A new way for participants to test and validate technology – Testa Challenge 2020

New methods, processes and approaches are required to accelerate innovation and transform medicine and future treatments. To meet this need, we created the Testa Challenge. 

Biological drugs and products are transforming medicine and promise future targeted treatments for a range of conditions. However, for these powerful products to benefit everyone in the world, new technologies and tools that can drastically improve productivity in biological production are needed. Companies face many challenges – from the time and cost of bringing products to market to the quality of the end-product and achieving production efficiencies. Balancing specificity, speed, and cost is also tough.

An innovative way to speed up transformation of medicine and treatments is to offer companies with new techniques the opportunity to see how their idea stands up in a fully-funded trial production run.  This, in essence, is the Testa Challenge

­”First, we identified three main challenges within the field of bioprocessing. Even the most experienced companies face challenges in how to produce their product in a sustainable manner, how to ensure manufacturing productivity and how to control the quality of the product”, says Jesper Hedberg, director Testa Center.

Testa Challenge. Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

Test Center then opened the call to welcome innovators at any stage in the bio-process workflow. From preparation and planning, to actual culture, harvest and downstream activities such as separation and purification. 

Selection criteria and process

When the application period was closed, several highly qualified innovation projects to assess and prioritize had been received. A board consisting of representatives from industry, investors and technical experts evaluated and selected the finalists according to the following criteria:

• Need of and demand for the proposed solution in the market
• Potential to meet future technology demands within bioproduction
• Commercial potential and scalability
• Level of innovation
• How well the proposed project fits into the scope of the Testa Challenge
• Project benefits of participating in the Testa Challenge

”We were delighted to receive a number of very exciting and innovative applications. Proposals came from companies in Sweden and from countries such as the US, UK, Germany, Finland, and Denmark. These proposals were within areas such as innovative sensors, smart laboratory tools, digital twins, process modelling, automation, process control and sampling systems. After a comprehensive selection phase, the board decided upon the six participants that were found to be the most promising”, adds Hedberg.

Participation = winning

” For the Testa Challenge 2020, we were very excited to welcome our participants, representing the Technology, Digital and Data segments. They integrated, tested and verified their innovations alongside our in-house experts, in a fully funded bioproduction workflow at the Testa Center in Uppsala”, says Jesper Hedberg.

The technologies selected for the Testa Challenge 2020 were, in alphabetical order:

ArgusEye (Linköping, Sweden)
atSpiro (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Freesense (Copenhagen, Denmark)
IS Instruments (Kent, United Kingdom)
Scitara (Marlborough, US)
Unibap (Uppsala, Sweden)

Outcome

As an outcome of the Testa Challenge, the participants will ended up with a reduced product development risk for their innovation by having verified their concept. This in turn will faciliate future investment on the journey towards market introduction. The goal is for the Testa Challenge to make a clear difference in the development stage and to add value to their journey.

The Testa Center Challenge took place in Testa Center in Uppsala, Sweden, during the 19th to the 23rd of October 2020. It was organized by Testa Center, with support from Cytiva, Region Uppsala and STUNS. It was sponsored by: Agilent Technologies, Gyrolab and Ramcon.

For more information and to follow the Challenge’s journey, please visit: testachallenge.com

Read more about the Testa Challenge

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