Learning incentives: UMass Lowell automated biomanufacturing plant

Corporate partners are donating more than half a million dollars worth of equipment to speed ideas into production, via a UMass Lowell automated biomanufacturing plant.

11/04/2008


UMass Lowell opened an automated biomanufacturing pilot plant.
UMass Lowell opened an automated biomanufacturing pilot plant with equipment and services donated to the University by corporate partners: Invensys Process Systems (IPS), Wyeth Biotech, and Dakota Systems.

Lowell, MAUMass Lowell nt. The new plant and lab will help Massachusetts biomanufacturing companies bring new biopharmaceuticals closer to commercial production. Contributions are worth $600,000. 
The Massachusetts BioManufacturing Center is an interdisciplinary research, development and education center to assist biotechnology companies in developing procedures leading to industry-compliant manufacturing processes. Through education, applied research and process development, the center offers solutions that improve productivity, quality, and cost of biomanufacturing operations.
"This pilot lab is a great example of how the university, state, and private corporations can partner to advance technology, expose students to the latest industry trends, and bring ideas to market quicker," said UMass Lowell chancellor Marty Meehan, who noted that biotechnology is an important driver of the state's economy.
Invensys Process Systems (IPS), a global technology, software and consulting firm, has installed its InFusion Enterprise Control System on a bioreactor donated by Wyeth. Dakota Systems and 12 of its suppliers donated a range of services, including fabricating the frame, integrating the control panel, orbital welding all piping, installing electrical devices and instrumentation, and completing cGMP functionality testing.
According to professor Carl Lawton, center director, "The biotechnology companies that use this plant, and, just as importantly, students who train there, will learn about process automation and optimization using the latest technology. Our students will graduate with advanced knowledge that they can use immediately."
"UMass Lowell students will be able to evaluate alternative research and production strategies based on potential bottom-line impact," said Paulett Eberhart, president and CEO of IPS.
Scott Harrison, assistant vice president at Wyeth-Andover, added that his company is excited about helping the university realize its vision for opening a state-of the-art biomanufacturing pilot plant.
John M. Thomas, president of Dakota Systems, said that new drug development coincides with the need for students' interest in equipment design and plant operations.
Millipore Corp. will donate up to $200,000 in equipment and services to the adjacent process development lab. The Millipore Corporation Process Development Laboratory will be used for downstream purification and training for students and industrial professionals. Jean Paul Mangeolle, president of Millipore's Bioprocess Division, added, "We are excited about this new opportunity which will strengthen this existing partnership and help to position Massachusetts as a leader in the biotech industry."
Filling the engineering skills gap; Also read about other learning incentives:
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Grants for student manufacturing, engineering camp

;
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Scholarships awarded for industrial automation engineering

; and
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Automation college for Europe, Middle East and Africa; student competition

.
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