Health care costs continue to rise, limiting the availability of potentially lifesaving medicines. Technology innovation in biomanufacturing represents one of the best options to both lower costs of medicines and vaccines and to save time in getting these treatments to market. However, a major bottleneck is the lack of partnerships between the U.S. and our international colleagues, which stymies innovation and forces each region to reinvent key manufacturing technologies. This project addresses the global challenge to coordinate, organize, and facilitate research and technological advances in biomanufacturing.

The International Biomanufacturing Network (IBioNe) will link networks including NSF-funded centers and partner organizations in North America and overseas. IBioNe will accelerate discoveries and developments to make lifesaving drugs and vaccines.

With a wealth of biological information emerging from advances in ‘omics, sensors and systems and synthetic biology, a multitude of opportunities exist to build a stronger, more connected international community dedicated to advancing biomanufacturing excellence. 

Project goals are to: 

  1. understand the biology of biomanufacturing systems and compile omics datasets and models, 
  2. create references and standards for relevant cell lines, media, and platforms, 
  3. implement innovations in production, development, analytics and regulatory sciences 
  4. educate the future innovators and workforce leaders. 

With established standards, innovation will proceed rapidly across therapeutic modalities by comparing new technologies against a known reference to speed breakthroughs. IBioNe will expand websites that enable users to deposit genomes, transcriptomes, proteomes and other omics datasets and host mathematical models including those based on machine learning and artificial intelligence. Knowledge exchanges will be fostered through collaborative laboratory, conference, and workshop experiences. By creating and exchanging standards, models, expansive datasets, and expertise, IBioNe will accelerate discovery, development, and implementation of time- and cost-saving bioproduction methodologies by academic, industrial and government researchers across the globe.

The Accelerating Research through International Network-to-Network Collaborations (AccelNet) program is designed to accelerate the process of scientific discovery and prepare the next generation of U.S. researchers for multi-team international collaborations. The AccelNet program supports strategic linkages among U.S. research networks and complementary networks abroad that will leverage research and educational resources to tackle grand scientific challenges that require significant coordinated international efforts.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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