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Merck and Broad Institute
CRISPR License Framework to Encourage Innovation

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News, Pharmaceuticals

Merck, a science and technology company, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (Boston, Massachusetts) announced an agreement to offer non-exclusive licenses to CRISPR intellectual property (IP) under their respective control for use in commercial research and product development.

“Together with the Broad Institute, we are simplifying the path to licensing CRISPR technology, which will make it more widely available to the global research and discovery community,” said Udit Batra, member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO Life Science. “Through this agreement, we will make it easier for our customers to be successful in their research that shortens drug development timelines for previously untreatable diseases.”

Broad Institute and Merck share the goal of enabling all entities to apply the technology with a wider range of CRISPR tools. To streamline access for scientists, Broad Institute will offer licenses to Merck’s and Broad Institute’s CRISPR IP portfolios to potential licensees for internal research use and for commercial research tools and kits. Under the agreement, companies applying CRISPR in their research and development activities can license both sets of IP through Broad Institute. The framework is designed to allow other key patent holders to participate in the future — either through this framework or via a third-party patent pool or collaboration — to further streamline non-exclusive access to key CRISPR technology.

“We believe that key CRISPR patent holders should come together to simplify and open up access, and this agreement is another example of a partnership that helps maximize and streamline access to these important scientific tools,” said Issi Rozen, Chief Business Officer of the Broad Institute. “Broad Institute already licenses CRISPR non-exclusively for all applications, with the exception of human therapeutics. We are actively working to ensure the widest and simplest possible access to key CRISPR intellectual property.”

The institutions worked together to develop a framework that (i) continues to provide non-exclusive access to Broad-controlled IP co-owned with its collaborators (including Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York Genome Center, New York University, The Rockefeller University, the University of Iowa Research Foundation, The University of Tokyo, the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and others) and (ii) provides non-exclusive access to IP from Merck, with certain limitations specific to the Merck IP for creation of rodent models.

Features of the licensing framework:

  • Merck’s IP for CRISPR technology, offered under the Sigma-Aldrich portfolio brand, will become available royalty-free to non-profit academic institutions, non-profit business communities and governmental agencies for their internal research, consistent with the Broad Institute’s long-standing practice and requirements.
  • Licenses follow Broad Institute’s and Merck’s ethical licensing considerations, which exclude certain CRISPR technology applications, such as any for clinical human germline editing.
  • Each organization can continue offering licenses independently, outside of this framework.
  • In addition to IP from Broad Institute and Merck, this licensing framework includes certain Broad IP co-owned with multiple other institutions: Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Rockefeller University, the University of Iowa Research Foundation, the University of Tokyo, the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and others.

Broad Institute and Merck have each developed guidelines that support research with genome editing under careful consideration of ethical and legal standards. The Broad Institute outlines “institutional policies on IP licensing” on its website. Merck has established an independent, external Bioethics Advisory Panel to provide guidance for research in which its businesses are involved, including research on or using genome editing, and has defined a clear operational position taking into account scientific and societal issues to inform promising therapeutic approaches for use in research and applications.

Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation News Plant Construction, Engineering & Components

Adnoc selects Honeywell platform
Predictive maintenance projects in the oil and gas industry

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Adnoc selects honeywell platform for one of the largest predictive maintenance projects in the oil and gas industry
Picture: Honeywell

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) selected Honeywell’s asset monitoring and predictive analytics solution to drive improved asset and machinery management across ADNOC’s upstream and downstream operations. Leveraging AI technologies like machine learning and digital twins, the platform is expected to help generate significant yearly savings through reduced unplanned maintenance, increased reliability, uptime and safety.

The 10-year contract marks one of the largest predictive maintenance projects in the Oil and Gas industry and is part of ADNOC’s flagship Centralized Predictive Analytics and Diagnostics (CPAD) program. CPAD, which underpins the company’s 2030 Strategy and Oil & Gas 4.0 initiatives, aims at transforming ADNOC’s operations to maximize value from every barrel of oil, while delivering the greatest possible returns to the United Arab Emirates.

“ADNOC continuously drives innovation and seeks new and advanced technologies that can enhance operational efficiencies and optimize performance,” said Dr. Alan Nelson, chief technology officer, ADNOC. “The predictive maintenance project is significant in scale and in its application of AI technology. Data on thousands of critical assets will be hosted on a platform where AI techniques will be applied to enable us to better understand the performance of our assets and to predict shortfalls in advance, thereby enabling us to maximize operational efficiencies. Honeywell was selected as our technology partner to provide this state-of-the-art solution after a highly competitive and rigorous bid process.”

