Featured Article 27 May 2016

Ireland to host BioPharmaAmbition 2016 and first MIT Health Hackathon.
Major conference with US FDA, UK NICE and senior research and industry innovation leaders MIT Hacking Medicine and DCU Alpha to curate “Health Hackathon”
The Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) and  BioPharma Chem Ireland (BPCI) representing the research based and manufacturing biopharmaceutical and chemical industries respectively, have come together with the National Institute for BioProcessing Research and Training to host BioPharma Ambition®, a multi-platform event to inspire and showcase innovation. The international convention will take place in Dublin on 21-22 September 2016.
With international policy leaders, renowned researchers and senior industry personnel, the event will highlight the ambition of the industry for the health and well-being of populations.  It will showcase the latest research and how Ireland will support innovation in discovery, development, manufacturing and healthcare solutions at events in Dublin Castle, Trinity Biosciences Institute, NIBRT and Dublin City University.
In addition, for the first time, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Hacking Medicine programme will co-host a health hackathon in partnership with DCU Alphathe weekend prior to the main event. An intensive weekend of activity should see innovative solutions emerging to improve aspects of patient pathways and clinical care.
Among the speaker highlights will be:

  • Dr. William Kopcha, Director of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Pharmaceutical Quality, addressing Aligning policy regulation, innovation and quality in pharmaceuticals.
  • Sir Andrew Dillon, CEO of UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, addressing How NICE will influence and facilitate pharmaceutical innovation in health services.

Lead researchers:

  • Professor Charles Cooney of Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Professor Luke O’Neill of Trinity College, Dublin
  • Professor Kieran Hodnett, Univeristy of Limerick
  • Professor Garret Fitzgerald of University of Pennsylvania
  • Professor Paddy Johnston of Queens University, Belfast 

Attendees will include Irish and European biopharma management, Government stakeholders, clinical groups, research and academic partners and funding sources.
The Irish Government is fully supportive of this initiative with the Taoiseach and relevant Government ministers expected to participate. The event will also showcase health research in Ireland supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) 
Speaking at the announcement of BioPharma Ambition®, the IPHA President Dr. Leisha Daly said: “This is perhaps the biggest and most ambitious pharma related event hosted in Ireland. It is very fitting that we are having it here, as Ireland is today a global player when it comes to the development and manufacture of new medicines. IPHA is very excited about hosting the event in September, especially with BioPharmaChem Ireland, our partners in this innovation driven industry. It is a great opportunity for us to show what we do best”.
Seamus Fives, Chairman of BioPharmaChem Ireland said: “We at BioPharmaChem Ireland are looking forward to showcasing the industry here. Worth €65 billion in exports and employing over 26,000, the Irish BioPharmaChem Manufacturing Sector is one of the most important in the world. Biopharma Ambition will help to put the Irish sector firmly on the map as an employment destination for Ireland's excellent science and engineering graduates."
Dominic Carolan, CEO of NIBRT
said: "NIBRT are pleased to support this exciting programme which demonstrates the growing maturity of Ireland’s biopharma sector and the relevance to international thought leadership. It provides a great opportunity to showcase the impact of the excellent research from across the country which is contributing to the global development of the biopharma industry.”
Christopher Lee, leader of MIT Hacking Medicine said: "MIT Hacking Medicine is extremely excited to bring its healthcare hacking and design thinking model to Ireland. This is MIT Hacking Medicine's inaugural hackathon in Ireland, and collaborating on BioPharma Ambition not only provides the perfect venue and event for sharing our expertise, but also allows all attendees and partner organizations to experience a new and creative way towards identifying and tackling meaningful and relevant healthcare problems. We are honoured to have the opportunity to bring a piece of the Boston and MIT entrepreneurship ecosystem to Ireland, and hope this is the beginning of an even more fruitful collaboration."

The BioPharma Ambition® programme can be accessed here
For further information contact Philip Hannon on 087 2870891

Ireland at a glance – a global biopharma centre

  • The European Union’s largest net exporter of medicines
  • Nine of the world’s top 10 drug companies have significant Irish facilities
  • Five of the top 20 global blockbuster medicines are produced in Ireland
  • Over 50,000 employed directly and indirectly
  • 25% of PhD researchers in Ireland work in our industry

About NIBRT:
National Institute of Bioprocessing Research and Training, NIBRT, is a world-class institute, delivering training and research solutions for the global biopharmaceutical industry. Partnering with all higher education institutes as well as industry, NIBRTs state of the art training facility supports international best practice in biologics operations.
For further information, please visit www.nibrt.ie or contact:
Killian O’Driscoll, NIBRT, T: 01-2158100, E: killian.odriscoll@nibrt.ie

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