innopharma quarter one newsletter 2020



       quarter-2 (2)



Looking back on the last quarter it has been a very busy period for those on the Education side of the business.

January started out with completing our Marketing, Recruitment and Registration of over 300 students across the range of our programmes including adding three new locations for our programmes in Athlone, Galway and Waterford. 

This combined with our existing locations of Sandyford, Griffith College, Cork and Limerick brings to seven the number of locations that we have our programmes available nationwide. In addition to our domestic programmes we welcomed over 40 full -time International students on our MSc Pharmaceutical Technology and Business in Griffith College.

We welcomed 42 new International students to our MSc programme in January where they attended induction day at Griffith College – they will join the current cohort of 78 international students and join them as they commence Semester 2 next week. 

   International Students

As well, In March we submitted our Springboard + submissions for 2020/21 and in addition we made a number of proposals under the new Human Capital Initiative

We also had our HEI review with a QQI panel. The panel were very complementary of our organisation. We have some more work to do and will be representing to the same panel in the coming months.


And then came COVID -19. It has of course had a major impact on our business over the last month and more particularly since March 12th.

Our first challenge was to ensure that all our students had the opportunity to complete all of the course work for this semester until May. As we know about 2 years ago we decided to move all courses that were on days to a 2 evening per week online and 2 Saturdays per month face to face, model.

Therefore, our challenge has been to move the Saturday work scheduled be it Labs, Practical and Tutorials to be completed online. Thanks to the Innovation of Lecturers, Programme managers and all involved in the delivery we have put together a new timetable and processes that will deliver the learning outcome of our programmes.

The amount of innovation and creativity that has been shown over the last 3 weeks has been incredible and the new ways of working that have been adapted - literally over a weekend - has demonstrated the flexibility and adaptability of all the team in Innopharma.

How to complete exams in this environment has, as you're all aware, been a big discussion point – but we believe that we have in place a new robust assessment process that we can implement in May. (Stay tuned for further details)


Medtronic in Galway announced that they were hiring around 500 staff as they are involved in building Ventilators which are such an important medical device in treating patients with COVID 19. We reached out to all previous Galway based course participants to make them aware of how to apply for these roles. 


It is great to see the increasing number of students that progress with us. Here is a great story from Limerick. The Certificate in Food Science & Technology January 2020 cohort consisted of 15 previous Level 6 Pharma students out of a class of 22. Upon successful completion, they will graduate with a Higher Certificate in Process Technologies. These students also mentioned that they were keen to get this qualification in order to progress and go on to complete our Level 7 BSc in Process Technologies. As well as that, We had 5 Limerick students who progressed from the Level 7 BSc onto The Higher Diploma in BioPharmaceutical & Medical Device Manufacturing in January. 

On the Level 6 Pharma January cohort, 6 students who were unemployed when they started the programme have now secured employment. This is fantastic news! Limerick have many students in the recruitment process with SSE, Regeneron and Medtronic. We look forward to hearing more positive stories about our students as the programmes continue.


A very enjoyable graduation ceremony was held for our Graduates in St Patricks Cathedral on the 22nd February. 68 of our TU Dublin Tallaght Campus students graduated across Higher Cert Process Technologies, BSc Process Technologies , Higher Diploma in BioPharmaceutical and Medical Device Manufacturing , Higher Diploma in Food Science & Technology and MSc Food Business Management & Technology. 


At the end of January, our Education and Technical Services divisions attended the 2-day National Supply Chain and Manufacturing conference at the City West Conference Centre. This was a very busy event where the team spoke to many people. Henrik Von Scheel was also the keynote speaker for the event so it was great to see him deliver another interesting talk on Industry 4.0. 


On the 27th  of February, We had a successful revalidation of our Level 8 BA in Pharmaceutical Business Operations, L9 MSc in Pharmaceutical Business & Technology and PG Dip in Pharmaceutical Business & Technology in Griffith College Dublin which was highly commended by the Validation panel. Include in the commendations were recognition of " the role of the Online Support personnel to support learners, the overall programme support to learners and  the strong links that the programme and team have to industry and the regulating bodies "

The role of the Online Support personnel to support learners, the overall programme support to learners and the strong links that the programme and team have to industry and the regulatory bodies.



I am very pleased to say that in the mist the COVID – 19 over the last 3 weeks the team have still managed while working remotely to fill 78 places in our Level 7 Degree Pharmaceutical Business Operations and our Post Graduate Diploma in Pharmaceutical Business & Technology  (all done digitally without one piece of paper being generated !).

Looking forward to whatever happens over the summer! We believe that we will be able to complete all of the programmes through to August.

In the next quarter we look forward to a return visit by HEI on our QQI accreditation process and look forward to successful achievement of accreditation status.

So the first quarter has definitely been eventful – but I think we have come out of it a much strengthened organisation with, not least, lots of new digital and remote team working skills.

This event will eventually pass and I’m sure we will all look back at it as a transformational event in our lives – but maybe one where we learnt a lot about ourselves and how resourceful we can be when confronted with the unknown. 



Over the next few weeks, we have generous volunteers from the Innopharma team who have volunteered to prepare some alternative ideas to keep the kids busy for a little while. This is a great resource for Innopharma staff and kids to log in and do some baking and to learn Science. It is a great attempt to get children interested in Science and Engineering. 

The first session is today, Friday 10th April at 4pm - Baking Cookies with a hint of Science with Mary Jensen.

Make sure to read Mary Jane's Email on what you need and how to join in the fun! 




IFPAC 2020

In February, representatives from the technology team attended the annual IFPAC conference in Bethesda.  Since its inception in 1987, IFPAC has become a leading meeting point where manufacturers, regulators, life science experts and vendors come together to showcase and discuss the latest trends and emerging technologies.

This year was very much centred around Industry 4.0 featuring many talks on topics such as AI, cybersecurity, digital twin etc.  It was clear from the presentations given that there is widespread recognition within the industry that these technologies offer many benefits whilst adoption is becoming more urgent than ever.

In addition to exhibiting we also gave presentations showcasing our products and technologies which aligned nicely with the Industry 4.0 theme.  Chris O’Callaghan spoke about our SmartX system in his presentation on “Pharma 4.0 Self-Guided Control of a Fluid Bed Granulation Process”.  In this presentation Chris demonstrated the advantages that our SmartX automation technology has vs more traditional manual processes.  Claude Lacey gave a presentation on “Advanced Manufacturing – Technology Enablers: An insight into building a Smart Platform”.  Here he gave an in-depth review of current and emerging software technologies as well as an overview on the challenges one might face when building Industry 4.0 solutions.



       ORTAL TECH CO. (3)



In late January Sean, Chris and Darren travelled to Horiba annuals sales meeting in Irvine California. This meeting was of course a precursor to our announcement in March of our new partnership with Horiba for Eyecon distribution in the Americas. It was an action packed week of training, demonstrations and trials as we enabled 50 sales reps in how to sell an Eyecon and so with long days we only caught a small glimpse of the sand, sea and sunshine of California. Chris however did find reason to visit Home Depot nearly every day. It goes without saying that what happens on tour stays on tour and so don’t ask our mascot vegan, Darren, what happened at Horiba's company BBQ!  We are looking forward to future Horiba sales.

We presented our first webinar with Horiba on 24th March. It was very successful and 46 of all attendees stayed on the webinar throughout. You can find the webinar here.


       Oak Conference Room IFPAC 2020 (1)

The disruption to business brought about by the coronavirus pandemic has not had as big an impact on the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices industries as it has had on other sectors.  As these are essential businesses, our client sites have remained open with the recommended restrictions introduced into everyday work practices. Therefore, our Services Team continue to deliver value for our clients.  Most of our team are currently working remotely and visits to sites in general, tend to be on an as needs basis only. 

We have completed our inaugural Quality Control Analyst programme and our new QC Analysts are now industry ready with placements in industry to follow shortly.  As this programme is almost exclusively hands on in the laboratory our next take-in is on hold until restrictions are lifted/loosened.

We did however commence our next validation programme on March 30th with Cohort number 12.  This is currently being run online which is a departure from our normal delivery methodology and Audrey and Caroline have modified content and structure accordingly.  We were in the fortunate situation of being able to leverage the expertise from our Education division who have been running programmes online over the last 2 years.  Thanks to Peter and Finbarr for their invaluable assistance in getting us up and running.    


