UCC and BioPharmaChem Skillnet launch new micro-credential

9 Oct 2023
Pictured are Aoife O’Sullivan, Head of Network Development and Innovation, Skillnet Ireland; Megan Pardy, Marketing Manager, Adult Continuing Education, UCC; Susan Costello, Network Director BioPharmaChem Skillnet; Siobhán Dean, Senior Executive BioPharmaChem Ireland/IBEC; Mags Arnold, UCC Project Lead IUA MicroCreds and Dr Eoin Fleming, Lecturer UCC School of Pharmacy and School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology. Image: Darragh Kane.
  • New microcredential to strengthen the talent pipeline for Ireland’s BioPharmaChem sector.
  • The global top 10 Biopharmaceutical companies operate in Ireland.
  • 84,000 employed in the sector and this is expected to will increase by up to 10,000 jobs over the next five years.

University College Cork (UCC) and BioPharmaChem Skillnet have launched a new micro-credential to support the continued growth of Ireland’s BioPharmaChem sector.

The BioPharmaChem sector has grown exponentially in recent years; there are now more than 84,000 highly skilled people directly and indirectly employed in the sector. It is projected that this will increase by up to 10,000 jobs over the next 5 years.

The ‘Certificate in Continuing Professional Development: An Introduction to BioPharmaceuticals and Advanced Personalised Therapies’ has been developed by Adult Continuing Education (ACE) at UCC, in collaboration with UCC’s School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology and BioPharmaChem Skillnet. This new course was funded through Skillnet Ireland, the national talent development agency of the Government of Ireland.



The micro-credential has been designed to meet the upskilling and reskilling needs of those currently involved in or looking to transition into the biopharmaceutical or the emerging cell and gene therapies sectors.

The new micro-credential programme will provide students with an introduction to the molecular and cellular basis of disease and how this informs the design and manufacture of biological therapies.

There will be a focus on protein and vaccine based therapeutic approaches, as well as emerging gene and cell therapies, and the personalised treatment of disease which will be of significant benefit to the biopharma sector.

Speaking at the launch of the programme, Lyndsey El Amoud, Deputy Director in Adult Continuing Education at ACE, said: “The Biopharmaceutical industry is undergoing a period of rapid expansion, growing its significant contributions to Ireland’s economy. This brings with it the prospect of additional employment opportunities, but also the challenge of meeting the appropriate skills and knowledge needs to expand the sector.”

Dr Eoin Fleming, UCC’s School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology and School of Pharmacy and Analytical & Biological Chemistry Research Facility (ABCRF) said: “Continuing expansion in the Irish Biopharmaceutical Industry is offering incredible opportunities for those prepared to upskill and reskill to meet the urgent recruitment needs of the companies. Technological advances are also allowing for the emergence of advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMP’s), and we are at the start of a new era that will involve novel personalized therapies being used to treat the diseases of individual patients. Those involved in the sector, including the Irish Government and BioPharma companies, are investing heavily in these technologies as they aim to make Ireland a site of excellence for the development of new cell and gene therapies.”

BioPharmaChem Skillnet is one of 70 Skillnet Ireland networks. Aoife O’Sullivan, Head of Network Development & Innovation, Skillnet Ireland, said: “Skillnet Ireland prides itself on meeting the individual education and upskilling needs of Irish businesses through its 70 Business Networks, including BioPharmaChem Skillnet. This exciting new micro-credential programme has been launched at a critical time for the rapidly expanding and evolving Irish Biopharmaceutical sector. The sector and its workforce will benefit greatly from the programmes’ forward-looking focus and accessible learning experience.”

BioPharmaChem Skillnet provides upskilling to businesses of all sizes in the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, medical device, and chemical supply sectors. The network’s mission is to further advance Ireland’s position as world leader in health innovation through cutting-edge talent development solutions.

The new programme will be available from Autumn 2023. Further information and registration details are available online here.



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