government remains focussed on working to support the continued growth of the sector in the country. We also want to help foster continued innovation in the industry that may lead not just to more job opportunities in Ireland but also to the development of new treatments that positively impact the lives of people all across the globe.”

Northern Ireland Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA said: “The BioPharma area and broader Life and Health Sciences have been recognised by the Northern Ireland Executive as one of the priority sectors in helping to drive forward our economy, with growth of more than 20% in both turnover and employment over the past three years. Homegrown global leaders such as Almac Group, Norbrook and Randox, all headquartered in Northern Ireland and employing over 7,000 people, only serves to further underline the importance of the industry to our future economic growth.”

“A climate which promotes partnerships between government, academia, clinical and private sectors in Northern Ireland has been central to this growth. If we are to sustain and, indeed, build upon this success, then the same spirit of collaboration will help develop new and innovative processes which will deliver, both in terms of prosperity and public health benefits.”

Simon Harris TD, Minister for Health commented; "The biopharma sector has made remarkable advances in medicines in recent years, developing new treatments that have been of huge benefit to patients. This conference sends a welcome signal that the industry is committed to making Ireland a real centre of excellence for biopharma - and to continuing its pursuit of new innovations that can transform the lives of patients in Ireland and elsewhere."

Speaking on behalf of the 2016 BioPharma Ambition Conference organisers, Oliver O’Connor, Chief Executive Irish Pharmaceutical Association commented; “This conference is an important event for both the biopharma industry and the island of Ireland as a whole. There are clear opportunities for closer co-operation to make the island a centre of international excellence.”

In order to grow the tangible benefits of the industry and life changing solutions we are calling on both Governments, North and South, to commit to developing the talent base across the island in order to meet future demands, grow both Ireland and Northern Ireland’s competitiveness globally, and provide greater support for clinical trials, IT investment and key specialists.”

The 2016 International Biopharma Ambition Convention is organised by the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA), BioPharmaChem Ireland (BPCI), the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) and InterTradeIreland. For more information on the Biopharma Ambition Convention visit