The primary goal of IBIA is to enhance the environment in Ireland for the development of a successful biotechnology sector. IBIA's role is to promote, support, and encourage further development of the multinational and indigenous biotech sector in Ireland. IBIA achieves this by building and maintaining excellent relations with government, state agencies, other representative organizations, and patient groups.
IBIA works closely with the research community to build a thriving biotech sector in the country. It is a full-time member of the US and European trade associations, BIO and EuropeBIO, respectively.The association actively participates in a range of activities, including intellectual property and patents, regulatory affairs, and the promotion of research and development (R&D) collaborations within the sector. IBIA is very conscious of the role of R&D in supporting bio-industries, and the association works closely with research institutions within universities and Enterprise Ireland's Biotechnology Directorate.
The membership has outlined key objectives and aims for the association, which are reviewed on an ongoing basis and adapt to evolving challenges and opportunities. Overall objectives include:
While advancing the objectives of members, IBIA reviews and revises its activities to ensure they are consistent with these objectives. A cross-section of some key activities within the past year includes:
Industry-led R&D Initiative. IBIA and Enterprise Ireland have teamed up to bring industry and academia together to develop specific R&D projects that will help address the short-term needs of the industry. The initiative is based on the Tekes model that has been used successfully in Finland. IBIA members were surveyed, and two areas of particular interest to companies emerged: in-line testing capability for bioprocessing and diagnostic miniaturization. Feasibility studies have been conducted in both areas by groups consisting of both industry and academic leaders. If approved by the board of Enterprise Ireland, €2 million could be made available to fund the research.
Conducting network events for industry and academic research entities. IBIA organized events in collaboration with Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). These platforms allowed SFI researchers to present their research areas to the industry and enabled the industry to showcase their companies and the R&D they are currently conducting.
Promoting the Irish biotech industry at international forums. For the first time, the IBIA joined with the Industrial Development Agency, Enterprise Ireland, and Science Foundation Ireland and commissioned a trade booth, which was unveiled at the BIO 2005 conference in Philadelphia. The stand was developed to serve as an information center about Ireland to promote its advantages to biotechnology companies, researchers, and entrepreneurs who wish to locate in Ireland.
Growth seminars. The IBIA joined forces with The Chalfont Project, an international consulting group, to provide members with a free periodical advisory seminar on how to address strategic, organizational, and personnel issues from start-up through various stages of company growth. The seminars covered numerous areas such as strategy articulation, product management, management for scientists and behavioral changes.