The Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC), a global hub of pharmaceutical process innovation and advanced manufacturing, funded by Science Foundation Ireland and industry, is a unique collaboration between 24 industry partners, nine research performing organisations, and 12 international academic collaborators.
With €42 million in direct funding and a further €39 million leverage, SSPC supports a community of over 350 individual national and international active members, including 29 Investigators, 40 post-doctoral researchers and 60 PhD candidates. The SSPC leads the way for next generation drug manufacture and spans the entire pharmaceutical production chain from synthesis of the molecule, to the isolation of the material, and formulation of the medicine.

Research Areas

  • Strand 1: New Frontiers in Pharmaceutical Synthesis
  • Strand 2: Crystal Growth and Design
  • Strand 3: Drug Product Formulation and Manufacture

Research Programmes

The SSPC community of 132 researchers is involved in 20 research projects. Recent collaborative projects include:

  • An SFI-funded SPOKES project MOMEnTUM (Modelling of Multi-Phase Transport Processes to Enable Automation in Manufacturing), a collaboration between SSPC and industry partners Johnson & Johnson Automation Centre of Excellence and Rusal AAL
  • An SFI funded US-Ireland R&D partnership and first of its kind “Centre to Centre” project to research continuous manufacturing for nano-based pharmaceutical drugs. (International collaboration)
  • Advanced biopharmaceutical technologies. SSPC works with seven industry partners and three research-performing organisations

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

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


  • Kilo labs
  • In-situ PAT systems
  • Labmax TM reaction vessel
  • Particle visual measurement (PVM)
  • X-ray diffraction (XRD)
  • Focused ion beam (FIB) milling system
  • Atomic force microscope (AFM)
  • SEM/Raman spectroscopy
  • SEM & TEM microscopy
  • Molecular and Engineering modelling
  • Powder extrusion suite
  • Hot melt extrusion
  • Supercritical spray drying
  • Flow NMR
  • IR spectroscopy
  • Environmental SEM
  • In situ Raman microscopy
  • Crystallization, Isolation and Drying Technology Test Bed (CIDT2)

Education And Public Engagement

SSPC in collaboration with Science Foundation Ireland, is involved in many local and national events including Science Week, National Ploughing Festival, SSPC National Crystal Growing Competition, chemistry demonstration workshops and more. SSPC provides professional development training to teachers and connects post-primary students with access to scientists via the Smart Futures programme. SSPC actively supports industry partners and their research associates through industry focused upskilling and training. SSPC also provides an industrial placement programme for PhD candidates.


Key Contact Details

Prof Michael Zaworotko

Prof Gavin Walker

Jon O’Halloran
General Manager

Aisling Arthur
Spokes Project Manager

Dr Kristy Butler
Reporting and Compliance Officer

Dr Joanne Conroy
Industrial Liaison Officer

Donald McDonagh
Funding Manager

Dr Sarah Hayes
Education and Outreach Officer

Louise O'Neill
Communications Officer

Rosaleen Archbold
Senior Administrator