Technology Roadmapping

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How do you bring Technology Roadmapping to life?


 How do you bring Technology Roadmapping to life?

You use it to make change happen and that is exactly what the Phorum’s leaders did after the first edition of the Biomanufacturing Technology Roadmaps in 2017.  And now they are starting to see the results. 

The steering committee launched ten projects that included, among other things, prototype designs for new technology, proof of concept demonstrators and the development of guidelines on topics such as collaborative validation and industry standardization.  In all cases, the projects were chosen where industry collaboration was crucial to making progress and ultimately for the vision of the roadmaps to be realized.  

Eighteen months on and some breakthrough results are starting to emerge. One example is the Plug and Play project (borne out of the Automated Facility roadmap).  The workstream arranged a workshop in November 2018 for 20 vendor and six end-user representatives. The output of the workshop proved that ‘plug and play’ was possible and demonstrated that rapid interconnectivity could be achieved between process control systems and vendor equipment.

Another example is Buffer Preparation, where the team has delivered a user-specification document for a buffer preparation skid that enables a reduction of footprint, preparation time, labor and costs. The demonstration skid is about to be built, with the support of significant funding from NIIMBL, and the test data generated will be published to accelerate commercial systems’ adoption.

Other projects include themes from across the first edition of the roadmaps, such as harvest clarification, continuous downstream processing, rapid release testing through in-line monitoring, rapid methods for adventitious detection and sterility assurance, standard facility design, big data to smart data, robotics and knowledge management.


Working together

Collaboration is crucial to the success of these projects because if a company tries to develop new technologies by itself then it can be a very uncertain and expensive process.

“Projects such as Plug and Play can only be done properly through collaboration, they can’t be done in isolation,” says BioPhorum Director Steve Jones. “Collaboration pools all the effort and reduces risk. And because everyone is working together, progress is quicker and the results are delivered sooner.”

The Phorum’s process draws together a wide range of different experts – including biomanufacturers, equipment suppliers and engineering companies – who can give a collective industry view. Bringing together these different viewpoints means the team has the best people and the best capabilities, and therefore the best chance of ensuring new technologies are developed.

Future developments

The aim over the next few years is to continue developing the above portfolio of projects and see the technologies come to market at a commercial scale.

At the same time, the steering committee has started planning for another round of technology roadmapping and has been scoping out some new strategically important themes. After conducting a ‘heat-mapping’ exercise with members, the focus will be on the priority themes of the ‘internet of things’ and digitization, new analytic technologies and diagnostics, and the whole end-to-end process from raw materials and manufacturing to the patient.

Detailed scoping and definition of these strategic themes is now underway, and by mid-2019 associated roadmapping working groups will be mobilized. Throughout this planning and development, the team will work with other Phorums to leverage their knowledge and contacts – and so enhance the existing collaborative approach to accelerate technology development and adoption.


Lonza presentation of the technology roadmap at BPI Boston


Rajesh Beri, Lonza, presented a review of the progress made to date by the first edition Technology Roadmap at BPI Boston in August 2018. Beri also presented a retrospective inspection of the Tech Roadmap effort and future prospects. You can 2018 BPI Boston TRM Rajesh Beri v1.1-compressed

NIIMBL/ BPOG agree to Technology Road Map partnership


NIIMBL – a public-private US consortium dedicated to the advancement of biopharmaceutical manufacturing  innovation – will enjoy representation at both Steering Committee and Workstream level. As a Phorum member, NIIMBL will leverage BPOG’s recently published Technology Roadmap to prioritize activities and inform project calls for the NIIMBL community.

BPOG will continue to own and facilitate the Technology Roadmap and, in collaboration with NIIMBL, will facilitate the development and publication of a US-specific component that is eventually expected to form part of the global Roadmap document. The US-specific Roadmap will focus on economic, regulatory, workforce development and research challenges facing the US biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry.

Kelvin Lee, NIIMBL Director, said, “The partnership with BPOG enables us to leverage and synergize with the established global biopharmaceutical Technology Roadmap to help NIIMBL prioritize technology development in the short term. In the longer term, the collaboration will help NIIMBL develop a US-specific Roadmap component that will further facilitate our mission to accelerate US biopharmaceutical manufacturing innovation.”

The partnership with NIIMBL represents an exciting next step on the path towards BPOG’s ambition to become the ‘go to’ place for biopharmaceutical road mapping. In addition to plans to broaden the scope of future editions of the Technology Roadmap to include emerging products, vaccines and blood products, the Technology Roadmap Phorum also aims to leverage its knowledge and experience of road mapping processes to assist other regional innovation hubs to localize their own roadmaps. In turn, the partnership with BPOG will enable NIIMBL to focus resources on the advancement of manufacturing technologies and standards to enhance patient access to biopharmaceutical medicines. NIIMBL is the largest public-private partnership in biopharmaceutical manufacturing, and is comprised of industry, academic and government partners with more than $200 million (USD) of resources to advance technology and workforce development activities.

According to Steve Jones, BPOG Director: “We are delighted that NIIMBL has chosen to use the BPOG Technology Roadmap as a guide to inform technology developments. Furthermore, we look forward to working with NIIMBL to explore the issues and challenges facing the US biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry.”

For more information, contact Steve Jones at

You can access the Roadmap documents here