Innopharma Quarter 2 Newsletter

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Let's begin with Education

Our September 2019 courses have now all begun with over 600 springboard students starting across Dublin, Cork and Limerick compared to 400 students for the same time last year. We also had 90 international students starting in Griffith College this semester which is a 50% increase on last year.

It has been a busy few months leading up to our September 19 intake with several open evenings, drop-in sessions, events, webinars & interviews etc. to get all of the students on board. We had our highest ever turn out at our open evenings!

DSP Event


Back in June, the Education Team got together for a day filled with brainstorming, revising the student process & experience and of course Zoho! It was a fantastic day to get everyone together before our September 2019 campaign kicked off.

The exciting projects that begun last quarter in Education are now complete!  Our new website is now live and active and is bringing in several enquiries every day which are going straight on to Zoho CRM. It is great to see the benefits of the linkage with Zoho.

The brand has undergone a refresh and can be seen across our new sales & marketing materials including our new collection of course brochures. More marketing material such as new slide-decks, pull up banners and templates under the new branding is still in process and will be ready for use very soon.

The DSP’s ‘National Employer Roadshow was held in Limerick on the 16th September to address the skill gap in Ireland. Mary Jo presented along with a past student, Eoin Rafferty and General Manager at SSE, Sean Glynn.

The Galway Jobs Expo was a great success last Saturday, the 21st of September. Mary Jo & Fiona attended on behalf of the Education & Validation divisions and they got a fantastic turnout. Mary Jo spoke about upskilling for free to work in the medical device sector in Galway and Fiona talked about why you should you consider a career in Validation. 

To finish off our first semester of the year, we had our Innopharma Graduation in May which was a very successful night. With a great turnout on the evening, our graduates enjoyed some snacks and refreshments as they were presented with their certificates of completion and caught up with classmates and staff.

grad trio

I am sure you have noticed our fantastic new functional surfaces including the interactive walls on the ground, second and third floor as well as the table in the Lonsdale room. It's great to see them all in use and the benefits of having a much more creative space throughout the building for both teaching purposes and internal meetings. A huge thank you again to everyone for their patience while the work was being done.

Smarter surfaces

We are proud to be sponsoring the Pharma Industry Awards 2019 again this year.  We are sponsoring the ‘Partnership Alliance of the Year’ Award with the following companies in our category:

  • Almac Group, Arran Chemical Company & Alcresta Therapeutics
  • CCID - Pfizer, Eli Lilly & SSPC
  • Inflection Biosciences & AUM Biosciences
  • NIBRT & Jefferson
  • Pfizer Ringaskiddy & Indaver Ireland

We are also delighted to announce that our MSc in Pharmaceutical Business and Technology has been shortlisted for the Pharma Education & Training Award for the second year running. Looking forward to a good night in October at the event.

Pharma Awards 2019 Image

Boston Scientific Visit 

Back in July, some of our students had a fantastic experience where they received a site tour of the Boston Scientific plant in Cork. They particularly found the walk-through of the corridor hugely beneficial as it brought a lot of their learning together. 

Check out our new blogs!

Make sure to keep an eye on the News section of our website where we are publishing interesting articles about the Pharma, Medtech and Food Science industries regularly. 

site visit

IBEC & Innopharma Pharma 4.0 Event 

On the 4th of December, we will be running a pharma industry event co-hosted by ourselves and IBEC. The day will be broken into two, the first part will be a discussion workshop held in the Alex hotel followed by an afternoon session whereby there will be a panel discussion and some top industry speakers, academics and potentially a government minister will say a few words. The main themes will be about how the Irish Pharma industry needs to upskill and invest to ensure we have the talent and knowledge to embrace the increase adaption of technology in (bio)pharma manufacturing. This will be a great opportunity for our brand to position ourselves as a leading science faculty for the Pharma industry. Eve will update on plans when finalised. 


And Some Exciting News from Technology



Conference 123

Conference 3333


In July, our Technology division published our latest research paper demonstrating the capabilities of our newest technology Smart FBx, which was used in the development and implementation of a self-guided granulation process. The release of this paper positions the company firmly within the Pharma 4.0 space. Innopharma is no longer just a PAT company!


9th International Granulation Conference, Lausanne, Switzerland 

In June Gareth and Chris attended the biennial International Granulation Conference organised by the University of Sheffield. This one was held in Lausanne, Switzerland; and in addition to the posters and talks presented on wide range of fascinating research topics, also featured a cruise on Lake Geneva and gala dinners at both the Royal Savoy hotel, and Chillon Castle - parts of which date back to the 11th century. This is in stark contrast to the 8th Granulation Conference held in Sheffield where the entertainment consisted of a psychic reading Darren McHugh’s mind on-stage… seriously! Ask him about it!

Tech COnference

At the conference Gareth presented a poster titled “Strategies for Overcoming Window Fouling during In-Line Real-Time Monitoring of Fluid Bed Granulation” presenting on some of the developments we have made over the past number of years in successfully applying different sensor types to the granulation process in our process lab. Chris also presented a poster titled “Examination of the Physical and Performance Effects of 2 Different Control Models on Scale-Up of an Enteric Wurster Coating Process” covering some of the results of a very extensive study undertaken over the last year in conjunction with industry heavyweights Colorcon and Glatt. As you can tell we pride ourselves on our snappy poster titles in the Technology division!

The Eyecon2 was also on display in the exhibition hall, kindly hosted by our friends Magi Richter and Anja Geissler-Fichtner of Thermo Fischer Scientific’s Pharmaceutical Extrusion division. It was presented mounted to their lab-scale twin screw extruder / granulator with a newly designed prototype material presentation interface, which has already seen it’s first commercial use since then! This underscores the value that process analytical technologies can provide when fully integrated with development and manufacturing equipment, both enabling greater understanding and faster development of processes through reducing or removing the need for time-consuming offline analysis of samples. This is something we may be hearing a lot more about in the future, but you’ll have to wait until the next newsletter for that!

zip lining

Team Building

Great event in August as members of the Innopharma team took part in a team-building exercise, where they challenged themselves to an evening of ziplining in Tibradden Woods.


tech image
lab 1

The New Analytical Lab 

We are in the process of converting a portion of training room 3 into an Analytical Laboratory with fully finished product release testing capabilities. This expansion of facilities is required for the new project called SmartCrys. The SmartCrys is an EU funded project on API crystallization process control. A distinct analytical lab is getting ready to fit the brand-new facilities such as waters HPLC, USP standard dissolution apparatus and a crystallizer assembly along with temperature controller. These facilities are standardizing to work in a GLP environment considering all health and safety regulations. Innopharma is targeting to bring many other new facilities to improve the quality of pharmaceutical & biopharmaceutical research and education.  The lab will be fully operational in October. See images for progress to date.

lab 4
lab 3


And Some Great News from Technical Services

Our Technical Services Business continues to grow as we have welcomed several new members to our team over the last few months.  Caroline has come on board as our Business relationship Manager and is working closely with Fiona to grow the business.  Katy has joined Noreen and Meabh at Regeneron in their QA function. Tom has joined Joe and Pedro at Amgen in their packaging validation area and Emer is our first team member to take up a position at Mallinckrodt supporting their data integrity project within their Quality function.

Cohort 9 have just completed our programme and are interviewing at the moment (two have just received job offers and will be commencing in the coming weeks). Cohort 10 have just commenced the programme. 


Tech Services Group Photo

On the utility of broad interests for career success, Fiona and Caroline would like to recommend a book called “Range” by David Epstein – it explores why generalists triumph in an increasingly specialised world. Available on Audible.

Quality Control Analysts

We plan to launch a similar programme to our Validation offering, for Quality Control Analysts in Q4. The programme itself is aimed at science graduates and will provide hands-on experience of performing finished product release testing.

The programme outline will include the following:  

Introduction to QC testing & Good Laboratory Practice 

  • Laboratory Quality Management System 
  • Sample Management - Chain of Custody 
  • QC Laboratory Documentation 
  • Analytical Test Methods & Validation 

Physical Testing requirements: Bulk & tap density, LOD, Hardness etc. 

Analytical Instrumentation, HPLC, Dissolution, Chemical Testing Requirements etc.

  • Theory 
  • System Sustainability, Calibration, Maintenance 
  • Reference Standards Preparation 
  • Sample Analysis 
  • Results & Reporting 
  • Troubleshooting 
  • Laboratory Investigation & Sample Resting 
  • Trending Data & OOT

Interview Readiness

Technical Services New Starters 

Read more about our new placements

Katy Wrynn

Katy joined the Tech Services team in May. Katy is a native of Cork but is a long-term resident in her adopted county, Clare. She worked for many years in Beckman Coulter supporting the development of enzymes and immunoassays and was heavily involved with new product introductions to the facility. Katy undertook our Level 8 in Pharma and Medical Device manufacturing in Limerick before joining the validation programme in order to return to industry. She is now working in a QA role on site at Regeneron in Limerick. She brings a wealth of experience from her volunteer work on parent’s councils and great breadth from her diverse interests, ranging from immunodietetics to hedgehog rescue..  

Tom O'Connor 

Tom joined the Tech Services team in June. Tom is a proud Ballyboden GAA supporter (and coach) as well as a musician and qualified music teacher. He graduated from Science at Trinity and continued his education with Innopharma. He undertook our Level 8 in Pharma & Medtech manufacturing in Dublin, concurrently with the validation programme. As he wasn’t busy enough, he juggled his training/education activities with working pints part-time as a bar tender. His previous experience has been helpful for Tom adapting very quickly to industry and the challenging environment at Amgen where he supports a number of packaging validation projects, ably guided and supported by Joe and Pedro.. 

Emer Dunne 

Emer, like Tom joined the Tech Services team in June. Emer also bravely undertook both our Level 8 in Pharma & Medtech manufacturing and our validation programmes in tandem. She managed to squeeze in a much needed and enjoyed holiday in Orlando with her family before becoming our first team member to represent Innopharma on site at Mallinckrodt. Emer has a strong pharmaceuticals background having previously held a variety of QA and QC roles at Pfizer Grange Castle, Gerard Laboratories and Organon as well as a process engineering role at Intel. We’re delighted to support Emer re-joining the pharma industry having dedicated years to supporting her family and their family business.. 

Innoskills Updates



Our new product goes from strength to strength.  Following a successful trial at Trinity College Dublin earlier this year, we're delighted that both the MSc and the BSc Pharmacy/Pharma Science students will begin to use it from early October, and increase from 15 to 85 students. Our modules will be integrated into their Industrial Pharmaceuticals course. This marks the beginning of what we hope will be a very productive partnership with Trinity's School of Pharmaceutical Science. Eve, Victoria and Luke will be presenting to the Trinity lecturers and students on Mon 30th Sept, showcasing Innoskills and also setting a separate industry case study for them. Off the back of this progress with Trinity, we'll be communicating jointly about our work together, and hope that this gets us some positive press coverage for Innoskills and for our continuing leadership in progressive education in the high-tech and life science manufacturing sector. 



Responses from students and managers so far have been very positive, with Trinity students providing some very useful feedback into how the design and interface could be improved, and we've taken these comments on board to roll-out a range of new features and design improvements. We also had 30 staff members from Amneal taking some modules during the summer, which also helped us to identify some technical bugs that have been resolved. Eve, Victoria and Peter have been working hard to make updates to the platform throughout the summer, preparing it for the new larger class of Trinity students coming on board. 

Our ambition for 2020 is to look at how we can further expand and grow the product in Ireland and beyond, with new modules already being developed (QC & Analysis) and new academic partners being sought outside of Ireland. Innoskills is a huge opportunity to grow the Innopharma Education brand outside of Ireland, so we're excited to see some early successes and great customer feedback. Well done to Victoria and Peter for all their hard work on supporting the project at this early stage. 


A warm welcome to the new members of the Innopharma team





We are delighted to have Sandra Mooney back working with us with the Education team. Sandra very successfully managed the Galway programmes for several years. She most recently held the position of head of HR for Creganna and has great experience in the Pharma & Medtech industries.

Caroline Fanneran joined our Technical Services Team in May as Business Relationship Manager, job sharing with Fiona Fennell. A native of Co Clare, Caroline now resides in Sligo.  Caroline has a lengthy career in business development within FMCG, Supply Chain and Staffing & Recruitment. Before joining Innopharma, Caroline worked with CREGG Recruitment as Divisional Manager, specialising in Science, Technical & Engineering Recruitment for the Life Sciences Sector. She is delighted to be part of the Innopharma team and really appreciates how welcome everyone has made her feel.

Kirankumar Ramisetty just started with our Technology team as a Crystallization Research Fellow. Previously, Kiran was a postdoc from SSPC, University of Limerick in Prof. Ake Rasmuson group. He did a PhD in Chemical Engineering from ICT-Mumai India. Currently, he is engaged in setting up a new analytical lab and introducing new technologies to Innopharma.  

Moumita Banik (call her Mou) joined our Technology team back in July. Before starting in Innopharma she was lost in an intense MSc course in Digital Marketing Strategy at Trinity Business school. At the same time, She was working as a Digital Communicator, helping Trinity go digital. And prior to that, she was in Kolkata working on CRM, doing another master’s and volunteering for 3 NGO’s at home and abroad. Mou loves to travel, hike, meet people, acquire new skills and of course to eat!

Claude Lacey recently started with our Technology team, taking on the role of principle architect and managing the software team.  Claude recently completed the Post Graduate Diploma in Pharmaceutical Business and Technology with us.  His previous experience includes working with Digital Pathology Technologies. Apart from having an interest in all thing’s techie, Claude also enjoys hiking, mountain biking and brewing his own beer!



As you can see it has been another busy quarter and we have a lot going on over the next few months as we reach the end of 2019. We will be sharing a newsletter each quarter so please send on any highlights throughout the next few months.