MMIP is divided into five workstreams, each working towards achieving the outcome of an internationally recognised, attractive and thriving environment for medicines manufacturing.
All of these workstreams are supported by overarching communications work and building the manufacturing community to ensure it speaks with one voice.
The regulatory environment workstream is trying to maximise innovative processes by highlighting existing regulatory flexibility and the positive UK regulatory landscape to industry.
One of the ways it is doing this is by partnering with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to produce case studies on regulatory collaboration between medicines manufacturers and the MHRA Innovation Office. Further details can be found on the MHRA Innovation Office and the Innovation Office case studies.
The MMIP skills workstream aims to create a sustainable medicines manufacturing workforce to support the growth of medicines manufacturing in the UK. Key goals for this year focus on attracting specialist skills into a transforming medicines manufacturing environment and widening entry routes and career pathways to increase the diversity of talent:
- Identifying opportunities to attract much needed digital and data skillsets into the transforming medicine manufacturing environment
- Increasing talent pathways into manufacturing with the use of vocational education and apprenticeships to address skills shortages
- Promoting engineering as a key skill for the future of medicines manufacturing as identified as a critical talent gap in a recent analysis
- Attracting and developing talent to support scaling companies from within an organisation or investment community
- Inspiring the next generation of talent in medicines manufacturing by influencing the perception of the sector
- Maximising inclusion of diverse talent and skills in medicines manufacturing
This working group is attended by a wide range of industry representatives, education institutions and funding bodies dedicated to ensuring the medicines manufacturing community has access to the talent and skills it requires for growth.If you would like to know more please contact:
Life Sciences 2030 Skills Strategy
At the start of 2020 MMIP supported the development and launch of the Life Sciences 2030 Skills Strategy in partnership with BIA, ABPI, Science Industry Partnership (SIP) and OLS. The Life Sciences 2030 Skills Strategy is another key milestone in delivering on the recommendation of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy and subsequent sector deals. It sets out how, in the context of global markets, UK Life Sciences will attract, retain, train and develop the research, technical and manufacturing skills required. Workforce modelling indicated our sector has the potential to create approximately 133,000 sector jobs over the next ten years. In addition, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult 2019 skills demand report shows rapid growth in the cell and gene therapy industry, which is expected to continue, particularly in bioprocessing.
2016 - MMIP set up the Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Taskforce in partnership with government resulting in the Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Taskforce Action Plan detailing how the UK can become the global hub of advanced medicinal therapy manufacturing and ensure the long-term success of this industry in the UK. One recommendation was creation and implementation of an end-to-end talent plan encompassing integrated strategies to develop the talent pool at multiple entry-points, ranging from Manufacturing Technicians through to Post-doctoral and Professional levels.
2017 - Gatsby Foundation, with its interest in technical training, funded work to investigate how to create a technician workforce.
2018 - Innovate UK invested £1.5m to establish the Advanced Therapy Apprenticeship Community (ATAC) driven by industry and co-ordinated by Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. Visit the Advanced Therapies Apprenticeship Community (ATAC) website for full details on the apprenticeship programmes.
2020 - Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult was awarded £4.7 million from BEIS through UKRI to co-ordinate workforce skills in advanced therapy and vaccine manufacturing sector. Driven by industry, this has been used to kick-start an Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network which includes a network of physical centres, starting with expansion of existing training facilities at National Horizons Centre, RoslinCT and University of Birmingham, plus develop an Online Training Platform to showcase existing learning programmes available.
2021 - Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult received £0.5m follow on funding from Innovate UK to continue growing apprenticeships for industry. By March 2022 ATAC has successfully onboarded over 230 apprentices from 48 organisations on specialist ATMP apprenticeship programmes.
The fiscal environment workstream focuses on developing fiscal incentives to encourage a more competitive environment for medicines manufacturing in the UK.
In November 2020 the Medicines & Diagnostics Manufacturing Transformation Fund was announced to boost economic opportunities, innovation and health resilience by supporting medicines and diagnostics manufacturing investments in the UK. This fund was created following recommendations made by MMIP.
A further £60 million capital grants scheme, the Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund (LSIMF) was announced in March 2022.
Steve Bates OBE, Chief Executive of the BioIndustry Association said: “The UK medicine manufacturing community is buoyant after playing a crucial role in manufacturing and scaling up COVID-19 vaccines coupled with significant private sector investment over the past few years. Anchoring and growing this high-value manufacturing industry in the UK is crucial to the UK’s resilience to future health threats as well as the creation of new jobs across the country.
“Today’s announcement by government has been called for by the BIA and our industry partners to strengthen our manufacturing capacity. Key to the success of this fund will be it working for companies of all sizes, from big pharma to SMEs, supporting domestic growth as well as attracting businesses from overseas to invest and manufacture their products here in the UK.”
The Technology and Innovation workstream seeks to understand and pursue the future needs of the medicines manufacturing industry.
Working with government agencies and academia, MMIP are identifying novel manufacturing technology areas, opportunities for their development and introduction in the UK and ways of facilitating this.
MMIP is putting resources towards a Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, a unique, state-of-the-art facility offering transformative solutions in small molecule and fine chemical manufacturing.
Technology and Innovation Roadmap
During the second half of 2020, the Technology & Innovation workstream developed a roadmap, building on the MMIP mission, charting progress to date and describing how the continuing work of the MMIP will be organised under five ‘grand challenges’.
The advanced therapies manufacturing workstream seeks to ensure delivery the recommendations of the Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Taskforce Action Plan which outlines a strategy on how the UK can become the global hub of advanced medicinal therapy manufacturing and ensure the long-term success of this industry in the UK. The transition of the Taskforce to "business as usual" was presented at the 2017 bioProcessUK Conference.
One recommendation from the Action Plan was the creation and implementation of an end-to-end talent plan for the sector which encompasses integrated strategies to develop the talent pool at multiple entry-points, ranging from Manufacturing Technicians through to Post-doctoral and Professional levels. The Gatsby Foundation, with its interest in technical training, funded work to investigate how to create a technician workforce, culminating in an AT Manufacturing Apprenticeship event at GSK Stevenage during National Apprenticeship week (#NAW18)! Potential and current employers joined apprentices, training providers, funders and accrediting bodies to explore the benefits of apprenticeships within AT Manufacturing, where information was provided on the latest developments in delivery from the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) and suitable apprenticeship programmes identified within the sector. Following the event, Innovate UK announced a £1.5m investment in AT Manufacturing Apprenticeships - see here for the report from the Gatsby funded work, Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Apprenticeships blog, Apprenticeship Guideline booklet from the event and Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult press release. Visit the Advanced Therapies Apprenticeship Community (ATAC) website for full details on the apprenticeship programmes. In 2021, when this investment ended, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult received £0.5m follow on funding from Innovate UK to continue growing apprenticeships in the sector - with over 150 apprentices from more than 40 organisations now benefiting from the programme.
Beyond apprenticeships, wider funding was received in 2020 when the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult was awarded £4.7 million from BEIS through UKRI to develop workforce skills in advanced therapy and vaccine manufacturing. Driven by industry, this has been used to kick-start an Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network which includes a network of physical centres, starting with expansion of existing training facilities at National Horizons Centre, RoslinCT and University of Birmingham, plus develop an Online Training Platform to showcase existing learning programmes available, including e-learning, video, face to face, VR/IR and online training programmes. This will help build new career routes and develop targeted educational programmes and specific training content to support bringing in new people from across sectors, and upskill existing staff within organisations across the UK.