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World’s First Innovation Centre Dedicated to Biopharma Operations Opens

The Biopharma 4.0 Alliance, Led by Boston Consulting Group and NIBRT, Announce the Opening of a New Innovation Centre to Further Bolster Europe’s Biopharma Expertise

DUBLIN—Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Ireland’s National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT), as part of the Biopharma 4.0 (B4.0) Alliance, have launched the world’s first innovation centre fully dedicated to biopharma operations.

The innovation centre showcases the latest Industry 4.0 (I4.0) technologies in biopharma manufacturing, quality control, and training excellence. These technologies are integrated with core operating processes to enable proof-of-concept use cases on new innovations and new ways of working, situated in an environment that simulates good manufacturing practice (GMP) standards.

The implementation of these technologies in the biopharma industry could lead to productivity improvements of up to 40%, especially when combined with lean methodologies. Whilst Europe has typically been a leader in biopharma innovation, the industry as a whole is behind other industries and the adoption of I4.0 technologies will help bridge the gap.

“Biopharma has traditionally lagged behind other industries in the adoption of cutting-edge technologies—often linked to reluctance to introduce relatively ‘untested’ tech into the validated production environment. The B4.0 Alliance provides a safe GMP-like space to learn about, experience, and co-create digital use cases, quantify the value potential, and explore regulatory implications hands on,” says Frank Cordes, Managing Director & Partner at BCG, and Operations practice lead for Western Europe. “We hope this centre will encourage companies to experiment with new technologies and upskill talent, ensuring that the industry can accelerate the journey to value from I4.0.”

The innovation centre allows visitors and alliance members to discover I4.0 technology and be inspired by biopharma-manufacturing-specific use cases. It also allows companies to co-create or pilot digital solutions to their specific challenges in a safe, GMP pilot environment.

The Alliance is a unique collaboration between leading players in the biopharma industry, select providers of innovative technologies, and industry experts from BCG and NIBRT.

“NIBRT has been delighted to work with BCG, our biopharma clients, and technology vendors to design and develop the Biopharma 4.0 Innovation Centre. This centre provides a unique opportunity for the biopharma industry to test, assess, and develop proof-of-concept of leading 4.0 technologies with the potential to significantly increase efficiency in biopharma manufacturing. We look forward to the ongoing development of the centre including the launch of our 4.0 training programmes in 2020,” says Killian O’Driscoll, Director of Projects at NIBRT.

The Innovation Centre

The centre, situated in NIBRT’s Dublin facility, is based on a B4.0 design blueprint produced last year, outlining how biopharma companies can use cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, dynamic scheduling, and augmented reality to revolutionize manufacturing operations. The blueprint contains a set of 90 key digital use cases prioritized by value. The current innovation centre is divided into five rooms and demonstrates 30 of these key use cases, from a variety of suppliers.

The rooms:

  • Training Excellence: Be immersed in a virtual GMP facility, and be trained on technical operations and GMP behaviours.
  • Evolved Upstream: Experience the value that advanced analytics and machine learning can bring to process optimization, and see how technologies can help you deliver improved performance.
  • Advanced Fill Finish (New): See how simple sensors can be fitted to legacy production lines to give unparalleled visibility into performance.
  • Quality Control Lab of the Future: Schedule a lab in real time and see how it reacts dynamically to changes through seamless integration with systems, providing live updates on availability of samples and analysts.
  • Quality Assurance Centre of Excellence: Learn how data mining and the visualization of complex process dynamics can focus improvement efforts, and see capacity planning and time management applied to QA.

For more information please visit https://connect.bcg.com/b4icolaunch/ or watch the Biopharma 4.0 Alliance video here.

For media inquiries, please contact BCG’s Rebecca Cummins at +44 207 753 8383 or cummins.rebecca@bcg.com, or NIBRT’s Alison Quinn at +353 1 215 8100 or alison.quinn@nibrt.ie.

About B4.0 Alliance

The Biopharma 4.0 (B4.0) Alliance is a unique collaboration led by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT). Formed in September 2018, it is made up of leading players in the biopharma industry, select providers of innovative technologies, and industry experts.

About National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT)

The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) is a global centre of excellence for training and research in biopharmaceutical manufacturing. NIBRT is located in a world class facility in Dublin, Ireland. This facility is purpose built to closely replicate a modern bioprocessing plant with state-of-the-art equipment and enables NIBRT to offer the highest quality training and research solutions. NIBRT's mission is to support the growth and development of all aspects of the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry.

About Boston Consulting Group

Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we help clients with total transformation—inspiring complex change, enabling organizations to grow, building competitive advantage, and driving bottom-line impact.

To succeed, organizations must blend digital and human capabilities. Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives to spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting along with technology and design, corporate and digital ventures—and business purpose. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, generating results that allow our clients to thrive.

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