Birmingham secures National Training Centre for the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network

Image of woman working in laboratory.
The core aim of the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network (ATSTN) is to develop National Training Centres to deliver specialist on-site courses

The National Horizons Centre, RoslinCT and the University of Birmingham have been selected to deliver high impact physical and digitally-delivered training courses as part of the growing ATSTN programme.

The three centres bring with them complementing capabilities and a vast wealth of experience across GMP/GxP, manufacturing and bioprocessing, and their expertise within virtual reality training will prove instrumental for driving the successful development of cell and gene therapy as well as vaccine manufacturing staff across the UK, through the delivery of these industry-leading training courses.

The core aim of the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network (ATSTN) is to develop National Training Centres to deliver specialist on-site courses, including innovative digital training utilising virtual reality, providing learners with the hands-on expertise and experience to succeed in the advanced therapies and vaccine manufacturing sector. The ATSTN programme also includes an Online Training Platform focused on upskilling existing staff within the industry and a Career Converter which measures an individual’s transferable skills from outside the sector and recommends applicable roles within advanced therapies and vaccine manufacturing.

Professor Phil Newsome, Director of Research in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham, and Professor Ivan Wall from Aston University said: “We are excited that Birmingham will play a central role in delivering these much-needed skills for the UK’s advanced therapies sector. This will ensure the UK retains a world-leading position in the manufacture and delivery of advanced therapies. Moreover, it will further strengthen and leverage the rapidly-growing health and life science sector in Birmingham and the Midlands.”

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, commented: “Hosting an ATSTN National Training Centre in Birmingham is testament to the expertise we have developed in advanced therapies for the benefit of patients with complex conditions. Developing  the skills to enable the therapies of the future, including new vaccines, to be delivered to patients is critical to our region and nation. And as well as leading on training, the University of Birmingham is proposing the development of new clean room facilities at Birmingham Health Innovation Campus, providing businesses with access to the critical infrastructure and expertise they need to develop, commercialise and manufacture at scale.

“To capitalise on this opportunity, extend Birmingham’s position as a leading player in advanced therapies, and deliver on the Government’s goal to be an international leader in the field, we will be seeking further support to help the delivery of innovation infrastructure in this Campus.”

Matthew Durdy, Chief Executive Officer at Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult commented: “The involvement of the National Horizons Centre, RoslinCT and the University of Birmingham is a major step in the effective development and rollout of impactful training courses which will enable the ATSTN to upskill and attract talent into the advanced therapies and vaccine manufacturing industry. It is also indicative on how the ATSTN is a truly collaborative initiative which continues to be developed in partnership with industry and academia, and the valued expertise from these three centres will provide users access to in-person training centres which complement each other and the wealth of online resources already provided on the ATSTN platform. I look forward to witnessing the great strides which will be made over the course of next year.”

Find out more