Almac researcher awarded £1.5m UK innovation grant

Dr Megan Smyth.

A TEAM leader at Craigavon pharma group Almac has been awarded a UK government-funded grant worth £1.5 million.

Dr Megan Smyth, a team leader for custom and flow chemistry, has secured a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowship (FLF).

The FLF was set up to support talented people in universities, businesses, and other research and innovation environments.

The scheme allows universities and businesses to develop their most talented early career researchers and innovators.

Funded over four years, Almac said the research and development grant will support Dr Smyth in delivering a platform technology to expand Almac Sciences’ service offering in oxidative chemical continuous processing for the benefit of its global customers.

UKRI is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Dr Smyth said:“I am thrilled to receive this Fellowship which will equip me with a cutting-edge combination of research excellence and transferable management skillsets. The FLF will help to address future economic and societal challenges at Almac Sciences and for the UK. My ambition is to lead a technology platform, driving increased business revenue beyond proof of concept, to manufacture and subsequent supply of chemicals here in the UK. It is an exciting time for me, my team and Almac Sciences.”

Prof Tom Moody VP for technology development & commercialisation at Almac said: “The overall impact of the project will be diverse and will positively affect the environment, economy and society.

“It will aid in supporting the competitive edge for the UK chemical manufacturing industry, to securing high skilled jobs for Northern Ireland which will undoubtedly have a multiplier effect.

“It will also lead to improving sustainability metrics and lowering environmental burden by the essential reshoring of key chemical manufacture to minimise our reliance on Asia.”

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