SFI/MMI Technology Platform Workshop

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SFI/MMI Technology Platform Workshop

 

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SFI/MMI Technology Platform Workshop Proceedings

SFI/MMI Technology Platform Workshop Presentations

 

SFI/MMI Technology Platform Workshop Proceedings

Introduction

SFI in association with MMI organised a Technology Platform Workshop on June 3rd 2010 at the Institute for Molecular Medicine in St James Hospital in order to showcase the breadth of technology platforms in Ireland and to highlight how these technologies are;

  • Operating as national and/or all-island facilities
  • Contributing to Ireland’s innovation and commercialisation agenda
  • Facilitating partnerships with industry

We were delighted to note that this Workshop was well attended with representation from many institutions across the country north and south. The Workshop was opened jointly by Dr Ruth Barrington of MMI and Dr Stephen Simpson of SFI who highlighted the interest of both organisations in developing a better understanding of the contribution of technology platforms.  Dr Jan Guerin of MMI launched the Technology Platform Web-Portal developed to promote technologies that support clinical and translational research in Ireland see link  https://www.crdi.ie/tp_web_portal. The Web-portal currently profiles over 60 technology platforms available for biomedical research on the island of Ireland.

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Technology Platforms operating as national and/or all-island facilities

Dr Eucharia Meehan of the Higher Education Authority whose Programme for Research in Third Level Education funded the establishment of many technology platforms throughout Ireland chaired the first session.  This session included presentations from Prof Bert Rima who provided an overview of the technology platforms available at Queen’s University Belfast and how these technologies have been organised as core facilities.  Prof Jim Meaney highlighted how the Centre for Advanced Medical Imaging is enabling human imaging for research.  Dr Anthony Davies provided a comprehensive overview of the route towards acquiring national status for the High Content Screening Facility at TCD.  Dr Karen Duffy presented a detailed account of the regulatory requirements to license the National Stem Cell Manufacturing Facility at NUI Galway.  This session concluded with a lively presentation from Prof Oliver Dolly on the use of technology to develop the next generation of biotherapeutics for MS. 

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Technology platforms supporting Ireland’s innovation and commercialisation agenda

Mr. Martin Shanagher from the Department of Enterprise Trade and Innovation chaired the session focusing on how technology platforms are addressing the innovation and commercialisation agenda.  Mr Shanagher led this session by highlighting the Government’s recognition that investment in science and research is central to Ireland’s economic recovery.  Prof William Gallagher provided some case studies to highlight the role for sophisticated pre-clinical molecular imaging available at the UCD Conway Institute to advance drug development in the area of cancer.  Dr Julie Donnelly from the Tyndall National Institute shared an overview of the facilities open to all researchers on the island of Ireland through the SFI funded National Access Programme and provided some examples of their ICT solutions for health.  Prof Stephen Pennington showcased the use of Quantitative Proteomics Platform for advanced protein biomarker discovery and validation.  Prof John Boland provided a comprehensive overview of the nanofabrication facilities at CRANN and their interactions with both SME and MN industries nationally and internationally and how the investment in technology and expertise has allowed Ireland to be competitive internationally in Nanoscience.

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Technology Platforms facilitating partnerships with industry

Dr Brian Kelly of Celtic Catalysts and a member of the Innovation Task Force chaired the session that highlighted how technology platforms facilitate partnerships with industry.  Prof Noel Caplice discussed how the large animal imaging facility and associated highly skilled expertise at UCC is actively facilitating the needs of the medical device industry for example by evaluating novel interventional cardiology/vascular products.  Dr Thomas Barry highlighted his team’s successful interactions with commercial partners for example Beckman Coulter Biomedical Limited and indigenous IVD companies to develop molecular diagnostic products for infectious diseases based on the platform technologies of the Molecular Diagnostics Research Group at NUI Galway.  Mr Fergal Keating provided an overview of the facilities and capabilities available through the recently established Advanced Microscopy Laboratory and how their expertise in flexible electronics has built a strong partnership with HP Invent.  Dr Padraig Doolin’s presentation focussed on how the technology platforms at the National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology are an integral parts of DCU’s ongoing collaboration with Wyeth Biopharma (Andover MA USA) and Wyeth Biotech (Grange Castle Clondalkin Dublin) looking at more efficient production of biopharmaceuticals using industrially-relevant CHO cell lines.  This session closed with industrial partnership case studies presented by Dr Gordon Armstrong from the Materials & Surface Science Institute in UL examples included the ongoing collaboration with Cook Medical and as hosts for the Solid State Pharmaceuticals Cluster focused on industry-directed research into crystallisation .

In addition to the broad range of oral presentations outlined above there were a number of posters showcasing the contribution of their technology platforms to these thematic areas.

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The European Molecular Biology Laboratory – EMBL  

The keynote speaker was Dr. Christian Boulin Head of Core Facilities at EMBL who provided a comprehensive overview of the state-of-art facilities available through EMBL to Irish researchers and encouraged more Irish researchers to avail of EMBL’s technologies and expertise.

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Common themes

Common themes through all presentations were the scale of investment in Ireland in start-of-the-art infrastructure the active contribution this infrastructure is making to research and innovation and partnerships with industry.  The expertise associated with the technology platforms is as important as the technologies themselves and therefore it is vital to have dedicated high-skilled technical expertise to run these facilities. Many speakers referred to the immediate need to develop funding models at institutional and government agency levels to address the sustainability of these technology platforms in the medium to long term.

