The biopharmaceutical industry is no stranger to making strategic alliances to drive progress throughout all stages of a product’s lifecycle. The same can be said of BioPhorum and partnering is core to what we do through our ground-breaking approach to collaboration.
Building on this success, we have been finding ways to expand our reach in technical development and identify partners to provide facilities and ‘test-bed environments’. So, to help us realize some of our leading-edge ideas, we have been working hard to develop our relationships with innovation hubs.
BioPhorum has therefore recently signed agreements with these four innovation hubs:
- The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) in Darlington, UK – looking at areas such as product development, manufacturing processes, process scale-up/scale-down, DS processing, fermentation, and processing and analytics
- The Fraunhofer Project Centre for Embedded Bioanalytical Systems (FCP@DCU) at the Dublin City University, Ireland UK – looking at areas such as microfluidic systems and scale-up from prototyping to production
- The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Liverpool, UK – looking at areas such as test-bed facilities and improving analytics
- The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research & Training (NIBRT) in Dublin, Ireland – looking at areas such as test beds.
“We are pleased to join BioPhorum and its community,” said David Esparza-Felix, Chief Engineer, Business & Factory Optimisation at MTC. “We see great opportunities for the UK to develop a leading role in this sector and we want to contribute towards that vision by offering our digital and automation expertise to accelerate the development and adoption of industry 4.0 technologies. We believe BioPhorum is a key partner that will support us in our journey.”
Benefits for all
We have been working with some of these organizations for a while, but the agreements put our relationships on a more robust and clearer footing. These will deliver benefits to all.
BioPhorum will have access to neutral venues that will allow us to remain independent while retaining our collaborative focus. The agreements allow us to further explore opportunities for closer working and for our partners to contribute their expertise to our projects, such as building prototypes and performing proof-of-concept experiments
Meanwhile, our partners will gain an overview of our portfolio of existing and planned technology roadmapping projects, understand the perspectives of the biomanufacturer community and see the priorities of what needs to be developed. This is an opportunity they might not readily have without BioPhorum’s unique ‘industry voice’ approach and the breadth and depth of our members’ expertise.
“FPC@DCU have found huge benefit from our relationship with BioPhorum,” said Damien King, Research Fellow and Group Lead: Cell Handling at FPC@DCU. “As developers of new technology in the fields of in-line monitoring and cell and gene therapy, the contacts and connections made to date have given us huge insight on end-user requirements and unmet needs, assisting us greatly in optimizing our work for biopharmaceutical applications.”
There is also an opportunity for us to develop further links with organizations with which our MoU partners have relationships. For example, FCP@DCU is associated with the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology in Germany, which develops solutions for production systems and focuses on process technology, production machines, production quality and metrology, and technology management.
Meanwhile, both CPI and MTC have relationships with the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, which connects businesses and academia for advanced manufacturing technologies in the UK. The Catapult is part of Innovate UK (the developmental side of the government’s business strategies) and has ‘catapult’ business accelerator units for different sectors, such as medicines discovery and cell and gene therapy.
This is an example of how BioPhorum’s work is connected to a government’s national strategy on business development for manufacturing.
BioPhorum is also discussing memorandums of understanding with other innovation hubs around the world to drive change and progress our early stage technology development projects. They show that when it comes to creating partnerships, we never stand still.