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UK's Newcastle University Introduces First-Ever Biopharmaceutical Engineering Doctorate Program

Biopharmaceutical Bioprocessing Technology Centre (BBTC) Provides Industry Collaboration with the New EngD in Biopharmaceutical Process Development. The Biopharmaceutical Bioprocessing Technology Centre, as a part of Newcastle University, will begin its biopharmaceutical engineering doctorate (EngD) program. it's a first of its kind in the world designed to help build the requisite skill set for the next generation of biopharmaceutical professionals.

Atlanta, GA (Vocus) September 15, 2009 -- In October, the Biopharmaceutical Bioprocessing Technology Center (BBTC), as part of the UK’s Newcastle University, will begin its inaugural biopharmaceutical engineering doctorate (EngD) program, the first program of its kind in the world. The program aims to advance the techniques that accelerate biopharmaceutical product development and at the same time, build the requisite skill set for the next generation of biopharmaceutical professionals.

The BBTC works as a channel for information exchange within Newcastle University by bridging the gap between University-based research and industry technology. The Center focuses on biosystems engineering, for which their team has international recognition. The BBTC assists the industry by preparing students to work in the field, providing professional continuing education and acting as a hub for knowledge, research and skills transfer.

The Engineering Doctorate in Biopharmaceutical Process Development is a four-year program that provides students with six months of traditional education and training, followed by three and-a-half years of hands-on experience with an industry partner. This combination of education and training builds on students’ existing skills with the latest scientific and engineering techniques as well as the management skills necessary to succeed in a professional setting.

“It’s exciting to be part of creating this flagship program,” says Newcastle University’s Professor Gary Montague, who is leading the new center with his colleague, Professor Elaine Martin. “We know that we are developing a program that will groom the biopharmaceutical leaders of tomorrow thus providing biopharmaceutical companies with the talent they need to be competitive globally.”

The UK is recognized as second in the world for pharmaceutics, but it is not without competition. Like the United States, in order for UK companies to remain competitive in the industry, they must be able to find and retain highly skilled workforce. The EngD program at the BBTC works together with the industry to create future bio-business leaders who, in turn, help companies maintain and improve upon their position in the industry.

The UK’s North East region is a world-renowned hub of activity for the biopharmaceutical industry. Currently, the UK is responsible for 40% of the active drugs for Europe and 45% of drugs in late stage trials in Europe. Approximately 30% of pharmaceutical drugs in development in the UK are from a biological production route. The UK spends 25% of its research and development budget on the pharmaceutical industry, which amounts to $12.2 billion per year.

“The BBTC program isn’t simply about making progress in the UK; it paves the way for education in and advancement of the biopharmaceutical industry worldwide,” says Scott Kozak, VP of Life Sciences for the North England Inward Investment Agency. Companies can participate with the BBTC through continuing professional development programs or by sponsoring relevent research projects.
These projects focus on biosystems engineering, an area in which the BBTC team has unique expertise and international recognition. The goal is to understand underlying biological complexity and as a consequence, manipulate biological behavior to improve whole process design. BBTC graduates will have the skills to take biopharmaceutical processes through development as rapidly as possible and learn to solve complex, open-ended research problems along the way.

The UK government’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), together with Newcastle University is funding 12 full four-year scholarships per year for the EngD program at the BBTC for the next five years. A portion of the scholarships are available to non-European students at the top of their class. The EPSRC is the main UK government agency responsible for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences. For more information on the EngD in Biopharmaceutical Process Development, including how to submit an application, visit the BBTC Web site.

Biopharmaceutical Bioprocessing Technology Center
The new Biopharmaceutical Bioprocessing Technology Center (BBTC) at Newcastle University, located in Newcastle upon Tyne in the United Kingdom, delivers cutting edge courses, such as the EngD in Biopharmaceutical Process Development, to both students and the industry. The BBTC’s goal is to understand underlying biological complexity and as a consequence, manipulate biological behavior and realize improved whole process design.

North England Inward Investment Agency
The North England Inward Investment Agency is a British Government-funded consultancy and UK-based inward investment agency whose role is to advise and assist North American companies considering UK/European expansion. Their services are free and confidential and include the provision of information on a wide range of important issues such as: market feasibility studies, business plan support, site selection, potential procurement of financial assistance/public grants, taxation issues, work-force training and recruitment, supply chain opportunities, skills availability, labor costs and regulations, market data, links and collaborations with Universities, introductions to key professional services and regulation advice.


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