Reflections from ISPE 2019 Europe Pharma 4.0 Conference


- by Dr. Sean Costello


The Continuous Manufacturing expert team of Innopharma Technology attended the 2019 ISPE Europe Pharma 4.0 Conference, which held in Old Trafford Stadium at Manchester, UK, on 20 and 21 November. Thanks to ISPE for bringing up empowering thought leaders and advocates under one roof. This event was an excellent experience for our team to be a part of this Pharma 4.0 Revolution. Director of Innopharma Technology, Dr. Sean Costello, penned down his views of this event on his LinkedIn Profile. Dr. Costello quoted Christian Woelbeling on - "Pharma 4.0 is not an IT project; it is a Pharma Quality Systems project". This quote also reflects Innopharma Technology's vision of the value of Pharma 4.0. Following is the article, as shared by Dr. Costello.


I was reflecting over the last few days at the ISPE Europe Pharma 4.0 Conference in Manchester last month. First off, it was an enjoyable experience. For me, the great thing about attending an event on a niche but growing topic is that it tends to draw industry experts. The opportunity to meet like-minded people helps drive a cordial and network-friendly atmosphere.

Pharma 4.0 is not an IT project; it is a Pharma Quality Systems project.

- Christian Woelbeling 

And yet even though Pharma 4.0 might be regarded as a niche topic, it transcends every conceivable area of pharma manufacturing, and that goes to the heart of why Pharma 4.0 will be transformative. Even though the program was tightly framed, yet there was something there for everyone, from Digital Track and Trace to the Digital Twin to VR/AR and Data Integrity. It was good to see technology providers, users, and regulators all sharing the experiences and vision of this evolving landscape. 



Mainly, I enjoyed Kevin Bailey’s (Inspector, MHRA) presentation, ‘A Perspective on the Future of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing.' Having worked in the Medical Device industry, where adoption of AI is more pervasive than Pharma Manufacturing, it was heartening to see his presentation referring to some examples and using them as comparative examples pathways to the adoption of AI technology in Pharma Manufacturing.  

I also enjoyed listening to Thomas Halfmann from NMIT, a long-time expert in production IT/IoT. Through his talk on MES & Data Integrity in the Context of Pharma 4.0 and the IoT’, he gave an excellent presentation on the central concept of the Digital Maturity Model and early Definition of a Digital Plant. 

I hope this event continues as an Elite Camp for knowledge exchange and a holistic perspective on the current and future state of Pharma 4.0.


Sean Costello

Sean Costello leads the Technology Division, applying Industry 5.0 solutions to pharmaceutical, food and fine chemical industries. Prior to Innopharma, Sean was a founder of a Medical Device company and University spin-out SlidePath, which developed cloud-enabled AI-driven diagnostic decision support and automated workflow solutions for clinical histopathology, pharma drug discovery and drug safety. Sean holds a PhD in Pathology Imaging and Medical Informatics and a BSc in Biotechnology.

Darren McHugh

Darren McHugh is a Senior Product Manager at Innopharma Technology, with over 18 years of experience in the field of Manufacturing. He holds separate degrees in: Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Manufacturing, and a Master’s in Product Management. He has worked with several companies in the manufacturing industry to help them implement smart manufacturing solutions into their processes. Darren is an expert in Industry 4.0 and 5.0 solutions, where he has used IIoT, image analysis and machine learning (ML) technologies to help companies capture the full potential of their digital transformation efforts and deliver a satisfactory return on investment.

Liam Ryan

Liam Ryan is a Sales & Marketing Manager at Innopharma Technology with over 12 years in Technology and Food & Beverage sectors. He has specialized in international business spending years working in China, US, Middle East & Europe with strong experience in the commercialization of new technologies in the marketplace.

Pharma 4.0 Control Manufacturing

Innopharma Technology have been working for 5 years on a cutting-edge new technology platform which address the needs of the latest Advanced Manufacturing techniques for pharma. This new platform was unveiled in 2019.

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