The program has been launched by the UK’s Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult), an independent innovation and technology organization, in partnership with the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).
The partners are also drawing down support from an industry partner, Miltenyi Biotec. That company provided technical input into the development of the pilot to ensure it resembles real-world situations as closely as possible.
The training – to be delivered through the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network (ATSTN) – will enable users to experience technologies and equipment used in process manufacturing.
'Immersive experience can aid learning'
Marcus Crossley, senior project manager at the AMRC, said: “This VR/AR demonstrator is really pushing the boundaries in showcasing how companies could provide cutting-edge training to people at the start of their career and also upskilling and supporting existing staff members worldwide.”
Allowing participants to use state-of-the-art technology greatly enhances their learning experience and adds value by speeding up people’s familiarity and confidence in using the manufacturing equipment, he added. “Being able to bring in experts to this immersive experience from anywhere in the world is a very powerful training capability.”
Michele Giroux, general manager, Miltenyi Biotec, said the company wants to provide the highest quality training to the next generation of ATMP scientists and this project will help to accelerate that: “Ultimately, our hope is that this partnership will be instrumental in empowering those entering the ATMP field to gain the skills they need to manufacture these ground-breaking therapies."