Qubicon supports two projects at the CHASE Competence Center. First, our software is applied by the Bioprocess Technology research group headed by Prof. Dr. Christoph Herwig at the Technical University of Vienna. In this project, Qubicon is used as a tool to link real-time process data with a digital twin for optimized refolding of recombinant proteins derived from E.coli inclusion body processes.
In a second project, Qubicon supports the development and implementation of a digital twin to be used as decision support in a multi-step, pharmaceutical manufacturing process at a large industrial partner. The goal is an integrated process model that provides all operators in the production plant with real-time decision support to optimally control each unit operation.
At the Institute for Chemical Technology of Organic Materials at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Qubicon enables quality-based monitoring and provides flexible control strategies for beer brewing processes. This project aims to provide a deeper understanding of microbial beer fermentation processes exposed to tailored conditions (e.g., temperature and pH) and monitors process-relevant performance indicators. The team around Klaus Bretterbauer evaluates characteristic process indicators such as metabolic by-products as well as consumption rates of specific metabolites for the prediction of fermentation and quality assurance. Consequently, a variety of offline and online data (e.g., NIR spectroscopy, beer extract analytics, HPLC, and GC) are gathered in Qubicon to gain profound knowledge about the processes. Based on a combination of classical and advanced process analytics, the goal is to develop model-based monitoring and control strategies resulting in highly reproducible processes and delicious beer. Cheers!
Virtual Sensors is a start-up project based in Recklinghausen (Germany) and affiliated with the Westfälische Hochschule (Westphalian University of Applied Sciences). Virtual Sensors’ goal is to improve biotechnological processes through novel mathematical models for critical process parameters using an in silico hybrid modeling approach. Within this project, Qubicon and its OPC UA implementation makes the task of accessing data from various devices quick and hassle-free. With the Qubicon modeling interface, the measurements of connected instruments can be accessed using programming scripts like the Virtual Sensors models. Special attention is paid to non-invasive measurements of key performance indicators and the detection, prediction, or prevention of failures. In real-time, the obtained model results are transferred back to Qubicon, visualized, and stored in a central database together with offline measurements so they can be used for subsequent model-based control.
The cooperation between Virtual Sensors and Qubicon advances efforts in Process Analytical Technologies (PAT) and digital twins in bioprocessing.
Integrated Continuous Bio-Manufacturing (ICB) is widely viewed as one of the most promising technologies addressing the challenges of increased costs and competitive pressure across a variety of bioprocessing fields. In the End2End R&D project, from Bilfinger Life Science and the University of Natural Resources and Life Science (BOKU) in Vienna, Qubicon is used to provide a central data management solution while enabling flexible control strategies across a fully-integrated, continuous end-to-end bioprocess. With the need to optimize and control the entire process chain, from a mammalian cell culture perfusion to several protein purification steps, a data management and real-time control platform connected to all units is almost indispensable. Qubicon provides the tools needed by upstream and downstream experts from Bilfinger and BOKU to apply advanced process monitoring and flexible cross-device control, i.e., End2End.