Last Thursday saw the Life Science Team of Recruitment Consultants from Collins McNicholas’ Galway office descend upon the grounds of UCD in Blackrock where NIBRT is located. NIBRT is an acronym for the National Institute of Bioprocessing, Research & Training and is a state-of-the-art facility for training and research in bioprocessing. Their aim is to support the bioprocessing industry by providing a unique learning experience in an environment that replicates a modern industrial bioprocessing facility.

CMCN staff, NIBRT training, 2016

As we at Collins McNicholas recruit nationwide, within both the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical sectors, it is a huge advantage to visit a facility such as NIBRT and gain an understanding of the industry, its processes, and the challenges it faces.

Our day was divided up into 3 lectures – the first one being a very interesting and informative overview of small and large molecular chemistry, and an introduction to the biopharmaceutical industry. We also got a basic overview of the bioprocessing process – which was really brought to life during a plant tour that took place after lunch.

When it came to the NIBRT pilot plant tour there was a sense of déjà vu gowning up given my years spent as a Biochemist within the immuno-assay industry. During the tour, we got to see how the various aspects of the bioprocessing process works – upstream processing, recovery, downstream processing and purification, and finally formulation and filling. To witness how each part of the process takes place really helped us as recruitment consultants understand the demands of the roles we help biopharmaceutical companies fill – from microbiologists to process scientists, and engineers to micro-analysts.

After our plant tour, we were introduced to the quality control and analytics aspect of the biopharmaceutical industry. The importance of an excellent quality management system (QMS) is paramount in a company that produces biopharmaceuticals and again the lecture really helped us understand the roles and responsibilities of quality specialists, quality engineers, validation and compliance specialists – roles we regularly help fill at Collins McNicholas.

Our last lecture of the day was an overview of regulatory affairs and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) within the industry. Again a very interesting and informative lecture on the importance of regulating biological products, the role of regulatory affairs and the essential worldwide principles of GMP.

Two of the biggest take-home points from our visit to a world-class facility such as NIBRT are:

1)  The importance of the biopharmaceutical industry to the Irish economy

2) How Ireland’s highly-educated workforce is one of the main reasons for biopharmaceutical multi-nationals choosing to locate here.

At Collins McNicholas, it is our obligation to supply these companies with premium talent – both in terms of education, experience & culture fit. I believe our on-going training at NIBRT will make us best positioned to source top talent for Ireland’s pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry.

If you’re looking for a new opportunity in biopharma then take a look at the roles we have available here.

Claire O’Donnell
Recruitment Consultant
Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group