Accenture and NIBRT team up to bring medical treatments to patients faster

7 Dec 2021

Accenture’s Alistair Blair and NIBRT’s Darrin Morrissey. Image: Accenture

NIBRT’s collaboration with Accenture will involve the creation of a ‘digital twin’ that can be used to simulate production processes.

Accenture is teaming up with the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) on a research project that aims to speed up the production of medicines and get life-saving treatments on the market faster.

The project is being funded by Accenture and Enterprise Ireland. It will create a digital twin, or virtual representation, that will serve as a real-time digital counterpart of the biology of the manufacturing process.

This could be used to simulate production processes and guide process development, potentially shaking up how scientific and laboratory processes are conducted.

The project team members will compare the results from the computer-simulated experiments to those in the real world at NIBRT’s labs in Dublin. They will determine the accuracy of the digital twin and work to continuously improve the model.

Darrin Morrissey, CEO of NIBRT, said that the “groundbreaking” project will bring together internationally recognised experts in cell biology, statistical modelling and digital simulation.

“The findings from this work have the potential to further streamline biopharmaceutical manufacturing, increase speed to market and ultimately deliver life-saving medicines to patients more efficiently and cost effectively,” he said.

Alastair Blair, country managing director for Accenture in Ireland, added: “The life sciences industry is rapidly transforming with scientific breakthroughs occurring at speed. Supporting research and development in this highly complex industry will enable us to create extraordinary changes in health outcomes that will positively affect our society.

“We are incredibly excited about future opportunities and advancements that can only be achieved through deep collaborations like this.”

Earlier this year, Accenture announced it was creating 500 new jobs, most of which were to be based at its Munster life sciences hub, building on its acquisition of Cork’s Enterprise Systems Partners in 2019. Two new life sciences jobs will be created from this project with NIBRT.

Last month, NIBRT’s director of projects, Killian O’Driscoll, spoke to about how the pandemic had impacted biopharma training and recruitment. It launched an online training academy in 2020 to deal with demand for biopharma professionals.

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic