The key policy driver nationally is the development of the national research base in order to harness and anchor innovation in the country. This led to the establishment of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), which funds basic and applied research. The Programme for Research in Third Level Research Institutes (PRTLI) has invested in state-of-the-art research infrastructure.
SSPC-2 – a centre specializing in reach into solid state chemistry and wet synthesis has been established. This €35 million research centre is part funded by Government (SFI), the industry and the university sector. It is an excellent example of industry-academic-Government collaboration. It will concentrate on near- to- industry research and innovation.
PMTC – The Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre – funded by government through Enterprise Ireland will fund applied research conducted by the research community for industry.
NIBRT – The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training – will support innovation in the biotech sector – part funded by industry and Government. A state-of-the-art facility.
CRANN – Research institute established by government specialising in nanotechnology.
The pharmachem sector as demonstrated above is not only “high value” in terms of its expenditure on the Irish economy in terms of salaries but is also a major participant in private sector research and development. Just over 80% of pharma and chemical firms engaged in R&D in 2011, behind only medical device firms. This is well ahead of other manufacturing sectors including electrical equipment and computers. In this sense the pharma sector is not only a major manufacturing industry but also a very high value manufacturing industry, as R&D jobs tend to be of a better quality than more basic manufacturing.