ADNOC will deploy Honeywell Forge Asset Monitor and Predictive Analytics solutions at its Panorama Command Center in its Abu Dhabi headquarters. Its Panorama Digital Command Center currently aggregates real-time information across ADNOC’s businesses and uses smart analytical models, AI and big data to generate operational insights and recommend new pathways. The addition of Honeywell’s solutions will enable the central monitoring of up to 2,500 critical rotating equipment across all ADNOC Group companies.

With continuous online equipment monitoring, aided by digital twin models and machine learning analytics, operators and maintenance personnel will be able to identify impending machinery issues earlier and shift from reactive and preventative maintenance practices to a predictive maintenance approach. Sophisticated insights into equipment health will also allow ADNOC to evaluate equipment overhaul extension programs, increase the availability of equipment and maximize production. Built on a scalable enterprise platform, the solution will accelerate time to value by providing ADNOC engineers with a host of embedded data science and simulation tools.

“Honeywell Forge Asset Monitor and Predictive Analytics can deliver significant OPEX cost-savings each year while optimizing CAPEX expenditure,” said Que Dallara, president and chief executive officer of Honeywell Connected Enterprise. “We look forward to ADNOC realizing these benefits after deploying this leading-edge technology. Our enterprise-grade solution provides the intelligence augmentation that business leaders rely on for quick and efficient decision making. Leaderscan now focus their resources on innovation and achieving optimal business outcomes.”

The predictive maintenance project is one of many digital transformation initiatives by ADNOC to embed cutting-edge technology across its entire value chain and deliver on its Oil & Gas 4.0 mission to stay ahead of the world’s growing demand for energy. Other digital initiatives include its Panorama Digital Command Center; smart data analytics Thamama Subsurface Collaboration Center; and the use of AI-assisted value chain modeling, rock image pattern recognition technologies, and blockchain-based hydrocarbon accounting, to name a few.

Honeywell is an established leader in digital transformation across the Middle East and globally. Through Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) based solutions, Honeywell has enabled many of the region’s oil and gas projects to achieve improved performance and efficiency. The company’s solutions support a variety of long-term, national development and economic diversification initiatives across the Middle East and North Africa region.

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Conveying & Filling, Packaging, Labeling & Storage Food & Beverage News

Smart Factory Solution
Integrated asset performance and field service management

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SIG is set to deliver the first integrated APM (asset performance management) and FSM (field service management) digital solution for the food and beverage industry. (Picture: SIG)
SIG is set to deliver the first integrated APM (asset performance management) and FSM (field service management) digital solution for the food and beverage industry. (Picture: SIG)

SIG is set to deliver the first integrated APM (asset performance management) and FSM (field service management) digital solution for the food and beverage industry. Developed in partnership with GE Digital, the Plant 360 Asset Management will feature a range of on-demand digital services designed to help manufacturers reach new levels of efficiency, productivity and connectivity in their operations.

SIG Plant 360 Asset Management is being co-developed with GE Digital in response to increasing demands in the food and beverage industry, particularly the need for higher productivity, quality and uptime. With this innovative and integrated solution comprised of GE Digital’s APM and ServiceMax’s FSM software, SIG will offer state-of-the-art digital tools to help its customers boost production, reduce downtime and ensure even greater quality to meet ever-changing consumer needs.

“Equipment manufacturers like SIG are increasingly leveraging Industrial Internet of Things solutions to differentiate themselves through superior after-sales service,” said Dan Lohmeyer, SVP Digital Product Management at GE Digital. “GE Digital’s Asset Performance Management and ServiceMax’s Field Service Management software help OEMs ensure their installed base of equipment is performing optimally, and their field service resources are managed efficiently. Our integrated solution allows SIG to detect and correct potential equipment issues in advance, before they result in unplanned customer downtime, delighting end-customers through improved OEE and driving improved NPS scores for SIG.”

A modular solution for maintenance

Plant 360 Asset Management is a modular solution designed to improve filling line reliability and availability while reducing costs. The Connector module enables the collection of digital data, which is loaded into the Predix Cloud – GE Digital’s cloud platform. From here, the data can be retrieved and evaluated at any time by SIG’s reliability engineering team. This module can also be used for SIG’s other Smart Factory solution, Plant 360 Controller, which enables manufacturers to monitor, control and optimise every angle of their filling plant operations.

The Smart Maintenance module is based on a software-supported holistic process called Maintenance & Asset Data Analytics as well as an Asset Management Cockpit. This ensures customers have one data source for all maintenance-related activities. The third module is called Smart Performance and is based on Asset Health Monitoring and Predictive Asset Data Analytics, which will provide an optimal platform for predictive maintenance in the future.

