The founding of the BMIG is pivotal and timely. The need for interdisciplinary collaborative research to find scientific solutions for biopharmaceutical therapeutics and vaccines is at an all-time high because of the increasing prevalence of chronic, debilitating, and deadly infections and other diseases. Other factors, listed below, also encourage the establishment of BMIG as a multi-disciplinary organization.
Manufacturing challenges need holistic approaches
Federal, state agencies and other large funding organizations favor teams and projects with well-rounded, holistic, multi-faceted approaches consisting of diverse scientific and technological expertise that span from fundamental basic sciences to advanced technology, industry implementation, manufacturing, and commercialization, in parallel with the need to continually train and develop a world-class workforce. Finding sustainable solutions to current biopharmaceutical manufacturing challenges requires approaches and expertise from multiple areas of science and engineering.
Quick responses to funding opportunities
The BMIG will enable the formation of expert teams that can respond with short notice to funding opportunities.
The need for BMIG has been exemplified by the recent outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic which has made federal agencies, researchers, industries and the public realize the value of having a system ready to meet the needs of biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Researchers and scientists in both academia and industry have come to realize the need to have pre-established networks to respond quickly to new funding opportunities from industry and federal agencies as they attempt to address global health care needs, including those that arise from pandemics. A recent example is the additional $2M in funding that NIST has provided to NIIMBL to respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic to address biopharmaceutical manufacturing of therapeutics and medical equipment to respond, prevent, and protect from pandemics. This includes testing methods; potential therapeutics to treat the disease; and robust, accessible vaccines to protect the general public from future outbreaks. The required response time for this effort was less than a week.