Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Revised White Papers Posted

NIST’s Technology Innovation Program (TIP) has just posted two revised White Papers of interest to the healthcare community. TIP supports, promotes, and accelerates innovation in the U.S through high-risk, high-reward research in several areas and publishes white papers available for comments.

The White Papers released by TIP are used to help shape TIP’s collaborative outreach and to help determine future competitions. Two papers previously released on manufacturing were revised in August 2011 and are now available for further comments.

The revised draft of the White Paper “Manufacturing: Manufacturing and Biomanufacturing: Material Advances and Critical Processes” addresses projects that relate to the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals (health related) as well as on-biopharmaceutical (non-health related) products.

An example of why improvements are needed in biomanufacturing occurred with the H1N1 flu outbreak in the recent past. Experts were able to decode the virus to prepare a vaccine in record time, but encountered problems supplying the large volume of vaccine needed in a timely manner.

However, development of new processes for producing recombinant vaccines as well as processes for real-time monitoring and analysis could not only help to respond rapidly to new virus outbreaks, but could also reduce the cost of clinical trials through better scale-up methodologies.

The second revised draft of the White Paper “Manufacturing: Advanced Robotics and Intelligent Automation” points out that the manufacturer sector has a need and reliance on technology innovation to find solutions on how best to use robots for advanced manufacturing. The problem is that the use of industrial robots has not changed significantly since 1961.

Today’s robots have been improved with more computing capabilities but robots are still limited to operating in highly structured environments. To really advance the use of robots, wireless communications and networking are especially required when computing resources are remotely located.

In the future, robots may be mobile within a factory and operate in an unstructured or uncertain environment and be able to communicate with not only other robots but also with supervisory control systems and wireless sensors. This is challenging because of the electromagnetic environment where robots operate.

Go to www.nist.gov/tip/wp/upload/manufacturing_biomanufacturing_wp_08_11.pdf to view the draft revised White Paper on biomanufacturing. To submit comments, go to “Click Here” at the top of the page and email mfg.tipwp@nist.gov. For the second white paper on robots, go to www.nist.gov/tip/wp/upload/manufacturing_adv_robotics_intelligent_automation_wp_08_11.pdf and go to “Click Here” and email robotic.tipwp@nist.gov. For questions, contact TIP at (888) 847-6478.