A new national training centre in Scotland is to help drive development of opportunities emerging in vaccine manufacturing, as well as cell and gene therapy.
It is one of new three UK training centres that together form The Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network (ATSTN).
All partners in the Network will now work collaboratively to address a skills gap first identified two years ago. In 2019, The Skills Demand Survey conducted by the UK government’s Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) Catapult found rising concern among vaccine manufacturers and Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP) companies about their ability to recruit and retain skilled talent in the UK.
In fact, 83% of companies were concerned about their ability to capitalise on emerging opportunities, because skills anticipated to be essential were – at that time – missing.
Created as a direct response, ATSTN is being backed by £4.7m from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK (IUK). Activity across all the UK partners will be coordinated by the CGT Catapult.
In Scotland, the Network’s delivery is being led by RoslinCT – a cell and gene therapy/ATMP Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) – via the RoslinCT Training Academy and The School of Applied Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University. Other delivery partners are North Ayrshire College, IBioIC, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Universities Life Science Alliance and Scottish Enterprise.
“The ATSTN is a truly collaborative initiative, developed by industry in partnership with academia, and the expertise from all three centres will create a wealth of learning resources,” said Professor Gary Hutchison, Dean of the School of Applied Sciences. “Development and delivery of our own courses for the National Training Centre is testament to the work we have been doing here at Edinburgh Napier over the last decade; delivering graduates who are work-ready and have the expertise and skills to enable the therapies of the future, including new vaccines.”
The Training Centre now aims to have its first ‘blended-learning’ courses available for delivery in Scotland by the end of 2021. Face-to-face content will be delivered at RoslinCT’s Edinburgh campus at their newly built state of the art facility.,
“We are delighted to lead the Scottish training centre,” said Janet Downie, Chief Executive at RoslinCT. “With the tremendous growth opportunities in both ATMP and vaccine manufacturing, we are all looking forward to working with The National Horizons Centre and the University of Birmingham to deliver this UK-wide training service.”
With their complementary capabilities and vast wealth of experience across GMP/GxP, manufacturing and bioprocessing, all three centres will deliver a range of specialist courses to upskill industry professionals. Further information can be obtained by contacting Nathan Barnett, Project Co-ordinator, Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network (ATSTN).