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BioPharmaChem Skillnet has launched a new Virtual Reality (VR) Training programme developed for the pharmaceutical industry in partnership with Technological University (TU) Dublin.

The Powder Handling for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing programme was developed in collaboration with Dr Brian Vaughan, Founder and Director of Virtual Interaction Research Lab (VIRal) and the team at TU Dublin. It is the first programme specifically developed for the pharmaceutical sector that focuses on connecting VR engagement with key learning outcomes.

The new programme follows the successful launch of BioPharmaChem Skillnet’s VR Training programme in Aseptic Techniques for Biomanufacturing launched in March 2021.

Powder handing in pharmaceutical manufacturing

A critical process in pharmaceutical manufacturing, the new programme will enable companies to develop powder handling skills in a low-risk VR environment. The content is accessible on an Oculus VR headset and can also be adapted to suit other headsets.

The customised VR platform can also considerably reduce training costs. A pharmaceutical manufacturer can save up to €1,000 per week in training costs, as workers can virtually perform activities such as the health and safety aspects of powder handling, charging operations, drumming and bagging operations and formulation activities in a simulated environment.

Speaking at the launch Paul Healy, Chief Executive at Skillnet Ireland, said: “Virtual reality is showing remarkable results for the industry in terms of operational excellence and efficiencies, with Skillnet Ireland, BioPhamaChem Ireland and TU Dublin at the forefront of skills development through VR. As this programme demonstrates, working with Skillnet Business Networks offers huge promise for higher education in Ireland, by bringing a readymade gateway into the industry and to working directly with companies.”

Commenting on the new programme, Dr Brian Vaughan, Founder/Director, VIRal at TU Dublin, said: “Virtual Reality is a powerful tool for providing engaging and immersive training experiences in the Pharmaceutical industry. Our unique approach ensures that our projects are driven by a number of pedagogical approaches to ensure that users get the maximum impact from the experience.”

Shortlisted for Pharma Industry Award

The launch of the Powder Handling for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing programme builds on BioPharmaChem Skillnet’s success in VR skills development. Their first VR programme – ‘Aseptic Techniques for Biomanufacturing,’ was shortlisted at the Pharma Industry Awards in the Pharma Education and Training Award Category.

Susan Costello, Network Manager, BioPharmaChem Skillnet, welcomed the recognition of the programme: “The Pharma Industry Awards is the long-standing award programme for recognising and celebrating the most original and innovative individuals and companies that demonstrate excellence in Ireland’s pharma industry.”

Learn more about the programme

The new programme will be available from the end of April 2022. Learn more at BioPharmaChem Skillnet.

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