ModLife

(Advancing Modelling for Process-Product Innovation, Optimization, Monitoring and Control in Life Science Industries)

Objective

ModLife is a European Training Network (ETN) aiming to develop a cutting-edge engineering research, innovation and training programme to attract and train researchers and engineers at the multidisciplinary/multi-sectoral interface of transforming life science knowledge and discoveries into large scale applications.

Background

Life sciences and biotechnology are among one of the most promising frontier technologies for the coming decades with broad and profound impacts to the next wave of the knowledge-based economy, creating new opportunities for our societies and economies. On the basis of scientific breakthroughs in recent years in the area of bioinformatics, genomics, molecular tools among others, and the explosion in the knowledge base and scientific discoveries on living systems (microorganisms, plants, animals), a continuous stream of new applications is happening in healthcare, agriculture and food production, and environmental protection. Such life sciences and biotechnology are well posed to offer opportunities to address many of the global needs relating to health, ageing, food, environment, and sustainable development.

Transforming lab-scale life science knowledge and discoveries to large scale new biopharmaceutical/biotech/healthcare/food products is very challenging due to a number of barriers:

1. while life science research is further miniaturized due to the advancement of lab-on-chip and high throughput assay technologies, scaling-up lab scale discoveries to market scale products and processes is very capital-intensive and high risk: it may take up to 10-15 years and a number of pilot scale trials to bring a new product to the market.

2. a lack of integrated process modeling and measurement tools and insufficient supply of skilled workforce to bridge engineering and life science disciplines is a major constraint for industry development. There is a significant barrier for entry especially for SMEs into this research and capital intensive sector, where Europe is clearly lagging behind the US. There is a need for urgent actions to address and eliminate these barriers and thereby help unlock the full potential of life sciences and biotechnology to contribute to creation of entrepreneurial Europe.

The Project

ModLife brings together five leading European universities (Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Imperial College London, University of Strathclyde, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, RWTH Aachen), four global industrial players (Bayer, Unilever, Alfa Laval, Janssen Pharmaceutica) and two SMEs (Art Photonics, S-PACT) in life sciences and biotechnology sectors to undertake research and training at this unique interface of transforming science into applications.

It is an European Training Network initiative in the area of product-process innovation, optimization monitoring and control for life sciences and biotechnology industries. ModLife aims to develop advanced model-based optimization, monitoring and control as enabling technologies for bioprocess-product development and innovation tailored for the needs in life science industries.

ModLife ETN will address excellence in research and training of next generation biochemical and process engineers in life sciences industries through:

1. training early stage researchers with multidisciplinary knowledge and competences bridging engineering and life science

2. integrating and creating synergies among individually excellent but otherwise fragmented bioprocess engineering research centers across the European union in life sciences and biotechnology industries.

For more information, please visit the ModLife project website.

Contact

Gürkan Sin
Associate Professor
DTU Chemical Engineering
+4545 25 29 80