Today in Newark, Delaware, Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker announced the newest institute in the Manufacturing USA network, and the first to be awarded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) from an ”open topic” competition. The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) is a partnership of more than 150 members from industry, academia, non-profit organizations, state governments, and regional organizations representing 25 states.
Unlike traditional pharmaceutical drugs made using chemistry, biopharmaceuticals are made by living cells—a more complex manufacturing environment that is still maturing technically. Innovations in biopharmaceutical manufacturing will mean that more patients have access to the most beneficial therapies. The institute will also help ensure that the nation can rapidly scale up manufacture of these advanced treatments to respond to pandemics and other biological threats, and eliminate drug shortages that can result from quality control issues in manufacturing.
With a $70 million federal investment and an investment of at least $129 million from consortium members, NIIMBL will advance the nation’s competitiveness by developing more efficient and rapid biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes and preparing students for well-paying jobs in the field.
NIIMBL will be headquartered in Newark, Delaware, and the University of Delaware will facilitate its rapid standup of communications and projects with institute members in five regional hubs. Moving forward, NIIMBL plans to operate under USA Bio LLC, a newly-formed and independent non-profit organization created to administrate this cooperative agreement with NIST’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.