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NIBRT Launches CONCEPT – a Core Facility for Early-Stage Biotherapy Development

The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) hosted the opening of CONCEPT, a pioneering core facility dedicated to fostering innovation, collaboration, and cutting-edge early-stage biotherapy research.   

The opening, attended by a range of delegates from academia, industry and government including Dr Ruth Freeman, Director, Science for Society, Science Foundation Ireland, who spoke about the importance of the biopharma industry to Ireland’s economy and the role that NIBRT plays in supporting its growth. 

Addressing the opening, Dr Ruth Freeman commented, “Ireland’s biopharma ecosystem has grown exponentially over the last 20 years, and is underpinned by a strong research, development, and innovation foundation. This ecosystem’s growth stems largely from the pipeline of excellent scientific talent across our higher education institutions and sustained collaboration with industry and other partners over that period. This new facility builds upon a generation of targeted investment and has at its core a quest to deliver access and opportunity – faster, easier, and wider.”  

The CONCEPT facility, located within the new IDA-funded advanced therapies research and training building at NIBRT, is designed to support researchers by providing access to state-of-the-art instrumentation and expertise required for rapid generation of optimised cell lines and biological material, to accelerate the next wave of biotherapy development. 

CONCEPT has been made possible by over €4.2M in funding from SFI’s Research Infrastructure programme, as well as €2.4m in capital investment from IDA Ireland. Under the leadership of Dr Jonathan Bones, CONCEPT will assist researchers in their therapy-focused research, enabling them to progress from concept to research-grade biomaterials for the generation of novel biologic, cell, gene, or RNA-based therapies. 

Director of CONCEPT, Dr Jonathan Bones said, “the opening of CONCEPT is a culmination of tireless effort, dedication, and a shared vision for the future of research in advanced therapies. Our mission at CONCEPT is to create an environment that fosters interdisciplinary research and empowers researchers to address complex biotherapy development challenges.”  

 Key features of CONCEPT include: 

  • Innovative Research Spaces: The centre boasts advanced laboratories and state-of-the-art equipment to support sequence synthesis, biologics, cell therapy, gene therapy and RNA therapy development. 
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration: CONCEPT encourages collaboration among academia and industry professionals, fostering an atmosphere where diverse perspectives converge to address complex biopharmaceutical research and manufacturing challenges. 
  • Strategic Partnerships: CONCEPT is actively seeking collaborations with academic institutions and industry innovators to create a network to accelerate research for next generation biotherapies.  

NIBRT CEO, Darrin Morrissey said, “the opening of CONCEPT is a hugely exciting time for NIBRT and a significant leap forward in our commitment to advancing next-generation therapeutic research. This state-of-the-art facility will serve as a centre for innovation, providing researchers with unparalleled resources to accelerate the development of transformative biotherapies. We are thrilled about the possibilities that lie ahead and the positive impact CONCEPT will have on the future of biotherapy development.” 

Source: Science Foundation Ireland

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