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Embracing the future through ColLABoration

Bringing the Lab of the Future within reach is a very exciting but costly adventure. This is one of the reasons why leading life science companies worldwide have joined forces within the Pistoia Alliance. Its main objective is to lower the barriers to R&D innovation in life science through pre-competitive collaboration. Themes range from Blockchain Data Integrity and AI to virtual research and bringing the lab to the patient. One of this year’s focuses, however, is on bridging the IoT gap between life science and other industries.

IoT gap

According to Gartner, and many other experts for that matter, Internet of Things is likely to reach its maturity in the next couple of years. Compared to industries such as transportation, consumer markets and security/surveillance, R&D labs have some serious catching up to do in this field. Accelerating Internet of lab Things will, among other things, enhance digital data capture, increase flexibility and provide labs with real-time data. At this moment, within Pistoia’s Lab of the Future Community of Interest, a project on predictive maintenance with regard to freezers is in the planning phase.

Predictive maintenance

Last year, Shire and TetraScience started installing IoT sensors on freezers. Going forward, data from these sensors at several member companies will be collected and stored centrally and can then be disclosed to all PA members. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology is then used to discover possible patterns. These analyses will eventually allow pharmaceutical companies to predict when a particular freezer needs to be serviced or replaced before any disruptions occur and biological material will become unusable. Based on these findings, the project will be extended to other instruments including balances (drift and calibration) and temperature gauges and humidity meters.

Aligned approaches

Like many projects that will follow in the years to come, these projects are all about sharing information and experience as well as costs for the evaluation of new technologies by individual members. Moreover, it allows for jointly identifying critical challenges and providing information about maturity and ROI as well as influencing community towards aligned approaches in terms of standards and best practices. I am proud to take part in this adventure and, like the people at Vivenics, I will be more than happy to share any future progress made by our Alliance with you.

Gerhard Noelken, Project Manager Lab of the Future Community of Interest at Pistoia Alliance

(on behalf of Vivenics, PA member and participant in the Lab of the Future Community of Interest)

Here you will find the original powerpoint slides belonging to the presentation held by Gerhard Noelken during the Paperless Lab Academy Congress in Italy last month.

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