The UK’s Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre
The Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre Ltd (VMIC) has been established as a new, not-for-profit company to provide strategic vaccine development and manufacturing capability for the UK. The new centre will also provide training and expertise to industry and academic groups, helping to produce a new generation of development and manufacturing scientists and operatives.
VMIC’s initial funding has been through the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund for Medicines Manufacturing and is supported by its three founding members: University of Oxford, Imperial College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, each with extensive experience in the development and clinical evaluation of novel vaccines. VMIC will also receive in-kind industry funding from Janssen, MSD and Cytiva.
VMIC will help to stimulate the UK vaccines industry by providing infrastructure and expertise, ranging from start-ups and SMEs through to multinationals, academics, governments and NGOs, to move them from discovery to licensed product, bringing more vaccines to the market faster than the current UK set-up allows. It will also serve as an emergency response capability for the UK government in order to produce vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and the deliberate/accidental release of biological agents.
Currie & Brown is providing project management and project controls services on the design, procurement and construction of the VMIC facility in Harwell, Oxfordshire.
Currie & Brown was engaged to provide client-side project management and project controls services on the design, procurement and construction of the new facility. Our team also worked with the overall programme managers to deliver a virtual VMIC which was formed in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the threat of Covid-19. It provides a temporary off-site vaccine manufacturing capability while the new main facility is being built. This will ensure that the business is operationally ready on completion of construction and commissioning, validation and qualification activities.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic and the threat of Covid-19, the team worked rapidly to try to accelerate the programme to design, procure and construct (to cGMP, Grade B and C clean rooms ISO14644-1:2015 and MHRA standards and requirements) the new 7,400m² state-of-the-art complex facility to fast track operational readiness by a year. This required an unprecedented collaborative effort between the VMIC team, Currie & Brown, the development team on the Harwell campus, and central and local government, in order to attempt to bring the facility online early.
The Currie & Brown project management and projects controls teams worked with VMIC and the wider project stakeholders to develop and implement schedule, cost and change management processes. This allowed us to include the various upgrades necessary to provide the required design and specification changes from an emergency to a pandemic response facility against very tight timescales and budgetary constraints.