sue behrens speaking at ABCAB

KGI Receives Funding from NIIMBL for Bioprocessing Project

Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) recently received funding for a project from the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL).

The project, Bioprocess Online Training using Digital Twin (BOT-DT), will be led by George B. and Joy Rathmann Professor in Bioprocessing and Director, Amgen Bioprocessing Center Dr. Sue Behrens. Project partners include researchers at California Polytechnic State University, Catalent Pharma Solutions, LLC., Merck, OUAT!, Santa Clara University, and Sartorius.

“We are honored to be selected by NIIMBL for this opportunity to build new online modules for bioprocessing,” said Behrens. ”Leveraging existing technology from OUAT! with input from our industry partners will rapidly deliver hands-on learning capabilities to NIIMBL members.”

The BOT-DT project aims to enhance biopharma remote learning capabilities by developing blended training modules that utilize video, animation, virtual reality, and digital twin technology to provide training on one upstream operation (rocker bioreactor) and one downstream operation (tangential flow filtration/TFF) as proof-of-concept.

The modules will engage students and industry professionals in online courses through a simulated hands-on experience and provide the biopharmaceutical industry with a flexible training opportunity as well as a mechanism to tap into the pool of talent successfully completing the blended learning modules.

In total, NIIMBL awarded $4.6M to 10 projects within three different biopharmaceutical manufacturing categories. KGI’s project was within the Talent and Workforce Development Projects category. This work is performed under financial assistance award 70NANB17H002 from the U. S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology.

NIIMBL has funded over 80 technical and workforce development projects with a total investment of approximately $25M since 2017. The NIIMBL community is comprised of more than 170 members from academia, industry, government, and non-profit organizations, all sharing a common goal to advance biopharmaceutical manufacturing.