Ayushi Gulabani

Ayushi holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy from Sri Venkateshwara College of Pharmacy in Hyderabad, India and a Master of Science (MSc) in Pharmaceutical Science from Trinity College, Dublin.  Before moving to Ireland Ayushi held the position of Scientific Program Coordinator at OMICS International where she was responsible for planning, organising and promoting international conferences related to life sciences such as the International Conference for Cancer Biomarkers (2017) & Annual Robotic Surgery Summit (2018)

Pragya Kumari

Pragya holds a Bachelor’s in Pharmacy from Mumbai University, in India and a Master of Science (MSc) in Pharmaceutical Business Technology from Innopharma/Griffith College, Dublin.  Before moving to Ireland Pragya held an internship as QA/QC Intern at Ipca Laboratories in Mumbai where she was involved in QC testing of OSD products and also supported the vendor qualification programme. 


The Team are working hard developing and uploading content to the new website for the technical services division. Very excited for this to go live!

Hazel Waters

Please join me in welcoming Hazel Waters to the Services Team in the role of Admin support Coordinator. Hazel brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously worked in roles such as sales, accounts administration, credit control, admin support, payroll and business owner, within industries such as, construction, electrical, hospitality, retail and food.

Hazel will coordinate all aspects of administration for the Technical Services Division, including supporting the selection process for new cohorts, management of client’s on-line recruitment systems, vendor specific documentation, invoicing, PO’s, CV prep, etc.  Hazel is currently working with Zivile and Ciaran to develop our system for managing timesheets, invoicing PO’s, etc.


Beatriz Amaro

Beatriz holds a BSc in Pharmacy – Biochemistry from University of São Pauloin Brazil.  Beatrix has a number of years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry in execution of process and cleaning validation studies as well as activities such as, implementation of a continued process verification systems and optimising a cleaning validation system.


We bade farewell to Orla Melia and Shauna Keane in April.  Orla was our first placement in Boston Scientific in Galway almost 3 years ago and Shauna followed just over 1 year later.  Both have made huge contributions to the Validation efforts at Boston Scientific over this period and are now moving to staff roles.  We wish Orla and Shauna best wishes for the future.


The e-learning Analytical module is well under way for the next module on the Innoskills platform. This module will give the student an understanding of Analytical Laboratory duties which includes sample testing, overview of laboratory equipment such as HPLC and UV, solution preparation and glassware maintenance. They will have an understanding of both basic and advanced analytical testing methods such as chromatography on raw materials, in-process and finished product ensuring they carry out sample analysis in a methodical way whilst maintaining good records.

In addition, there is an overview of the numerical skills required for the successful running of experiments and reporting of results, following protocols and quality procedures. We are excited about completing this module.




Katy Conroy 

Katy joined the Education Team as Marketing Assistant at the beginning of April. Katy is originally from county Wicklow and recently moved back here. Before joining Innopharma, she was working for an insurance software company in Dublin as a Marketing Lead for 2 years. Before this she was working in a leisure centre in Greystones as a part-time marketing assistant while she was studying her undergrad in Marketing in Carlow. She is currently studying a part time Masters in Digital Marketing and Analytics which she will finish by the end of this year! She is an athlete, her event is 800m and she been competing since she was 7. 

Catriona Horgan 

Catriona  joined the Education Team in Cork in February. She is working on supporting the Food programmes. She holds a BSc in Food Business from UCC and a MBA from St. Jospeh's University in Philadelphia. She has worked in many areas of the Food Industry from retail to manufacturing. She had her own successful restaurant until leasing it out to be home with her young family in Crosshaven, Cork. She loves to read, walk and is a member of the vibrant community choir. 

                                    Katy Conroy.  


Diarmuid Costello 

Diarmuid is the Sales Support Specialist for the Technology Team. He studied Biotechnology at NUI Galway and worked as a Quality Engineer at Medtronic before deciding to make a career change into marketing. He completed a digital marketing course at Cork Institute of Technology last year and is delighted to have made the move. He has a huge interest in writing and creating content about sustainability and technology, as well as travelling.


As you can see it has been a very busy first quarter to 2020 while adapting to new ways of working and virtual meetings. We have all successfully settled into 'our way of getting stuff done' for Quarter 2!

We will be sharing a newsletter each quarter so please send on any highlights in the upcoming months. Thank you for reading!

                           Innopharma Team