Shire to create 400 jobs in Meath at new state-of-the-art facility

Action Plan for Jobs, Biotech, Innovation, Jobs, Meath, Research, Research and Innovation, Science, Skills

Damien English TD, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation welcomed today’s announcement that Shire will create a new, state of the art biologics manufacturing campus, in Co. Meath which it expects will lead to the creation of approximately 400 permanent jobs on a 120 acre site in Piercetown.

This is a huge boost for the Irish economy and for business confidence in County Meath. There will also be some 700 jobs during the construction period of the new facility in South Meath.

As Minister of State at the Department of Jobs I have seen the good working relationship between Meath County Council and the IDA in recent years.  This has ensured that Meath has fast become an attractive location for many industries, including the life sciences and biotechnology sectors. This investment, coupled with other recent investments in Meath such as Facebook, is really putting the county on the map for business investment.

I look forward to continue working towards significant economic impact in Co Meath through jobs and capital investment with the IDA, Meath County Council, Enterprise Ireland, Meath Enterprise, the LEO office in Meath and all business and entrepreneur minded people” concluded Minister English.

Government publishes ambitious Innovation Strategy – Innovation 2020: Excellence Talent Impact

Action Plan for Jobs, Biotech, I.T., Innovation, Jobs, Meath, Photonics, Research, Research and Innovation, Science, Skills, Startups, Wesmeath

The Minister  for Research, Innovation and Skills Damien English TD, together with the Taoiseach and the Minister for Jobs, today published Innovation 2020, Ireland’s 5-year strategy for research and development, science and technology.

The headline ambition of the Strategy is to increase total investment in R&D in Ireland to 2.5% of GNP. On current official projections, this would mean that over €5billion will be invested per year in R&D by the public and private sectors by 2020. This will represent almost doubling current levels of investment (€2.756billion in 2013).

Among the other ambitious targets to be delivered by the strategy are:

  • the number of research personnel in enterprise will be increased by 60% to 40,000
  • research masters and PhD enrolments will be increased by 30% to 2,250;
  • private investment of R&D performed in the public research system will be doubled
  • 40% increase in the share of PhD researchers transferring from SFI research teams to industry
  • Ireland’s participation in International Research Organisations will be expanded – we will apply for full membership of ELIXIR, and we will explore membership options for CERN and ESO
  • the network of Centres will be further developed, building critical mass and addressing enterprise needs;
  • a successor to the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions will be rolled out to include investment in the creation of new, and the maintenance and upgrading of existing, facilities and equipment;
  • €1.25bn funding under the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020 will be drawn down;
  • a new Programme of Funding for Frontier Research will be introduced, providing resilience and responsiveness to meet new challenges or opportunities as they emerge;
  • challenge-centric research will be initiated to stimulate solutions-driven collaborations bringing together enterprise, higher education institutions and public sector to identify and address national challenges
  • horizon-scanning – in the coming years a formal horizon-scanning exercise will be undertaken to identify areas of strategic commercial opportunity for Irish-based enterprises. This process will feed into the next research prioritisation exercise in 2018
  • international benchmarking – a series of structures will be put in place to benchmark Ireland’s performance in these areas against other comparable economies, and develop steps to improve our comparative performance

Launching the report, Minister of State for Research Innovation and Skills, Damien English TD said: “Developing the talent of our population is an underlying aim of Innovation 2020 and will be critical to the successful realisation of our national vision, giving Ireland the capacity to exploit opportunities both established and emerging. Our success in delivering on our vision will depend on our people – undertaking the research, working in and creating successful enterprises, and contributing to the society in which we live. We will support the full continuum of talent development from primary level through to Postdoctoral research and from frontier research across all disciplines to the practical application and the successful deployment of that talent and research in driving innovation in enterprises and public services.”

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD said:

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said:

Welcoming the launch of the strategy, Professor Mark WJ Ferguson, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “I welcome the new strategy Innovation 2020 which highlights the importance of scientific research and innovation to all aspects of Ireland’s future and which confirms the Government’s commitment to increase both public and private investment in this area. Innovation 2020 builds on the considerable past successes and outlines some ambitious new plans such as challenge based funding. Science, innovation and technology are driving rapid global changes and the world is becoming more competitive. Ireland needs to continue to push forward: be the creators and owners of new ideas and innovations, upskill our people, strengthen and future proof our economy and society. Implementation of Innovation 2020 will allow us to do that: excellence, talent and impact.”

Decision to fund MS drug great news for Meath West patients – English

Biotech, Health, Meath, Wesmeath

Local Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, and Meath West Fine Gael T.D. Damien English has said the decision by the HSE to approve funding for Fampyra, a drug used to treat Multiple Sclerosis, will have life changing effects for those with the disease in Counties Meath and Westmeath, and throughout Ireland.

