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SSPC - Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC)

The SSPC is a global hub of pharmaceutical process innovation and advanced manufacturing, leading the way for next-generation drug manufacture. It is the largest research collaboration in Ireland and one of the largest globally in the pharmaceutical sector. With funding of €42 million, the SSPC links experienced scientists and engineers cross academia and the pharmaceutical industry, so they can work together to address critical scientific and industry-focused research challenges. It comprises 22 industry partners, nine Irish research organisations and 12 international academic collaborators.

Research Areas

  • New frontiers in pharmaceutical synthesis
  • Crystal growth and design
  • Drug product formulation and manufacture
  • Advanced biopharmaceutical technologies

Research programmes

The SSPC community of 132 researchers is involved in 20 research projects. These span the entire pharmaceutical production chain, from synthesis of the molecule to the isolation of the material and the formulation of the medicine.

Research Performing Organisations

  • University of Limerick
  • University College Cork
  • University College Dublin
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • Dublin City University
  • NUI Galway
  • Athlone Institute of Technology
  • Waterford Institute of Technology
  • National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training

Industry and commercialisation

The SSPC aims to deliver relevant solutions that address the manufacturing needs of pharmaceutical companies and, through this, to build a highly innovative pharmaceutical community in Ireland.

Industry partners include:

  • Abbvie
  • Alkermes
  • Allergan
  • Amebis
  • APC Limited
  • Biomarin
  • Bristol Myers Squibb
  • Clarochem Ireland
  • Eirgen Pharma
  • Eli Lilly
  • FMC
  • Genzyme: A Sanofi Company
  • Glantreo
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Innopharma Labs
  • Janssen
  • Merck Sharp & Dohme
  • Novartis
  • Pfizer Inc
  • Roche
  • Scale-Up Systems
  • UCB Pharma


  • Kilo labs
  • Pilot plants
  • In-situ PAT systems
  • HEL polyBLOCK
  • LabmaxTM reaction vessel
  • Particle visual measurement (PVM)
  • X-ray diffraction (XRD)
  • Focused ion beam (FIB) milling system
  • Atomic force microscope (AFM)
  • Raman spectroscopy


Education and Public Engagement

SSPC actively support industry partners and their research associates through industry focussed upskilling and training. SSPC provides professional development training to teachers which is designed to upskill science teachers and educators by providing them with the knowledge and expertise to promote problem and inquiry-based learning and to conduct over 40 engaging and interactive attention grabbing sciencedemonstrations, which are linked to real world science applications.

Key Contacts

Prof Kieran Hodnett - Scientific Director
Kieran Hodnett is Professor of Chemical and Environmental Science and the former Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Limerick. His current research interests are polymorphism in pharmaceutical compounds and active pharmaceutical crystallisation into excipient matrices. He has produced more than 120 peer-reviewed journal articles, which have over 2,800 ISI citations, and has supervised 30 PhD students to completion.

Jon O’Halloran - General Manager
James McNamara - Industrial Liaison Officer
Dr Abigail Pattenden - Funding Project Manager
Yvonne Diggins - Communications Officer
Dr Sarah Hayes - Education and Outreach Officer

Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre
Materials and Surface Science Institute (MSSI)
University of Limerick
+353 (0)61 234629

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