innopharma quarter four newsletter 2020




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Innopharma Education



Our Griffith team were busy at the beginning of this year with our Jan/Feb recruitment and commencement of programmes. Our Jan/Feb recruitment saw 744 new students - 538 Springboard, 64 HCI and 142 July Stimulus. 

July Stimulus Success

We were lucky enough to be involved in the July Jobs Stimulus Initiative which involved offering funded modular courses that derived from our existing programmes. We offered 6 ‘brand new’ programme offerings, commenced recruitment in November with the courses beginning in February. As we have become so well known for our popular courses particularly in pharma, these modular programmes gave us the opportunity to expand our brand by offering some slightly different courses such as clinical trial specific programmes. This was a challenge but one that will stand to us as we have discovered potential new targets and opportunities for the future.  


TUD January Online Exams

Our January exams marked our 3rd online exam cycle since the pandemic. It seems we have gotten used to the online exam cycle and thanks to a huge effort from all involved this was our most successful exam cycle yet in terms of smooth running. Well done to all involved!  

L8 Food graduate - newsletter


We enjoyed a full company catch up on February 5th.  This was our second virtual full company catch up and was very beneficial in terms of encouraging communication between divisions as well as working in break out groups on topics such as company engagement and student inductions.  

Some of the topics that were discussed that will directly impact employees: 

  • Improving new staff onboarding  

  • Upskilling/training options for staff 

  • Social club reshuffle 

  • Organisation structure  


We are really looking forward to a time where our full company catch-ups can be face-to-face again!  


It has been great to see the impact our courses have had on graduates careers and lives in general. See below  our 2019 employment breakdown.

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TUD Online Graduations

On March 12th, 74 students graduated from TUD/Innopharma across our BSc, Level 8 Biopharma, Level 8 Food and MSc Food programmes. Again, while it was disappointing to not be able to celebrate this graduation in person, many logged onto the live virtual graduation and we hope we will be able to celebrate properly soon. In the meantime it was great to see Innopharma Education tagged in students social celebrations!

L8 Pharma graduate - newsletter


Following on from the success of our webinars last year, we continued to offer weekly webinars focusing on our Jan/Feb intakes this year. There was a big focus on our Griffith intake that commenced in February along with many July Stimulus specific webinars. Thanks to Ann and Kevin and anyone who helped with support on these weekly initiatives. We have seen a great return on these webinars over the last number of months and are looking forward to continuing these over our coming recruitment cycles. We are always looking for volunteers to host or help with these webinars to mix things up and any suggestions in terms of content, interesting additions etc. are welcome!  


In March we continued our traditional promotions within the regions with another article in the Limerick Post thanks to Mary Jo. It’s been great to see continued growth in these areas.  

Limerick Post March 2021


2021 marked the beginning of initiating GDPR training across the business. We had our first GDPR training last Thursday which led to a lot of new important learnings to all staff. The aim of this mandatory training is to focus everyone to be compliant in terms of GDPR and our responsibilities, staff training is key to our success. Thank you to all involved in organising this.  

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We are working hard on our Innopharma courses pending QQI approval. With such an emphasis on all things digitisation/digitalisation and industry 4.0/5.0 we are excited about our new Higher Cert in Process Digitisation and hope that this will be QQI approved soon. 




Our relationship with Horiba, our US distributor, continues at a pace where it was only a year ago, in late January 2020, that we attended the US annual sales meeting in Irvine, California, to train the Team on Eyecon2. We were back again this year, albeit virtually, but made sure we captured Horiba’s attention with a live practical demonstration from our lab in Sandyford. Read the words of Mike Pohl, Vice President, Horiba US to the right.

Needless to say, we are looking forward to in-person meetings in January next year and a chance to dip our toe into the waters at Laguna Beach! 


eyecon2 - newsletter


Continuing with the theme of online, we have started running our first successful online lab demonstrations live from the studio of the process and analytical labs in Sandyford. This is as part of the new MSc in Digital Transformation programme where we are taking students through practical examples of conventional process equipment. We have instruments and IoT digitised and layered on some PAT-driven automation and data visualisation using our SmartX platform. Needless to say, it has been well received and a welcome experience for students.  

