Interview with: Killian O'Driscoll Director of Projects at NIBRT

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Interview with: 
Killian O'Driscoll
Director of Projects
National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT)

It is widely acknowledged that China is going to play a significant role in both the production and consumption of biopharmaceuticals over the next decade. If the Chinese BioPharma market continues to grow at pace, a consistent pipeline of talent is needed to sustain it. To learn more about the evolution of the Chinese BioPharma Market and to hear from both international and domestic facilities who are developing the workforce of the future, NIBRT is organising the Biopharma Workforce of the Future Workshop on Wednesday June 19th.

Tell us a little about yourself and the role of NIBRT:
I’m the Director of Projects at the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT). NIBRT is a training and research institute based in Dublin, Ireland. Opened in 2011, NIBRT’s role is to help the growth and development of the biopharma manufacturing sector by providing competency based workforce development programmes. We’re fortunate to have state-of-the-art pilot plant facilities (6,500m2) to provide hands-on practical training in all aspects of biopharma manufacturing. On average we train over 4,000 people per year across all roles.

You will be speaking at CPhI China on ‘Developing the Biopharma Workforce of the Future’, what will your presentation focus on?:
I will be discussing global trends in workforce development for biopharma manufacturing. The presentation will focus on the current global shortage of biopharma manufacturing skills.
We will assess the reason behind this shortage such as diversification of therapeutic modalities and advanced manufacturing processes. We will also assess what solutions are being put in place and global best practices to help address this shortage.

Why is this topic important now?:
As indicated by NIBRT’s Annual Trends in Biopharma Survey, there is a growing global shortage of a skilled biopharma manufacturing workforce. As the industry is predicted to grow robustly over coming years with more complex and sophisticated manufacturing requirements, this shortage is liable to become more acute. The availability of talent in biopharma manufacturing is a key determinant in a regions ability to sustain and grow this high value industry.

Why is China an interesting market for NIBRT? How do you see the evolution of the Biopharma market there?:
China has made rapid progress in biopharma manufacturing. For example, Wuxi is currently building the world’s largest single use manufacturing facility in Ireland. We’re beginning to see innovative Chinese companies, such as Legend discover and develop new therapies. China is also attracting considerable foreign direct investment in biopharma with a demand for highly skilled workforce. It’s clear that China will be a significant international presence in coming years.

You are already working with local players in China, can you tell us a little more about these partnerships?:
From a NIBRT perspective, we’re currently working on a workforce development programme with Guangzhou which will also be discussed at the CPhI event. 

You also have an established partnership with Jefferson University in the US, what’s NIBRT’s long-term, global strategy?:
The Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing opened in May 31st 2019 in Philadelphia, USA in partnership with NIBRT. We’re delighted to be talking a wide number of organisations who have expressed in interest in joining NIBRT’s Global Partner Programme. This programme provide a flexible partnership approach to establish scalable, efficient workforce development programmes and we’ll shortly be announcing several new international partnerships.