Biopharma 4.0 Alliance

Industry 4.0 and NIBRT

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is the ongoing automation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices, using modern smart technology.

As biopharma manufacturing becomes increasingly complex, globalised and more highly regulated, the sector must improve its operations to increase quality and supply performance, while reducing cost to the patient.

In other industries, including aerospace, defence, automotive and FMCG, the deployment of industry 4.0 technologies has delivered huge benefits to manufacturing performance.

However, biopharma is currently significantly behind other advanced manufacturing sectors in its adoption of disruptive technologies.

In what is one of the first collaborations of its kind globally, Boston Consulting Group and NIBRT have created the Biopharma 4.0 (B4.0) Alliance for Digital Innovation in Operations.


Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and NIBRT

BCG and NIBRT have opened the world’s first Innovation Centre, dedicated to Biopharma Operations.The Innovation Centre is 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 a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) simulated environment.

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 next generation technologies is key to maintaining this advantage.

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


The Centre, situated in NIBRT’s Dublin facility, is based on a B4.0 design blueprint produced earlier this 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 range of suppliers.

There are various ways to get involved in the B4.0 Innovation Centre and to learn about the technologies on show and the power of Industry 4.0.  

There are workshops, round-tables and training offerings as well as a more collaborative membership model designed to accelerate the implementation of I4.0 for Biopharma companies



  • Training Excellence: Be immersed in a virtual GMP facility for training on technical operations, GMP behavioural training, as well as walking through a digital twin of a factory created in a single day. NIBRT and BCG have partnered with Mersus Technologies. Creating realistic workplace experiences that mirror real world work scenarios. Watch video here.
  • Evolved Upstream: Experience the value that advanced analytics & machine learning can bring to process optimization, and how augmented reality, neural network activity recognition and dynamic realtime scheduling can help you to implement these optimization to deliver improved performance.
  • Advanced Fill finish : See how simple sensors can be fitted to legacy production lines for give unparalleled visibility on performance which can then be improved using digital center-lining and analytics.
  • QC Lab of the Future: Schedule a lab in real-time and see how that schedule and react dynamically to changes through seamless integration with systems and live updates on availability of samples and analysts through RFID. Desktop Augmented Reality assisted training and complex workflow support is also demonstrated.
  • QA Centre of Excellence: Learn how data mining and visualization of complex process dynamics can focus improvement efforts as well as see capacity planning and time management applied to QA. Quality improvements can be delivered through advanced deviation root cause search and clustering as well as predictive analytics for delays





Read Designing the Right Strategy for Digital Transformation: How a Pragmatic Approach to Digital Transformation Can Help Biomanufacturers Adapt to a Challenging Future with Bioprocess International here



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