A new £56m Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre will be built in Renfrewshire, putting Scotland at the forefront of innovation in the £98bn small molecule pharmaceutical market.

The MMIC is one of the early projects across the United Kingdom to receive funding from the UK’s £4.7bn Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, drawing on the UK’s world-leading research skills and its industrial strengths to meet the major societal challenges of our time. With an aim of protecting future generations by bringing new medicines to market safely and quickly, the project is supported by Scottish Enterprise (£15 million), UK Research and Innovation, through Innovate UK (£13 million), and pharmaceutical giants GSK and AstraZeneca (£7 million each).

Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said the MMIC is a positive endorsement of Scotland’s Life and Chemical Science sectors and will build on its internationally recognised strengths in both Research and Development and manufacturing.

The pharmaceutical sector in Scotland already employs 5,000 people directly and supports a further 16,500 jobs. The new MMIC aims to capitalise on this core of knowledge, attracting over £80mn of R&D investment by 2028 and creating 80 high value jobs directly by 2023.

“This will help to make Scotland the location of choice for the life sciences community and help us grow the industry’s contribution to the Scottish economy by 90 per cent, to £8bn by 2025. As well as helping to attract further manufacturing investment to Scotland, the Centre will also be well placed to support new business start-ups and spin-outs and enable established life and chemical science companies to profit from innovation,” Wheelhouse said.

The MMIC will be positioned next to the £65m National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) and at the heart of an Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, near Glasgow Airport. It will be led by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) in partnership with the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallisation (CMAC) and the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP).

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde, said: “The challenges of health are among the biggest facing today’s world; they are changing rapidly and continually and medicine must keep pace with them to provide solutions. MMIC will provide world-class talent, research capability, technology, facilities, knowledge and experience to industry to ensure these challenges are met.”

Mike Thompson, CEO of the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), added: “Medicines manufacturing is no longer the siloed, labour intensive process of yesteryear. This cutting-edge centre instead provides a unique space for academics, research scientists and manufacturing partners to work side by side designing new ways to transition the medicines of the future out of development and in to the supply chain. Global pharmaceutical companies are already excited about UK science, our world-leading Universities and unique research centres and this facility means we now have a manufacturing innovation site to rival anything in the world.”

(via Renfrewshire Chamber)