New memorandum of understanding with India’s CSIR — National Chemical Laboratory to decarbonise the pharma industry

25 Jul 2023

The partnership aims to combat some of the biggest challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry.

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The memorandum of understanding (MoU) follows a landmark agreement in April 2023 by the UK and Indian Governments to collaborate on research and innovation, which also announced the creation of UK-India Net Zero Innovation Centre. CPI will lead one of the projects at the Centre, focusing on decarbonising manufacturing processes which reduce energy consumption and minimise waste, with an initial focus on the Indian pharmaceutical industry. 

A 2019 study highlighted the scale of the challenge. When considering the revenue generated by the pharmaceutical industry, it was found to generate about 48.55 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per $1 million. This is 55% higher than the emission intensity from the automotive industry, which generates about 31.4 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per $1 million. 

The MoU unites CPI, NCL, and our partner organisations from the UK and India, harnessing our combined world-leading expertise in research, development, and innovation to tackle these challenges head-on. 

Initially, the collaboration will look at sustainable medicines manufacturing technologies including solvent-free approaches to manufacturing medicines, scaling up of continuous manufacturing technologies and digitally enabled manufacturing, which will improve productivity and support decarbonisation. 

By combining the strengths of CPI and CSIR-NCL, this collaboration aims to revolutionise the pharmaceutical industry in India, driving it towards a sustainable and environmentally conscious future. The partnership will establish a platform for knowledge exchange, technology transfer, and collaborative research, fostering a robust innovation ecosystem. 

Dr Arun Harish, Chief Strategy Officer at CPI said:

Both CPI and the NCL have complementary capabilities and an aligned vision. We are committed to working collaboratively to support the decarbonisation of the Indian pharmaceutical and fine chemicals industries. By signing this MoU, we demonstrate our commitment to bring together experts from both organisations and our wider partnership network to achieve this aim.”

Dr Ashish Lele, Director of NCL said:

Under this MoU, NCL and CPI will create a unique demonstration platform to enable the Indian pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries to rapidly adopt advanced continuous flow manufacturing technologies thereby sustaining the high growth trajectory of this sector.”

Sarah Fallon, Regional Director (India, Middle East), