'Thrilled' Waterford Institute of Technology research centre wins top award

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Pharma Research Centre of the Year plaque

Pharma Research Centre of the Year plaque

The Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology (PMBRC) at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has been named as Pharma Research Centre of the Year at the Pharmaceutical Industry Awards 2020.

It is the first time PMBRC has won the prestigious and hotly contested Research Centre award.

Since launching in 2014, the Pharma Industry Awards has established itself as the benchmark for excellence for those operating in Ireland’s pharma industry.

This year’s event took place online due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The Research Centre of the Year award recognises outstanding achievement, business growth, operational excellence and impact.

“We’re thrilled that our achievements over the past year have been recognised by our peers in the pharma industry and academia” said PMBRC manager Dr Niall O’Reilly, speaking after the awards ceremony. 

“Over the past 12 months we have significantly grown our research activity, won major funding awards and increased our engagement with industry and international academic partners. We are particularly proud of our commercialisation activities which resulted in six licence agreements and the formation of two WIT spin out companies, OcuDel Ltd. and BioEnz Technologies Ltd.”

Earlier this year, PMBRC partnered with the Eco-Innovation Research Centre in WIT, University Hospital Waterford and BioEnz Technologies Ltd. to improve the speed of Covid-19 testing under the SFI-coordinated research and innovation response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding of €118,000, competitively secured through the joint Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and IDA initiative to tackle the scientific challenges posed by COVID-19, has allowed PMBRC researchers to be active in COVID-19 research with two major projects on PCR testing and anti-viral inhaler formulations underway.

Although this is the first time for PMBRC to win the Research Centre of the Year, PMBRC is no stranger to awards having picked up the R&D Achievement prize in 2017 and 2019. PMBRC also won the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award in the field of Digital Technology at the 2019 Technology Ireland Awards in collaboration with WIT’s TSSG research centre.