Irish consortium led by ServBlock and Irish Manufacturing Research win EU funding to build Manufacturing Data Space

Blockchain and pharmaceutical compliance company ServBlock has received funding alongside Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) to build a trusted data exchange system for outsourced pharmaceutical manufacturing. Wicklow based ServBlock leads a consortium that includes NEXA | EAM (Cork), Ingeniero Solutions (Dublin) Unison Process Solutions (Limerick) and Plant Quest (Waterford) as a pioneering test case for trusted data transfer in pharma supply chains.

The project is supported by the EU’s i4Trust program, which provides funding for innovative research and development projects. The funding will enable the consortium to bring together experts from various fields, including data science, manufacturing, and engineering.

Welcoming the funding announcement, Adrian Hovenden, IMR’s Industrial Solutions Architect said: “Irish Manufacturing Research is delighted to have worked with IMR Member, ServBlock, to successfully secure the i4Trust funding for MANU SPACE. Collaborating with IMR members to create impactful solutions for the Irish manufacturing industry such as this Data Space, is key to ensuring the continued growth and development of the sector. IMR are excited to participate in this consortium and facilitate improvements in patient outcomes through improvements to pharmaceutical manufacturing and supply chain.”

In pharmaceutical manufacturing 20% of executives in management cite disparate systems and data sources among key challenges in addressing top manufacturing objectives for life sciences companies. A dataspace is a way of bringing together data from different sources and making it accessible and usable for a variety of purposes, such as research, analysis, or decision-making.

Data spaces can be used in a variety of contexts, such as in business, science, or government. The manufacturing data space will bring together data from different factories, production lines, and supply chains, to gain insights into the efficiency and competitiveness of the manufacturing process.

In the pharmaceutical industry 60% of all manufacturing is outsourced, companies outsource business activities to external partners for a variety of reasons – cost, flexibility, time to market, and core competence. This outsourcing leads to an increased risk of non-compliance to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) procedures which in turn could be a risk to the brand reputation of the company. By utilising the Manufacturing data space pharmaceutical companies can ensure contract manufacturers adhere to the same integrity, compliance, and quality operations as in-house manufacturing.

John Ward, CEO and founder of ServBlock, said: “We are excited to be a part of this important project and look forward to working with our partners to bring the manufacturing data space to life. Coming on the back of our recent collaboration with Microsoft, this opportunity will allow ServBlock to continue to accelerate growth while being at the forefront of the Data Space movement.”

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