Optimising assets at every stage

Together, the three modules will enable higher asset reliability and availability. The solution ensures a direct link between condition-based and predictive maintenance alerts in APM and the work being scheduled for field-service engineers in FSM. This helps translate alerts into efficient action on the ground and ensures field service teams receive as much advance notice as possible of an issue, which they can address before it impacts a customer’s operations. For example, defined wearing parts will no longer be replaced at fixed maintenance intervals. Instead, they will only be replaced when the data indicates a certain degree of wear.

“With Plant 360 Asset Management, any changes to equipment strategies – for example, changing service intervals or maintenance steps – can be quickly reflected in new FSM work,” said Klaus Andresen, Senior Vice President Global Technology at SIG. “This improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the overall SIG maintenance process. Data captured by field-service workers is immediately available for analysis by APM and the global SIG reliability engineering team, allowing us to better and more quickly detect emerging issues and trigger preventative steps.”

SIG Plant 360 Asset Management is being launched for the first time in the Middle East with Almarai, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest food and beverage producers, as start of the global rollout.

Robert Ross, Manufacturing Manager Dairy and Juice at Almarai: “Digital Solutions are vital for us to analyse exactly what is happening in our plant and going forward to produce reliably. The aspirational partnership with SIG & GE will greatly help us in root cause analysis and in providing valid answers. This will ensure reliable production and to improve our OEE. We are very proud to be an early adopter of this cutting-edge solution.”Plant 360 Asset Management is one of several value-added solutions within SIG’s Smart Factory segment, which is designed to help manufacturers meet the challenge of increasing output and driving down costs in today’s competitive environment. The solution-driven Smart Factory platform aims to deliver IoT-enabled systems and technical services that transform filling plants into connected factories that offer the highest efficiency, flexibility and quality.

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Honeywell as main contractor
Automation for the middle east’s integrated refinery complex

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Kipic selects honeywell as main automation contractor for the middle east's largest integrated refinery complex
Picture: Honeywell

Honeywell announced that Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC) has selected Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) to be the main automation contractor for its new Petrochemicals and Refinery Integration Al Zour Project (PRIZe). Under the agreement, HPS will provide KIPIC with front-end engineering design and advanced process control technology for the complex, which will help KIPIC expedite production start-up and assist with reaching production targets faster and more efficiently.

The PRIZe project will become the first integrated refining and petrochemicals complex in Kuwait. The new facility – developed as part of the Al-Zour Complex – will significantly enhance Kuwait’s domestic petrochemicals, aromatics and gasoline manufacturing capabilities.

“The PRIZe project will revolutionize Kuwait’s domestic production capabilities, helping KIPIC meet the increasing demand for fuels and petrochemical products within the country,” said Hatem Al-Awadi, acting chief executive officer, KIPIC. “With Honeywell’s support, we are building a strategic project that will transform Kuwait’s domestic oil and gas market, and provide a significant accelerator for the country’s long-term economic development by improving gasoline and benzene supply to the local and international markets.”

Honeywell UOP also was awarded a contract with KIPIC earlier this year for modernization of the Al Zour complex. Honeywell UOP will revise the configuration and capacity of the refinery’s gasoline production facilities and supply technology licenses, design services, key equipment, and state-of-the-art catalysts and adsorbents to produce clean-burning fuels, paraxylene, propylene, and other petrochemicals.

Honeywell has been in Kuwait for more than 50 years. Honeywell supports Kuwait’s energy industries through cutting-edge technologies, efficient business solutions, local training, research and development initiatives. Honeywell is the first company to build “Made in Kuwait” solutions to power digital transformation across the country’s growing oil, gas and petrochemical sectors. The company also operates the Honeywell Automation College in Mina Abdullah, which delivers global training capabilities locally through more than 300 courses specifically designed to address the requirements of Kuwait’s power and water, oil and gas and automation industries.

“Honeywell has a long history of successfully delivering world-class automation solutions to the oil downstream industries in Kuwait, and this new agreement highlights the trust our customers have in our technologies,” said Rachad Abdallah, president for Honeywell in Kuwait. “At the integrated refining and petrochemicals complex at Al-Zour, we are leveraging our experience and technologies to help develop one of the most ambitious initiatives in the region. This project will help transform Kuwait into a pioneering manufacturer in the downstream oil and gas industry.” KIPIC is a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) set up by the State of Kuwait to manage refinery, petrochemicals and LNG import operations at the Al-Zour complex.

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