Future Technology

Supporting Bioeconomy Processes and Systems

Process and systems to support the Bioeconomy

Process and systems to support the Bioeconomy 1200 450 shahid.anis

The public benefit gained through biological research can be seen through the eyes of a patient who receives a critical medication that did not exist a decade ago, a farmer whose higher-yield crops are turned into fuels, food, and intermediate chemicals, and a small-business owner whose innovative biobased products are breaking new ground in manufacturing. Increased societal needs for food and energy, combined with new knowledge/discoveries in biology and new methods for harnessing biological processes, have dramatically increased the economic potential of the bioeconomy.The National Bioeconomy Blueprint

Introduction

Though written in 2012, The National Bioeconomy Blueprint contains some information valuable to any company wanting to explore the bioeconomy. Critical elements are investments in research and technology.

“… If we want the next big breakthrough, the next big industry to be an American breakthrough, an American industry, then we can’t sacrifice these investments in research and technology,” then-President Barack Obama says in the report. The White House authored the report.

Government agencies at the time were supporting the bioeconomy by:

  • Identifying research and development (R&D) methods
  • Developing foundational transformative technologies
  • Integrating approaches from engineering, physical sciences and computers
  • Improving predictions of vaccine and drug toxicity and efficacy
  • Identifying and characterizing any microbial organism, including purely synthetic versions
  • Creating “science enclaves” that allow analysis of large, complex datasets while maintaining proprietary information.

The report also wanted American industry to increase investment in and production of biofuels, replacing fossil fuels with biomass systems.

Other tasks cited in the report included converting carbon dioxide into liquid fuels, improving biofuel and energy crops, developing new agricultural research programs that drive job creation and transforming manufacturing through bioinnovation.

Some of these tasks have already shown results.

Recent Biotechnical Innovations

A 2020 post on the Klabtree Blog lists 10 biotech innovations.

One of them is CRISPR-based platforms. An acronym for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, CRISPR technology was used to create the Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines. Other medicines are also using the same technology.

The CRISPR tool, “is based on a system that bacteria use to fight viruses. Bacteria develop clustered repeated sequences in their DNA, known as CRISPRs, that can remember dangerous viruses and then deploy RNA-guided scissors to destroy them,” an article in Time magazine states.

Unlike a DNA-based product that targets a cell’s nucleus, messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines just need to get into the more accessible outer regions of cells where proteins are built.

Using CRISPR technology to accomplish this task, both companies were able to produce Covid-19 vaccines that meet FDA emergency standards. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, now known as Comirnaty, uses its regular, non-emergency procedures. The “regular” and “emergency” variations share the same formula, the FDA states.

Another technological innovation cited by KolabTree that is still being developed involves using DNA as a computer hard drive. The concept would turn cells into data storage chambers with the not-yet-realized ability to store information similar to current data storage.

A third innovation is using base pairings of DNA and RNA nucleotides in what is known as “DNA origami” after the Japanese paper folding art form. Nanovery is using this technology to create diagnostic nanorobots. The robots are inserted into a blood sample. When cancerous DNA is found, the robots light up.

Bioeconomy Business Strategies

Having the technology to turn biological products such as corn husks into fuel does not generate money. Having people who can see profits in the bioeconomy does.

“Entrepreneurs can contribute to the (bioeconomy transformation) by commercializing innovative technologies through startups and new business models,” Andreas Kuckertz writes in a white paper published through MDPI.com.

Figue: 1Bioeconomy Business Strategies

Bioeconomy Business Strategies

Using his research, key strategies for the United States mentioned by the author include:

  • Regulatory framework: Creation of tax breaks, reducing regulatory barriers and helping entrepreneurs obtain and defend patents
  • Market Conditions: Use the public procurement process to speed market adoption
  • Access to Finance: Support the bioeconomy by using venture capital for startups
  • Knowledge Creation and Diffusion: Educate entrepreneurs, connect them to mentors and educate government agencies about entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurial Capabilities: Enhance university entrepreneurship
  • Culture: Create an overview of available prizes and awards (mentioned in the National Bioeconomy Blueprint)

Kuckertz suggests modifying these strategies to include those that are:

  • Holistic and based on a clear, causal rationale
  • Include policies with measures tied to clear key performance indicators (KPIs) that can measure progress
  • Have, “dedicated innovation programs accounting for the specifics of bioeconomic innovation will be required to recognize the potential of many promising and possibly game-changing entrepreneurial initiatives.”

While Kuckertz’s comments are oriented at new business development, these same strategies can be used by existing companies. One way is by taking advantage of current cutting-edge business technology: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.

Get a free consultation to learn how to optimize your processes and systems to support bioeconomy.

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Common Themes in Bioeconomy Products

Each of the previous technological innovations has at least three common themes:

  1. 1.Collecting massive quantities of data, also known as “big data.”
  2. 2.Analyzing it and making sense of what is found. Researchers can pour over spreadsheets and try to understand the data or they can use software. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence software helps find the nuggets. These are the test samples that show a formula’s promise while also listing all of the others that don’t.
  3. 3.Safely storing this information away from prying eyes and competitors.

The good news for many companies is the technology to accomplish these three tasks exists today.

The industrial internet of things (IIoT) lets companies gather big data. ERP software is adept at many tasks, one of which is using artificial intelligence (AI) to provide business insights.

Cloud data storage is generally considered to be more secure than that on many small and medium business (SMB) internal networks, using the Microsoft Azure platform to run Windows-based products, adding extra layers of security and reliability.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI is designed to help businesses gather insights into customer needs and experiences. It helps companies accelerate a single process and lets groups solve problems and make decisions based on the data.

