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Institutes of Technology Ireland
Research & Innovation

Accelerating Development of Best Business Start-Up

Europharma Concepts Limited was a participant start-up on the Midlands & West Enterprise Programme (MWEP) at Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) in 2007 with the aim of establishing a business to contract manufacture liquids, gels and pastes for the Irish and EU healthcare industry. Supported by AIT and Enterprise Ireland, Europharma has grown into an international contract manufacturing and product development company employing 40 people in the Midlands with turnover of €4.2m.

Having worked with Laclede International in the UK, Declan Lenahan decided to return to Ireland in 2006 with the aim of establishing a business to contract manufacture and develop products for the pharma and cosmetics industry – including Laclede’s unique range of oral care products called Bioténe. In 2007, Europharma Concepts became a participant start-up on AIT’s Midlands & West Enterprise Programme.

Based in the Midlands Innovation and Research Centre (MIRC) at AIT, the MWEP is a business development programme run in partnership with Enterprise Ireland which accelerates the development of knowledgebased start-ups through business skills development, mentoring, business support and access to the resources of AIT and Enterprise Ireland. Europharma also collaborated with the Materials Research Institute (MRI) at AIT in 2008.

In 2007, Europharma secured an exclusive ten year manufacturing contract with Laclede to supply their Bioténe products to the Irish and EU markets, and also secured High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) funding from Enterprise Ireland. Production commenced at a premises in Clara, Co. Offaly.

In 2008, Europharma embarked on an extensive R&D programme focused on developing new products to incorporate novel enzyme technologies – including a collaboration with the MRI at AIT focused on investigating the physico-chemical properties of sample products.

At its state of the art plant in Offaly, Europharma has a fully automated manufacturing process which has been granted ISO accreditation. The facility enables Europharma to carry out research from idea stage to batch manufacturing stage. Products are supplied to markets across Europe through a network of distributors.

Europharma currently employs 40 people in the Midlands and exports over 95% of its products to the EU. In March 2010, Europharma won Best Business Start-Up (in Ireland) in the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards.

Testimonials

“As a start-up company, the MWEP at AIT provided us with the support necessary to transform our business idea into a successful business. In addition to mentoring, training and facilities, the networking opportunities were invaluable towards validating and growing Europharma’s business value proposition. Europharma plans to continue to work with the MRI at AIT on future projects.”
Michéal Coughlan - Marketing Director, Europharma Concepts

“Increasing the number of new high-growth export-focused businesses in the Midlands is a key objective of AIT and Enterprise Ireland. The success of Europharma Concepts demonstrates again the potential to develop successful international manufacturing and services companies in the region, drawing on locally available skills and research resources.”
Michael Lonergan - Manager, Midlands Innovation and Research Centre

Client: Europharma Concepts
Institution:
Athlone Institute of Technology
Industry: Pharmaceuticals
National Priority Area: Therapeutic Synthesis, Formulation Processing and Drug Delivery

MIRC Manager
Michael Lonergan
Midlands Innovation and Research Centre
Athlone Institute of Technology
Dublin Road, Athlone
Co. Westmeath, Ireland
T: +353 (0)90 647 1882
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Industry Programmes Manager
Breda Lynch
Office of Research
Athlone Institute of Technology
Dublin Road, Athlone
Co. Westmeath, Ireland
T: +353 (0)90 648 3041
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.