Manufacturing Advisory Committee skills networking tour update

The development of managers in the biopharmaceutical and cell and gene therapy industries is an important part of the training landscape to deliver senior leaders of the future. A MAC (Manufacturing Advisory Committee) initiative to support this development, kicking off with a group of 11 people from UK BIA member companies in January 2017, is now almost half way through. Members visit each participating company to build a network, gain an insight into the work of other companies in the sector by seeing them in action, share best practice and develop relationships to encourage possible future collaborations. The staff on the exchange benefit from a broader view and an ability to challenge their current business with new ideas and approaches, which some have taken back to their respective sites instigating small changes with big impact!

A total of 11 BIA member companies are currently taking part in the scheme: Allergan, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, F-star, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, GE Healthcare, Lonza biologics, MedImmune/AstraZeneca, Oxford BioMedica, Pall, Porton BioPharma and UCL.

As part of the project, the group of 11 participants (one representative from each of the above companies) attend a series of site tours to offer an overview of the work of other companies in the sector by seeing them in action. Each site visit is preceded by a pre-dinner the night before, to encourage the development of a network of peers.

Since kicking off in January, the MAC skills tour has so far visited Fujifilm, Medimmune, UCL, Allegan and GE, with 6 visits left before the tour concludes in November 2018.

The key aims of the MAC initiative are to promote cross-sector learning by offering an insight into the work of other companies across biopharma, vaccines, and cell and gene therapy by seeing them in action, and to develop a network with peers to promote best practice.

Feedback from both participants and their managers has all been very positive, resulting in the decision to launch a second cohort in January 2018. If you would like to take part in this, please contact Netty England at 


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