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To achieve this, DM2 will work with industrial partners to develop and accelerate the adoption of industrial digital technologies (IDTs) in the pharmaceutical sector. This will enable the required transformations in data exploitation needed to empower users across pharmaceutical supply chains.

Research objectives:

  • Accelerate digitalisation in pharma sector.
  • Transform medicines development and manufacturing productivity.
  • Revolutionise Quality Control.
  • Drive patient-centric supply.
  • Enable the workforce of the future.

DM2 is led by the University of Strathclyde (CMAC), in partnership with Loughborough and Cambridge Universities. Established through a £5M EPSRC award, with a further £2.9M from collaborating partners, it forms part of the UKRI and Made Smarter Innovation £53M investment in smart manufacturing and connected supply chain research and innovation.

To achieve this, work will be carried out across the following five integrated platforms, designed by academic and industrial researcher teams:
  • Platform 1: The Data Platform

    Lead: Professor Blair Johnston, University of Strathclyde

    Aims: To address one of the sector's core digitalisation challenges - a lack of large data sets and ways to access such data.


    • Build data systems to clean, archive and serve data across Platforms
    • Capture and create data models for Platforms 2 - 4
    • Establish DM2 Data Services with partners to maximise data value and growth
    • Develop novel, data driven AI tools for data handling, analysis and prediction
    • Develop standards to ensure accuracy and reusability, establishing “gold-standard” curated data sets
  • Platform 2: Autonomous MicroScale Manufacturing

    Lead: Dr Daniel Markl and Professor Gareth Pierce, University of Strathclyde

    Aims: To accelerate the development of medicine products and manufacturing processes by creating agile, small-scale production facilities and using robotic technologies.


    • Create an automated mini-batch direct compression and capsule filling IDT manufacturing demonstrator
    • Demonstrate an autonomous IDT manufacturing demonstrator to predictively formulate new OSDs for phase 1 clinical supply
    • Develop fundamental understanding about the material – process – performance relationship for tablets and capsules
  • Platform 3: Digital Quality Control

    Lead: Dr Brahim Benyahia, Loughborough University

    Aims: To drive digitalisation of Quality Control (QC) aspects of medicines development  - critical for ensuring a medicine's regulatory compliance and patient safety.


    • Learn to utilise prior knowledge and data against specifications to automate raw material release
    • Design optimal reliable operating regions (ROR) to meet CQAs and regulatory standards
    • Real time measured and predicted (soft sensors) CQAs to achieve predictive real time release testing (RTRT) displacing extensive off-line analysis and reducing waste by 30%
    • Build a self-optimising QC Digital Twin into the process to streamline regulatory compliance multiple tablet and capsule formulations alongside an advanced control and fault detection strategy
  • Platform 4: Adaptive Digital Supply

    Lead: Dr Jag Srai, University of Cambridge

    Aims: To generate new understanding on future supply chain needs of medicines to support adoption of adaptive digital supply chains for patient-centric supply.


    • Develop three Digital Supply Chain Use-Case Models that capture material, information, and value flows enabling data-driven replenishment based on actual user demand
    • Identify relevant IDT interventions that enable actual demand-capture and automated supply & replenishment
    • Develop alternative digital supply chain configurations based on autonomous manufacturing driven by patient need
  • Platform 5: DM2 Network & Skills

    Lead: Dr Andrea Johnston, University of Strathclyde

    Aims: To lead engagement, collaboration and skills development by establishing the DM2 network & skills programme.


    • Act as a springboard for DM2 to share developments and insights across pharma and broader digital manufacturing sectors ensuring cross-sector diffusion
    • Work with existing strategic networks to expand reach for IDT dissemination and uptake
    • Identify skills needs for the future workforce and, with partners, develop and deliver training
    • Create case studies to inform responsible research, innovation, and trust in IDTs

Principal Investigator: Professor Alastair Florence, University of Strathclyde.

Industry Engagement Lead: Dr Massimo Bresciani, University of Strathclyde

Science Advisory Board Chair: Professor Harris Matsakatoris, Kings College London

Co-creation & Translation Board Co-Chair: Dr Sophie Bales, AstraZeneca