UD selected as site of biopharma manufacturing institute


U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today  announced the formation of a new biopharmaceutical-based  Manufacturing USA Institute at the University of Delaware.

 The institute was announced Friday morning. Scheduled to be in attendance was the state’s entire congressional delegation as well as University President Dennis Assanis. 

 The institute, a collection of 150 companies, colleges, non-profits and government agencies, was organized by UD.  Its headquarters will be in Newark.

The institute, which will get $200 million in funding will conduct research on biopharmaceuticals – prescription drugs made with living cells. 

 The institute will focus on bringing the drugs to market faster and developing workforce training.  The biopharmaceutical field has more jobs available than there are qualified workers.

 At the same time,  pharmaceutical  companies have been struggling in finding breakthrough drugs, with earlier discoveries moving to lower-priced generics as patent protection is lost.

This is the second Manufacturing USA Institute announcement with UD involvement in a week. 

 It was announced earlier that the University of Delaware has been tapped to lead a  part of a new Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment Manufacturing Institute led by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced the formation of Rapid last week.

Rapid’s role will be to develop breakthrough technologies and processes that will boost energy productivity and efficiency and decrease environmental impacts, especially related to chemical manufacturing, according to a UD release.

RAPID has already enlisted 130 partners from companies, academic institutions including the University of Delaware, national and government laboratories and non-governmental organizations across the U.S.

Rapid is headed by  CEO  Karen Fletcher, UD alumna and former chief engineer and vice president of engineering, facilities and real estate at DuPont. RAPID will leverage $70 million in federal funding from the Energy Department over five years and an additional $70 million in private cost-share commitments from partners.

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