London College of Communication is awarded by the EC to improve public involvement with plant biotechnology under a new H2020 Pharma-Factory project.

London College of Communication, University of the Arts London (UAL) collaborates on a four year over €8 Million Horizon 2020 project – Pharma-Factory. Led by St Georges, University of London, the central aim of the project is for 5 biotechnology SMEs and 9 academic partners to explore the development of commercially viable products through Plant Molecular Farming (PMF), for the manufacture of high-value products for medical and veterinary use from plant biotechnology.

The Pharma-Factory kick-off meeting was held in Rouen, France on January 23-24th. All 14 project partners attended with 3 external advisors from Bayer, Ghent University, an Independent Advisor, and Project Officer from the European Commission who learnt more about the activities, objectives and opportunities involved with Pharma-Factory.

Organised to publicly announce the beginning of the project, the meeting highlighted the goals of each of the eight work packages, with the work package leaders explaining their roles and responsibilities and types of interaction expected from the consortium. This two day intense project overview allowed clarification on expectations in the delivery of the Pharma Factory project and provided the first of many forums for knowledge exchange and production that is central to the success of this work.

The UAL team led by the Principal Investigator Dr Alison Prendiville will be responsible for improving public involvement with plant biotechnology at a European-wide level. The work has been designed to gain maximal impact by engaging with all stakeholders developing new tools to facilitate communication and knowledge exchange, to help understand and reduce barriers to acceptance.

Principle Investigator, Julain Ma, Professor of Molecular Immunology at St George’s University of London believes “Plant Molecular Farming is an exciting approach to making new pharmaceuticals with many advantages. An important part of the project is the Public Involvement work package led by Dr. Sebastian Fuller at St. George’s and Dr. Alison Prendiville at UAL, because we need to find ways to engage with the public if we want to make a success of this new technology.”

Learn more about Pharma-Factory on the UAL Research website.