The MSD Brinny site has been a vibrant part of the Innishannon community in Cork for over 35 years and is one of the region’s largest employers.
With a long and proud tradition of manufacturing excellence as well as a strong legacy in the biopharmaceutical sector, MSD Brinny has always focused on innovation.
Most recently, the site has developed what is locally known as a ‘lab of the future’. Using the latest technologies, a state-of-the art, paperless, technical operation laboratory is being developed, capable of supporting manufacturing operations right across the site.
Colm O’Shea, who is one of the leaders of the lab as Associate Director, Technical Lab Operations, noted: “MSD Brinny is embracing an exciting transformation in the lab of the future. This forward-looking lab enables employees to analyse product profiles of complex manufacturing processes which is invaluable in terms of process knowledge and troubleshooting.
“The lab is taking the best of technological advancements globally and allowing us to execute our operations successfully and more efficiently.”
As part of this increasing focus on innovation and process optimisation right across the site, the MSD Brinny lab team can avail of ‘smart glasses’ that allow employees to remotely visualise all activities and processes in real-time through a virtual platform.
Colm O'Shea said: “The advantages of real-time visualisation and control of the activities is that we can get up close to any task anywhere in the world at a click of a button. This is key to decision-making and ultimately delivering medicines to patients faster.”
Colm joined MSD in 2017, having worked for other global manufacturing companies in Cork. One of the main attractions to his role with this well-established company was its ethos to support and enable its staff to grow and ‘invent for life’.
Colm said: “MSD Brinny attracted me as it is an established facility with a lot of knowledge under its roof and an exceptional place to truly grow your career. What really stands out is the proactive approach to preparing for the future, always innovating in order to develop breakthrough medications.
“Everyone on site is key to the success in continuing to digitise our existing processes and improving our practices. Our work here has a real impact: it enables patients to access life-changing drugs faster and more efficiently.”
The site is best known for its success in the development and commercial supply of bio-tech products. Indeed, its place and influence in the success of MSD’s overall global operations is significant: MSD Brinny is a leading facility for the development, testing and manufacturing of new biologics and vaccines, exporting to over 90 countries across the world.
Over its 35-year history, the Innishannon site has been a key contributor to MSD’s most successful treatments for patients with cancer, hepatitis C, fungal infections, Crohn’s Disease and arthritis.
Linked to meeting the needs of MSD’s global operations, the site is increasingly focused on fostering a diverse and inclusive employee community: indeed, diversity and inclusion is an integral part of MSD Brinny’s business practices. Why? The credence is that true innovation is achieved not in a vacuum, but through the powerful intersection of ideas from employees across a range of diverse backgrounds.
For more on careers at MSD Ireland, visit jobs.msd.com/ireland.
The teams from Engineering, IT and Technical Operations are also collaborating, both on site and virtually, to deliver on MSD Brinny’s strategic goals to be a hub of innovation in Cork.
Driving new product and technology introductions to the Brinny site, the highly capable ‘Technical Ops’ team have been developing programmes to revolutionise ways of working on this busy site, adapting the latest technical practices and processes and diagnosing issues early through efficient process diagnostics.
Creating a culture of excellence through continuous learning is key to accelerating digital capabilities across the various site divisions.
In terms of Engineering and IT, a holistic, cross-functional approach is taken in terms of ensuring business-critical operations in Brinny remain best-in-class. From managing the site’s infrastructure, its regulatory and compliance commitments, quality risk assessments to overall facilities management and digital roadmap, the multidisciplinary approach taken by the cross-functional teams ensures manufacturing operations on-site are consistently improving and innovating and projects are delivered on time and to a very high standard.
By optimising collaboration and efficiencies across the site, MSD Brinny is able to increase operational capacity to meet the significant growth in demand for MSD’s life-saving medicines. Indeed, many of the most widely used MSD medicines are developed by its Irish manufacturing sites, with almost 50% of MSD’s global top 20 products now manufactured here in Ireland.
MSD Brinny has been a vibrant and proud part of the local Innishannon community for many years and has been running several local volunteering initiatives, with employees signing up to get out in the community and give back.
“In MSD, we recognise that we have a responsibility to do our bit for society, the environment and our customers,” explained Colm.
“It’s about thinking beyond the business: not only do corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives motivate our staff who volunteer regularly across a number of different activities, but our CSR activities impact positively on the wellbeing of our wider community.”
Increasingly, employees are looking for greater work/life balance and COVID 19 has brought the importance of prioritising time with loved ones into sharp focus.
The MSD Brinny site has been keen to identify opportunities to harness talent outside of the confines of the traditional office setting and support employees with the possibilities to work with a schedule that best fits their needs.
“To recruit and retain the best talent out there, we know we need to closely work with and understand the importance of commitments employees may have outside work. That’s why we’re trying to make remote working as seamless as possible, particularly in today’s climate. We’re also recruiting and onboarding new employees remotely, and to date this has been working very effectively. We really want our new colleagues to understand that the culture at MSD is energising, creative and inclusive.”
At MSD the quality-of-life of patients around the world is paramount, and the site in Cork is ambitious in its targets to work more effectively and efficiently, availing of the latest technology to do so.
“I’m delighted to be leading the team on this transformation. We are committed to remain current and be connected to the latest technology, and we know this is only the tip of the iceberg! So watch this space,” noted Colm.
To explore career opportunities at MSD Brinny and our other Irish operations, visit jobs.msd.com/ireland.