“This is great news and I very much welcome this decision by the HSE, which will benefit many people diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Fampyra has a very positive impact on many people and the decision to fund the drug will change the

lives of those people. It helps with mobility and walking speed, and also has an impact on hand function, allowing those with the disease to carry out routine functions much more easily” the Meath West T.D. and Minister said.

“When trials of the drug ended last year the patients who were benefiting from the drug were very concerned that they could not afford to continue paying for it. Both the HSE and the manufacturer, Biogen, have been in negotiations for some time, and this positive outcome is very welcome, as it will benefit many people and have a very positive impact on their everyday lives” concluded Minister English.

15,000 students in Ireland set to benefit from Amgen Foundation Science Education Investment

Biotech, Education, Funding, Research and Innovation, Science

Over 15,000 students in Ireland set to benefit from Amgen Foundation Science Education Investments during the coming academic year

Launch of Amgen Teach and Amgen Biotech Experience programmes, designed to equip secondary school teachers with the skills to increase students’ scientific literacy and interest in scientific careers More than 53,000 students and nearly 500 teachers across Ireland to be reached over the course of a three-year commitment Five undergraduate students from Ireland conduct cutting-edge research this summer at leading European universities as part of the Amgen Scholars Programme To date, the Amgen Foundation has invested almost €600,000 in science education in Ireland

Leading biotechnology company Amgen and its philanthropic arm, the Amgen Foundation, have announced two complementary science education programmes in Ireland – Amgen Teach and the Amgen Biotech Experience.

Designed to support the professional development of secondary school life science teachers, and increase students’ scientific literacy and interest in scientific careers, both programmes are expected to reach over 15,000 students and nearly 150 teachers across Ireland over the coming academic year.

Over the full three year commitment of the programmes, Amgen Teach and the Amgen Biotech Experience are expected to positively impact approximately 53,000 students and nearly 500 teachers in Ireland.

Amgen Teach and the Amgen Biotech Experience support the Irish science school curriculum, providing teachers with the skills and confidence to transform the student experience in learning science. Training is offered free of charge and emphasises hands-on, enquiry-based learning, providing teachers with practical tools they can replicate in the classroom and lab to motivate students. Additionally, the Amgen Biotech Experience provides molecular biology resources and research grade lab equipment, available on loan to participating schools. Amgen Teach is delivered by appointed training partner, Professional Development Service for Teachers, while the Amgen Biotech Experience is coordinated by leading Irish universities, University College Dublin and Dublin City University.

The Amgen Foundation also announced that five undergraduate students from Ireland were selected to participate in the 2015 Amgen Scholars Programme. Part of a $50 million, 12-year commitment, the Amgen Scholars Programme advances science education by providing undergraduates with a cutting-edge summer research experience at world-class third level educational institutions. 28 students from various Irish universities, including Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University College Cork, Dublin City University, the Royal College of Surgeons and NUI Galway, have participated in Amgen Scholars since the programme was launched in Europe in 2008.

The participating Amgen Scholars from Ireland for 2015 are:

  • Ciana Diskin from Navan Road, Dublin. Third year Immunology (Biology) student at Trinity College. Amgen Scholars host institution: University of Cambridge.
  • Aaron Fleming from Celbridge, Co Kildare. Third year Immunology (Biology) student at Trinity College Dublin. Amgen Scholars host institution: Institut Pasteur, Paris
  • Conor Keogh from Portmarnock, Dublin. Third year Medical student in Trinity College. Amgen Scholars host institution: ETH Zurich.
  • Daniel Scott from Churchtown, Dublin. Third year Pharmacy student in Trinity College. Amgen Scholars host institution: University of Cambridge
  • Ciara Shortiss, from Cork. Fourth year Neuroscience student in University College Cork. Host University: ETH Zurich.

The Amgen Teach and Amgen Biotech Experience programmes, together with details of the Amgen Scholars 2015 Ireland recipients, were announced at an event to mark the opening of the new $300 million Amgen facility in Dun Laoghaire.

Commenting on the programmes, Kerry Ingalls, Amgen Vice President of Regional Manufacturing said, “Amgen is committed to fostering the scientific potential of a new generation. Ireland is currently the only European country to offer all three science education programmes. I believe that despite increased demand for a science-based workforce, many teachers do not have sufficient access to the impactful training, resources and materials to deliver a high-quality experience to their students. As a result, too few young people are opting for a career in science. Our programmes are designed to change that and to inspire students in Ireland to pursue further education, and possibly even a career, in science.”

He continued, “All three programmes remind us that innovation to improve the lives of patients’ demands partnership between industry, government, public services and academia.”

Congratulating Amgen for its support of science education, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD said, “Globally, Ireland now ranks in the top 20 countries for science excellence. Developing collaborative partnerships with leading companies, such as Amgen, to support science education and world–class research will ensure we continue to nurture the next generation of Irish scientists and researchers, enhancing collaboration with enterprise and providing a strong voice for the promotion and support of science, biotechnology and research in Ireland.”