The University of Strathclyde’s medicines manufacturing research centre, CMAC, is delighted to announce the next phase in our strategic partnership with The Glasgow School of Art (GSA).

The focus of this collaboration is to deliver a number of cutting-edge, interactive case studies using Augmented Reality (AR) technology for training, collaboration and research. This new initiative leverages the advanced capabilities of Microsoft HoloLens 2 headsets and will develop new applications to support our research teams to learn together, achieve more and collaborate effectively in real time whilst also reducing our carbon emissions.

This collaboration marks a pivotal stride forward, building upon the substantial work already undertaken by the two teams in recent years on virtual reality (VR) models to develop advanced AR solutions. Working together we will maximise the impact of CMAC’s Made Smarter Innovation Digital Medicines Manufacturing (DM²) programme and UK-RPIF Net Zero pilot. The scope of the initial phase is informed by our user-inspired research and training needs and spans the creation of platforms for project communication and virtual collaboration, training on advanced process technologies and industrial digital technology demonstrators, and mapping data and models onto the physical equipment and processes in real time, augmenting our researchers’ ability to visualise complex phenomena and real time data when and where it is most useful to inform decisions.

Dr Catriona Clark, Skills Development Lead in DM² at CMAC, said: “We are leading the charge in transformative skills development, with a mission to pioneer the convergence of innovation and expertise. As we extend our strategic partnership, we embark on a journey to amplify the impact of CMAC’s DM² program through ground breaking, interactive case studies in Augmented Reality, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of medicines manufacturing research and exploiting innovative technologies in new ways.”

Prof Alastair Florence, Director of CMAC stated: “The Centre has invested heavily in the current best in class technology for AR deployment within our new CMAC Data Lab. This exciting collaboration allows us to deliver not only bespoke AR content to benefit our students, staff and partners but also to drive innovation in how we use technology to enhance productivity, sustainability and resilience in our sector. I look forward to working with Paul and his team to drive this important area of technology and create content and methods of working that break down barriers and silos and open up new routes to innovation.”

This will be accomplished by developing new technologies in an accessible manner, collection of trained specialists equipped with the necessary skills for the digital age and establishing a cutting-edge digital infrastructure within a manufacturing research environment relevant to the industry.

This ambitious venture will draw upon the collective expertise of GSA particularly in emerging technologies around computer science, extended realities and 3D computer modelling. This development team has showcased a wealth of experience in delivering immersive technology such as the development of training modules, crafting process visualisations, and redesigning laboratory layouts for advanced medicine manufacturing applications.

Prof. Paul Chapman, Director of Emerging Technology at GSA said: I am delighted to be working with CMAC at the University of Strathclyde, embedding cutting edge XR technology into their world class laboratories. Combining GSA’s state of the art knowledge in XR with CMAC’s facilities and expertise in pharma will undoubtedly result in ground breaking innovations and help drive transformation within medicines manufacturing.”

About CMAC:

CMAC is a world-class centre of excellence for medicines manufacturing research, training and translation. Working in partnership with industry, CMAC’s goal is to transform the development and manufacture of medicines. Building on our long-standing partnerships with a wide range of pharmaceutical manufacturers, technology providers and leading universities, we have established the flagship UKRI co-funded programme: the Made Smarter Innovation – Digital Medicines Manufacturing Research Centre (DM²). This is a 3.5-year programme that will accelerate the adoption of industrial digital technologies (IDTs) in the pharma sector across five core Platforms covering data, advanced manufacturing, digital QC, patient centric supply and networking and skills. DM² connects a leading multidisciplinary team of researchers across Strathclyde, Loughborough and Cambridge universities with key digital technology providers, medicines manufacturers and healthcare providers, to drive a digital transformation in medicines manufacturing.

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About The Glasgow School Of Art (GSA):

The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) is internationally recognised as one of Europe’s leading independent university-level institutions for education and research in the visual creative disciplines. Our studio-based, specialist, practice-led teaching, learning and research draw talented individuals with a shared passion for visual culture and creative production from all over the world.

Originally founded in 1845 as one of the first Government Schools of Design, the School’s history can be traced back to 1753 and the establishment of the Foulis Academy delivering a European-style art education. Today, the GSA is an international community of over 3200 students and staff across architecture, design, digital, fine art and innovation in our campuses in Glasgow and Altyre (in the Scottish Highlands) and a thriving Open Studio programme delivering non-degree provision to over 1500 students annually.