The $2.4 million awards will add three universities to an existing network of three centers set up last year. In addition, a company called BioResearch Ireland has been created to seek commercial contracts with overseas companies, in particular from the United States. “What we are trying to do is to commercialize the entire national effort in biotechnology,” explained program director Barry McSweeney, “given the limited ‘resources available to us.”
The program’s first success involves a contract with the Diagnostics Center at Galway University to develop new assay techniques and instrumentation for a subsidiary of SmithKline Beckman. The center hopes to attract prospective customers for its products as well as further support from Beckman. McSweeney said that the new campaign expects to generate $8 million in revenues by the end of next year.