Innova Medical Group (IMG), the world’s largest provider of rapid antigen tests, has gone into partnership with Sharp Packaging, in Caerphilly. The move will create around 300 jobs at the factory where millions of COVID rapid-flow tests will be produced.
The Chemical Engineer reports that the investment in the town of Rhymney will see the delivery of packaging machinery towards the end of June, and production is due to begin in early July. It will be the first facility in the UK to produce IMG’s tests, and the firm said the expanded Sharp site will help fill the significant demand for testing kits from the government.
Daniel Elliott, IMG’s president, said: “Innova understands the importance of speed in the fight against the pandemic and strategic contract manufacturing allows us to start local production quickly.”
He added that by domestically sourcing as much of the processes as possible, the firm is confident that the partnership with Sharp will deliver value to UK customers.
“We are making a long-term investment into the area in Wales, for not only Covid but for post-Covid and what comes next,” he said, adding that there would be a variety of jobs created, from the production line level to management, and healthcare quality assurance.
Ian Morgan, general manager of Sharp UK, said that the important partnership will allow Sharp to expand their facility by a third as well as the creation of jobs for the region.
Welsh economy minister Vaughan Gething said: “Wales welcomes Innova’s investment and the hundreds of new job opportunities it creates, boosting the local economy and further enhancing Wales’ reputation in the life sciences sector.”
Gething added that the Welsh government has worked closely with Sharp before, and supported the expansion which has been crucial in job creation for Rhymney.
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