Almac Group Enters Strategic Partnership with W5
November 6, 2017
Million-pound agreement set to inspire next generation of scientists
Craigavon, N.I., 06 Nov 2017 – Over £1m is being invested through a partnership agreement between Almac Group and W5. The aim is to enhance STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) knowledge and understanding among the next generation of budding scientists through interactive learning.
W5 has secured the Craigavon-headquartered global organisation as its Health and Life Sciences partner for the next 10 years, enabling W5 to expand its current footprint to create a dynamic new family learning opportunity.
The partnership includes a new 4,000sq ft exhibition area that explores the physical, chemical, genetic and medical aspects of the body. It will also showcase Almac’s history and its work carried out in the drug development cycle for pharmaceutical and biotech sectors globally. The new exhibition area is expected to open in autumn 2018.
Alan Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of Almac Group, said, “This is an exciting and forward-thinking partnership between Almac and W5, an award-winning science and discovery centre, which will provide key benefits for the people of Northern Ireland as well as both organisations.
“We are thrilled that the exhibition space adds to our existing presence in Belfast and provides us with a platform to tell our fascinating company history, from very humble beginnings to becoming a key player in the global biotech sector, employing almost 5,000 people worldwide, 3,000 of whom are based at our headquarters in Craigavon.”
“We plan to tell that story in an accessible and interactive way and hope we can inspire a new generation who have the potential to be employed in cutting-edge science in the future right here in Northern Ireland.”
Eric Porter, Chairman of the Odyssey Trust, said, “W5 and Almac share the aim of inspiring young people to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and maths. This agreement will also provide young people with the opportunity to explore an expanding array of careers within Almac and the biotech sector, as well as showcasing leading research and developments in biomedical science.”
“This new partnership with Almac supports our aim to create better life chances for young people by linking informal learning opportunities with leading industry partners to inspire and support STEM futures.”
About Almac Group
‘Partnering to Advance Human Health’
The Almac Group is an established contract development and manufacturing organisation that provides an extensive range of integrated services to the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors globally. The services range from R&D, biomarker discovery development and commercialisation, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply, Interactive Response Technology (IVRS/IWRS) through to commercial-scale manufacture.
The international company is a privately owned organisation that has organically grown over almost 50 years and now employs close to 5600 highly skilled personnel. Almac is headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland with operations in the UK, Ireland, across the US (Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California) and in Asia (Singapore and Tokyo).
W5 opened on the 30th March 2001 and has attracted over 3.5 million visitors. W5 has over 250 interactive exhibits spread over five levels. The building also contains Climbit – a multi-story climbing structure, Space-base – a multi-sensory activity zone, a lecture theatre, a temporary exhibition space and ancillary facilities including a shop and café. During 2016/17 W5 attracted 260,000 visitors, which included 30,000 pupils on formal education school visits.
Inspiring Science Fund
The news of the agreement follows the recent announcement by the Odyssey Trust, the owners of W5, that £4.5m is to be spent on a major capital refurbishment and public engagement programme over the next three years. £3m was awarded through the Inspiring Science Fund, a collaborative initiative between Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Wellcome with £1.5m being invested by the Odyssey Trust. The investment aims to establish a world-class innovative science centre that will create an inspiring visitor experience for new audiences and also increase visitor numbers.