UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Re-imagining the Future of Biopharma Digitalisation Workshop

30 January 2024

We were very pleased to be involved with last week's "Re-imagining the Future of Biopharma Digitalisation" workshop that was set up as part of a collaboration between UCL Biochemical Engineering and Accenture.

Panel at Re-imagining the Future of Biopharma Digitalisation Workshop

The workshop focused on "What do we need to do in the next 5 years for digitalisation and automation to enable accelerated process development, smoother tech transfers across sites and self-adapting manufacturing.

The main messages from the workshops included:

  • The importance of having a clear digital strategy
    Management needs strong leadership with clear ROI of why digitalisation can improve their business
  • Data standardisation
    There is a need for a consistent data format and storage solutions that can simplify model building and application of more advanced AL and ML algorithms at scale.
  • Digital Expertise
    the industry needs to upskill or recruit key personnel with the right technical skillset to help deliver their digital strategy and also need to get their whole team to support these digital solutions and reduce "resistance to change" 
  • Implementation of digitalisation at scale is challenging
    Rolling out a large digital strategy across all scales and facilities can be very difficult, so start small with "mini-wins" such as getting everyone in the same company to use the same software for similar tasks

The team would like to say thank you to the keynote speaker Patrick Hyett for exploring how GSK revolutionised their data architecture and leveraged AI to generate impactful changes within their business.

This collaboration was led by Suzanne Farid, Barry Heavey, Whitney Pung, Irina Brass, David Twohig. Further thanks to Luís Miguel Lacerda for ensuring the smooth running of the event.

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