Special Edition: BioPharma Hubs

Dublin set to get a life sciences incubation and acceleration cluster

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/VectorFusionArt
© GettyImages/VectorFusionArt

Related tags Advanced therapeutics Startups bioprocessing Dublin

A new specialized lab, office and collaboration space for over 100 life science and health technology professionals, entrepreneurs, and researchers was recently announced for The Campus, Cherrywood in South Dublin, Ireland.

The hub, the first of its kind in Ireland, aims to build on Dublin’s emerging international reputation as a leading center for life sciences innovation and start-up activity.

Spear Street Capital, an owner and operator of distinctive properties located in the US, Canada and Europe, will invest in the purpose-built life sciences campus. The site will be managed by the UK’s We Are Pioneer Group (WAPG).

The investors can also leverage the presence of leading life science companies already on site, such as APC, Genuity and Zoetis. 

Indeed in June, APC, an Irish pharmaceutical R&D company, unveiled a €25m investment and 120 jobs to accelerate development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines and advanced therapeutics, with €8m of this investment involving the construction of an additional 12,000 sq. ft (1114.8 sq. m) of laboratory space and associated research infrastructure at its existing HQ at the Cherrywood site.

As part of their activity in The Campus, Cherrywood, the WAPG team outlined how they will run regular accelerator and venture development programs for cohorts of life sciences start-ups, coaching them in entrepreneurial and scientific excellence, and advising them on likely routes to investment.

Young talent pool

Spear Street president, Rajiv Patel, said Dublin was chosen for the site owing to its existing life sciences and start-up ecosystem; he cited a report from US analytics company, Terrain Analytics, which ranked Dublin sixth out of 20 best European cities for life sciences, with one of the youngest talent pools available.

Toby Reid, executive direct, WAPG, said Ireland is a globally recognized center of excellence for pioneering innovation, biopharmaceutical developments, pharmaceutical manufacture and supply.

“Cherrywood will be a key location for WAPG, from where we will build meaningful links with academics, governments, councils, researchers, and pharmaceutical firms that are critical for success. Our vision is to grow and fully develop this strategically important site and amplify the existing strong fundamentals of a highly educated talent pool, ground-breaking research and rapid growth.

“The strength of the community at Cherrywood can already be seen in the success of many high growth businesses.”

The facility will feature:

  • 30,000 sq ft (2787 sq m) of shared and private wet labs and offices in a bespoke building.
  • Six medium scale laboratories, 12 starter laboratories and nine office units with enough room for approximately 15-20 life science companies of varying sizes.
  • The creation of over 100 life science jobs.

Discussions are at an advanced stage with the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT), Ireland’s global center of excellence for training and research in bioprocessing, about the establishment of a satellite lab and operation at Cherrywood, confirmed Spear Street.

The Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics, a network of over 400 Irish academic data analytics experts with a keen focus on life science and health data, will also establish a footprint to showcase its research and collaboration with the industry, said the investors.

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