Microsoft Azure’s cloud computing service provides a stronger, safer and much more resilient computing platform than the average SMB network. It also has the advantage of making data easily accessible from anywhere in the world, all without compromising data security.

The Bottom Line

The bioeconomy is slowly making inroads into various industries. The chemical and pharmaceutical fields are perfectly set-up to take advantage of reusable biological materials such as corn husks for fuel. Other materials can be used to produce less toxic plant-based solvents.

Making money from the bioeconomy requires not only forward-thinking investors who care about the environment, but also advanced technology like Microsoft Dynamics 365 to make sense of it all.

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Jump-starting resilient and reimagined operations

Jump-starting resilient and reimagined operations

Jump-starting resilient and reimagined operations 2400 900 Xcelpros Team

Jump-starting resilient and reimagined operations

Based on a wonderful piece from our friends at McKinsey, describing the effort needed by businesses moving forward after COVID disruptions. A reminder that businesses able to maintain a certain level of speed during the transition can create a significant long-term advantage.

Get a free consultation to learn more about building resilient operations for your company.

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The future of the chemical industry involves technology

The future of the chemical industry involves technology

The future of the chemical industry involves technology 2400 900 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

Technology is becoming a driving force in many industries and the chemical industry is no different. It’s easy to say the future of the chemical industry will continue to involve new and emerging technologies. Among the most cost-effective ways is through enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

Among the industries benefiting the most from ERP systems’ integration of supply chain management are:

  • Manufacturing
  • Healthcare
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Plastics

Introduction

Tech will spur innovation in the chemical industry, a global management consulting firm, states.

“Historically, the chemical industry has generally been a slow adopter of new digital or analytics technology,” a McKinsey & Company report on the state of the chemical industry asserts. “Still, new digital approaches can provide incremental and relevant benefits (mostly around asset and commercial productivity).”

Among the chemical industry trends highlighted in the report are:

  • Productivity gains from using artificial intelligence (AI) in production, marketing and sales plus research and development.
  • Competitive advantages from having robust real-time information on sales, costs and inventories.
  • Increasing performance transparency around chemical products, management teams, individual activities and business lines.
  • Using process automation to change the way chemical companies think about complexity, scale and sourcing of administrative activities.

“While it continues to be unlikely that the chemical industry at large will experience a revolution, the evolution it faces will be continuously accelerating in speed and eventually significantly change the way things are done,” McKinsey states.

Other Ways Tech Boosts Chemicals

In addition to the business advantages cited by McKinsey, six other reasons why chemical companies are boosting their investment in technology are:

  • Cloud storage and information sharing
  • Advanced maintenance analytics
  • Reduce, reuse and regenerate
  • Yield, Energy and Throughput (YET) analysis
  • Globalization
  • Value Maximization

Cloud storage and information sharing lets wide-spread companies keep their divisions informed. For example, Sales in the U.S. can tell Procurement in India what to expect. That way Procurement has time to manage inventory.

Advanced maintenance analytics lets production facilities predict when a machine will break, Europe-based AG Chemi Group reports. By monitoring wear points, employees can replace worn components before they break. This reduces machine downtime by 30% – 50% and boosts machine life by 20% -40%.

Connected sensors, which are used by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to send data to company networks. Company engineers can evaluate the data to pinpoint the components most likely to wear, order replacements and have them ready to install.

Managing and reducing chemical waste , reusing products and materials and regenerating natural systems is part of the circular economy, which the Ellen MacArthur Foundation states, helps companies redefine growth by focusing on positive society-wide benefits. The circular economy model builds economic, natural and social capital, the foundation claims. AG goes further and states that chemical companies can take advantage of current trends in chemical engineering and process technology to increase efficiency, lower raw materials consumption and reduce manufacturing costs by reducing chemical waste.

YET analysis focuses on improving efficiency by reducing bottlenecks. Using information from literally millions of data points, companies can model the production process and identify areas for improvement.

Globalization is part of how the world now operates. Suppliers and customers are literally spread all over the globe. As a recent example, a ship stuck in the Suez Canal delayed 12 percent of global trade for more than six days. U.S-based companies depending on pre-production materials from Europe were stuck waiting, delaying production.

Value maximization refers to the idea that, “The economics of specialties production (such as chemical manufacturing) may demand maximizing output of a high-value product, while commodities production may prioritize holding down costs, but the former is typically built on the latter. Put simply, the businesses may have two separate profit and loss accounts, but they are connected to the same pipes,” AG Chemi quotes Valerio Dilda from the Polytechnic University of Milan as saying.

This method helps maximize profit generation in complex production systems and supply chains.

Figure: 1New Technologies in Chemical Industry

New Technologies in Chemical Industry

One Way To Update

A fast, easy method for chemical production companies to update their technology is by investing in ERP software. The integrated suite of programs allows chemical companies to access massive volumes of information, control it, massage it and use the insights for planning, inventory control and other business tasks.

One such product is Microsoft Dynamics 365’s family of programs.

Running on Microsoft Azure in a distributed, cloud-based environment, Dynamics offers secure computing, versatility and customization capabilities. Cloud computing offers greater security, meaning that patented chemical products and formulas are more secure than on a company’s own network.

The Supply Chain Management program includes these core concepts:

  • Asset management
  • Cost accounting
  • Cost management
  • Inventory management
  • IoT Intelligence
  • Master planning
  • Procurement and sourcing
  • Product information management
  • Production control
  • Sales and marketing
  • Service management
  • Transportation management
  • Warehouse management

Summary

The chemical industry tends to lag behind other segments in terms of modernizing its operations. Failing to keep with technology can cost companies through missed opportunities and poor inventory management. ERP software like Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Supply Chain Management or Finance are two of many options.

Book a free consultation to future proof your chemical company using the latest technology.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com