Our product evelopment progress continues with the release of our SmartX HMI (human Machine Interface) for Crystallisation enabling process-centric control and visualisation of a chemical reactor and associated PAT. It is a milestone for this H2020 project and we look forward to further feature developments in the coming months, including some advanced process control.


This quarter, our Digital Maturity Assessment (DMA) was demonstrated to Merit Medical, Galway to great reception. The DMA allows manufacturers to assess where they stand in their digital transformation journeys and identify opportunities to advance their operations to more advanced levels. The Merit demonstration paves the way for further trials and demonstrations across multiple sites within the medical device and pharma industries in partnership with the IDA over the coming weeks. Exciting times ahead for our new data science push, tentatively named InnoData -we are open to new name suggestions, so get in touch with your ideas!

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We, along with our customers, have moved much of our commercial activity online.  In the last quarter, we have performed remote installations and training as far away as China (Hailing) and the US. We have remotely executed Installation/Operational Qualification (IQ/OQ) at BMS, New Jersey. We even performed a remote Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) on a Glatt MultiLab in Binzen, Germany, for our SmartX customer in UL.

That’s not all; we have had potential customers such as Merck in Darmstadt run independent trials on our PAT technology without the usual onsite expert input from us and achieved excellent results. It is great to see evidence of customers and vendors adapting to new practises without diminishing the results!


Conor Tansey

After graduating from Trinity College Dublin with a BA in Mathematics and French, I was delighted to get the opportunity to join the Technology Division at Innopharma. Over the past few months, I have been working closely with the software engineering team on projects relating to data science/data visualisation as well some more recent programming in Python.

Although my internship has been completely virtual, the team has created an extremely welcoming environment which I am very thankful for. So far, the experience I’ve gained has been invaluable and has provided me with a fantastic start to my working career.

Conor Tansey - New Starter



Our Technical Services Division has had a very busy and great start to the first quarter of the year, in spite the obstacles of a 3rd Lockdown.

We welcomed Caroline back from maternity leave at the beginning of January, increasing the Tech services direct team members to a headcount of 6 which is of immense benefit to have such range of experience and knowledge to support the continued growth of our division.

Big Congratulations to Adam Jackman & Becky and big brother Harry on the arrival of baby Bobby – could be a future Waterford hurler!

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Our Cleaning Validation COP met on Jan 14th. Lots of good suggestions from the team. Our Commissioning & Qualification COP held a kick off meeting on 24th March where attendees gave an overview of the type of projects they are working on.  These events are a great way of sharing information and learning from each other.

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Online presence continues to grow with regular LinkedIn postings from Katy which are getting a lot of traction.  Follow us for updates on activities and topics of interest within the (bio)pharmaceutical and Med Tech industries. .  Don’t forget to like and share!

We are also starting to monitor our website traffic with a view to implementing website improvements as required. 


On the QC front, Cohort 2 completed the QC Analyst programme in January, and we are actively looking for opportunities for them with our industry partners.

Cohort 3 commenced in late January and with the extension of the level 5 restrictions we have had to complete several modules online. Thanks to Deirdre Finn and Paula Kearney for their support with content development and delivery. We hope to have this group onsite in the Labs soon.  As with the previous Cohort we have a diverse and multinational team on the Programme with candidates from India, Nigeria and Ireland. We look forward to developing their knowledge and skills within QC environment .


Cohort 14 have successfully completed the Validation Programme exclusively online. Well done and sincere thanks to Audrey, Ann, Luke and Caroline for your efforts to ensure the new team members are industry and interview ready to start their professional careers with Innopharma. CVs are currently being reviewed and we expect more placements soon.  Thanks to Hazel for coordinating the recruitment programme for Cohort 15 which commenced on March 22nd. Thanks also to colleagues in the education team for their referrals for the programme – of the nine successful applicants seven have come through either L8 or L9 Innopharma education programmes.


On the Validation front, our relationship with Regeneron in Limerick continues to flourish with the commencement of 2 new starters, Aishwarya Kiwlekar and Rachel Kennedy, bringing our Validation headcount to a total number of 12 onsite. Resource requirements is ongoing, so we hope for further growth in Q2.



The technical services team have been busy on the social calendar.

We ran a very enjoyable Kahoots Quiz night on 4th Feb.  Well done to Audrey on stealing the show by winning 3 out of the 5 rounds – the questions from the 80’s must have suited!!

On 12th March we ran a Pictionary night with a St Patrick’s Day theme – lots of green on show as can be seen in the image to the left. Michelangelo would have been impressed with the talent on show – and Donatello too


RachelK - New Starter

Rachel Kennedy

I have a BSc. in Applied Physics and MSc. in Advanced Engineering Materials from the University of Limerick and I completed a Certified Associate in Project Management course from the PMI. I worked in the Irish Composites Centre doing Materials Research for 4 years and lab and equipment management in recent years. I’m also a qualified international referee and examiner for Taekwon-do.  I have just joined Regeneron in their Equipment Qualification team in Limerick.

Aishwarya - New Starter

Aishwarya Kiwelar

Aishwarya holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy from Sinhgad College of Pharmacy, in Pune, India.  She moved to Ireland in 2018 to pursue her Master of Science in Biotherapeutics & Business in University College, Dublin.  Aishwarya has completed internships in T. Walker’s Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd which is an injectables manufacturing company and Sinhgad College of Engineering (Biotechnology department), both in Pune.  In her free time Aishwarya enjoys practicing Yoga, Calligraphy and Reading. Aishwarya has now joined the continuing cleaning validation team at Regeneron.


Cathy - New Starter

Cathy Peck 

I joined Innopharma officially in March 2021 as Head of Teaching and Learning after consulting with members of the team on various projects over 2020. It's great to be working with such a positive, learner focused group of people. I have been working in adult and higher education for over 20 years, both here in Ireland and internationally and my PhD was focused on intercultural learning. I'm afraid my profile photo could do with an update, but that will have to wait until hairdressers have reopened. After many years of living in Asian megacities, I'm now permanently based in the West of Ireland and happiest when getting blown away on a beach or lost in a forest with my dogs. A perfect day involves following that up with an incredible meal and some laughter. 

Sonya Clancy

After nine years I decided to re-join the workforce in the middle of a global pandemic. Innopharma provided me with a great opportunity to join the company as a programme administrator with the Cork team.  Following an early career number crunching in the financial services sector I am now delighted to be part of a team helping people embark on their educational journey.

Sonya - New Starter

Carol - New Starter

Carol Keogh

I am delighted to join Innopharma Education and the Griffith Team as a programme administrator. I have worked for many years in legal administration, developing further into Human Resources management and running my own Security business for some time, in between. All of which has given me a lot of experience and reward, not just professionally but personally.   

For me there’s no greater satisfaction than helping others and I am looking forward greatly to helping Innopharma students reach their full potential.  

I am an avid Tennis player who hasn’t seen a ball and net for longer than I expected, but hoping to get back on court soon! I am also a huge animal lover and have previously been involved in fundraising and supporting local animal shelters, which I hope to continue in the future.   

Everyone has been so welcoming and supportive at Innopharma and I’m looking forward to working, learning and growing with the team. 

Sara Cuddy

I have worked in the Medical Device Industry for 20 years, in varying positions, mostly in Human Resources (with an assignment in Corporate Development), most recently as Snr Director, Global HR. Most of my career to date has been with Medtronic, working in the corporate HQ in the US for 10 years and in the Galway facility for the remaining time. My career began working in Covidien and I had the pleasure of co-leading the HR integration of Covidien at Medtronic and the subsequent transformation and change of the HR function. I led the global HR program management team, HR digital enablement, HR technology, Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures and HR Operations deployment. I decided to leave MDT to care for my 3 boys who keep my very busy (especially this past year!) and I’m married to Dave. I love to travel, watching GAA and listening to live music and I’m excited to begin my career with Innopharma as I am passionate about people development.

Sara - New Starter

Nicole - New starter

Colm O'Connor

I’m the new College Librarian at Innopharma. I am coming from RCSI where I spent 12 years working in the library there in various roles including Research Support, as the Clinical Librarian at out Beaumont hospital branch , Customer Services and Information Resources.

I have Master’s degrees in History of International Relations and also in Library & Information Studies, both from UCD. I love cycling, both on the road and mountain biking and also play soccer and tennis. Looking forward to meeting everyone in person soon (hopefully)!

Nicole Bakker

I joined Innopharma in January, currently Programme Manager for L6 Pharma Dublin as well as helping with the Griffith International cohorts, I have 10 years HR experience, and most recently 3 years recruiting in the medical device sector.  

I’m from NZ, engaged to a Kerry man, due to marry in 2022! I enjoy being outdoors, last year during the first lockdown I bought a Kayak and have been hitting some of Kerry’s most scenic spots since. I have a 14mo golden retriever called Sonny, he’s great company, and provides endless entertainment while working from home.  

colm o'connor

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All Innopharma Staff were invited to join the March steps Challege whereby we aimed to get an average of 12k steps each day of March. This challenge was set up as a fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society, a charity which means a lot to many people in Innopharma and one that Ciaran O’Connell is running his first (official) marathon for later this year (fingers crossed). This challenge was also created to encourage employees to go outside and to increase their steps throughout the day. We all know how easy it is to stay inside on screens all day whilst working remotely but it is so important to get outside and exercise every day! We are all more productive, happy and healthy if we regularly get fresh air and movement/exercise. Thank you so much to everyone who has taken part in the March Step Challenge and to anyone who has donated and/or shared our fundraising page with others. We are delighted to announce that over the course of the month of March, we as a company have taken 9,974,051 steps altogether. For the 24 that took part for the full month - this equals an average of 13,405 steps each per day. What's even more exciting is the fact that we will be sending approx. €5,000 to the Irish Cancer Society - thanks to all who donated and a massive thank you to Innopharma for matching our money raised! THANK YOU ALL AND WELL DONE!


Our next book club is on Friday 28th May and the following books have been recommended: 

  • The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman 

  • The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins 

  • Flourishing - Maureen Gaffney 

  • Aware - Daniel Siegel 

  • Dark Blue - Shane Carthy 


The following watches have also been recommended: 

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel - Disney+ 

  • Predator 

  • Iron Man 

  • Murder Among the Mormons 

  • Your Honor 

  • Line of Duty 

  • Pistorius 

  • Bruno Vs Tyson – Sky 

  • Digging for the Truth - The Da Vinci Code – Sky 

  • Gladiator 

  • American Gangster 

  • Gone Girl 


If you are interested in reading/watching any of the above or if you already have, make sure and call into our next meeting on Friday 28th May at 1pm to discuss your thoughts and suggest our next picks! 

We are constantly looking for new members to attend with new suggestions for our avid readers/watchers.  



Thank you to all of the hard work from those involved in the social committee over the last year since working from home commenced. We are appealing to some new members to give the current committee a well earned break. Please contact Mary Jane if you would like to be part of the committee, we would love some fresh faces and ideas! There have been some whispers about those in the regions being the best crack when it comes to social events.... hint, hint..



For the 6 weeks of lent, Sandra kindly offered a brilliant daily initiative running from Ash Wednesday until Good Friday. This wellness/mindfulness initiative involved a daily 7.30am zoom call (attendees' cameras off & on mute) whereby Sandra takes 20 minutes to talk us through a process of setting yourself up for a successful day, setting some positive affirmations, gratitude practices and much more. All activities are known to help with focus and wellbeing. Sandra offered something different each morning, this morning ritual has gone down a treat. Thank you to Sandra for offering such a gorgeous wellness activity and helping us to set up for our day correctly!   


As further encouragement to get staff out and about for our March Steps Challenge, we ran a photo competition on Daffodil Day. Staff sent in their lovely photos of their lockdown surroundings whilst out on a walk. Thank you to everyone who took part - a special thanks also to Ann Ryan, Paula and Mary Jo for providing some laughs through their controversial poetry. 

photo comp newsletter


On Monday 8th March we hosted a ‘Ladys Lunch’ to celebrate International Womens Day. Thanks to Zivs for the lovely cocktail tutorial where we discovered that all alcohol goes with strawberries! We finished the lunch off with an amusing game of PSYCH.
It's great to see such a high ratio of successful women within all of the Innopharma divisions! 

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Last month Education jumped on the success of Technology and Tech Services Pictionary. There were some interesting images throughout - lets just say none of us will be giving up our day job any time soon!  


A reminder to all staff to keep an eye on the Laya EAP website as they share a huge amount or resources in terms of articles, videos and webinars covering things like parenting, healthy eating, wellness during remote working and much more!


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