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Technology Platforms – Strategic issues

The final session chaired by Dr Ruth Barrington provided a lively discussion around the use and sustainability of technology platforms.  This panel members for this session were Sean Mulvany EI Stephen Simpson SFI Enda Connelly HRB Christian Boulin EMBL John Boland CRANN and Bert Rima QUB who shared their views openly on this important topic. Some of the key points raised as part of this session include;

  • The need for a discussion between the funding agencies on potential funding models for sustainability of technology platforms based on international models;
  • The inclusion of direct access costs to infrastructure in programme grants to allow researchers to build up a sustainability model for technology platforms at an institutional level;
  • Access charges to technology platforms will not provide a sole revenue stream for sustainability because the level of charges required would be prohibitive;
  • An innovative investment programme is required to encourage industry to engage with the technologies and associated expertise within the universities for example to support the ‘spin-in’ of companies;
  • The opportunity to trade equipment across universities that is surplus to needs should be explored;
  • The effectiveness of national technology platforms should be evaluated using models developed in other countries;
  • There is a need to identify the key national research infrastructures/platforms on a similar basis as in other European countries and for agencies to fund them as national resources in the way for example that the Tyndall National Institute is funded.  National infrastructures should be distinguished from those that primarily serve institutional needs and whose sustainability should be funded mainly by the institutions;
  • Where funding is awarded by an agency for a research infrastructure/platform as part of a programme grant there should be a dialogue between the university concerned and the funding agency to agree a plan for the maintenance and sustainability of the infrastructure/technology platform.
  • The Wellcome Trust is more likely to fund a piece of equipment in an institution if it is integrated as part of a Core Facility rather than remaining with a PI programme.

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Conclusion

In conclusion Ruth Barrington thanked the speakers chairs panel members oral and poster presenters for participating in workshop and for contributing to such a stimulating day.  On behalf of all those attending she thanked Jan Guerin Siobhan Roche and Michael Ryan for their hard work in planning and organising the workshop. She invited more researchers to display their technology platforms on the MMI Technology Platform Web-portal and said that proceedings of the workshop would be prepared and circulated with a view to promoting a more strategic approach to sustain the substantial investment in infrastructure and expertise of the past ten years.

Workshop organisers: Drs Siobhan Roche and Michael Ryan SFI and Jan Guerin MMI

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SFI/MMI TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM WORKSHOP PRESENTATIONS

 

Opening of Workshop jointly by Ruth Barrington MMI and Stephen Simpson SFI
Setting the scene
  • Overview of Infrastructural activities funded by SFI (Michael Ryan SFI)
  • Launch of MMI Technology Platform Web-Portal (Jan Guerin MMI)

 

Session I Technology Platforms operating as national and/or all-island Facilities
Chair: Dr Eucharia Meehan Higher Education Authority
  • Core Technology Units

Prof. Bert Rima (Queens University Belfast)
Please click here to download presentation

  • CAMI: Enabling Human Imaging for Research

Dr. Gerard Boyle (St. James’s Hospital/TCD)

  • Mapping Out the Path Towards National Facility Status

Dr. Tony Davies (Trinity College Dublin)

  • National Stem Cell Manufacturing Facility – supporting clinical regenerative medicine therapy in Ireland

Dr. Karen Duffy (REMEDI National University of Ireland Galway)

  • New Therapeutics Capable of Normalising Communication in the Nervous System

Prof. Oliver Dolly (International Centre for Neurotherapeutics Dublin City
Please click here to download presentation

 

Session II Technology Platforms supporting Ireland’s innovation and commercialisation agenda
Chair: Mr. Martin Shanagher Department of Enterprise Trade and Innovation
  • How Preclinical Molecular Imaging Can Advance the Drug Development Process: Case Studies in the Oncology Domain

Prof. William Gallagher (University College Dublin)
Please click here to download presentation

  • National Access Programme at Tyndall – Supporting Research in Health

Ms. Julie Donnelly (Tyndall National Institute)
Please click here to download presentation

  • Quantitative Proteomics Platform: Instrumentation and expertise for discovery and validation of protein biomarkers

Prof. Stephen Pennington (Conway Institute University College Dublin)
Please click here to download presentation

  • Nano fabrication in CRANN

Prof. John Boland (CRANN Trinity College Dublin)
Please click here to download presentation

 

Session III Technology Platforms facilitating partnerships with industry
Chair: Dr Brian Kelly Celtic Catalysts and Member of the Innovation Taskforce
  • Large animal imaging and translational research facility at Centre for Research in Vascular Biology

Prof. Noel Caplice (Centre for Research in Vascular Biology University College Cork)

  • Molecular Diagnostics Research Group

Dr. Thomas Barry (National University of Ireland Galway)
Please click here to download presentation

  • Nano fabrication on a microscopy platform

Dr. Fergal Keating (CRANN Trinity College Dublin.
Please click here to download presentation

  • Pfizer-NICB Collaboration: Improving Production of Biopharmaceuticals using Industrially-relevant CHO Cell Lines

Dr. Padraig Doolan (Dublin City University)
Please click here to download presentation

  • Industrial partnerships at MSSI: Case studies

Dr. Gordon Armstrong (University of Limerick)
Please click here to download presentation

 

Session IV Invited Speaker: Dr. Christian Boulin Head of Core Facilities EMBL
What has been achieved by EMBL what can be learned from a well resourced state-of-the-art core facilities and what is available to Irish researchers?
Please click
here to download presentation

Chair: Stephen Simpson Director Life Sciences SFI

 

Session V – Panel Discussion
Are Technology Platforms being used to their full potential what are the issues how can we support and sustain TPs more efficiently and effectively?
Chair: Dr Ruth Barrington Chief Executive Molecular Medicine Ireland
Panel Members: Drs. Sean Mulvaney EI Stephen Simpson SFI Enda Connelly HRB Christian Boulin EMBL John Boland CRANN and Bert Rima QUB

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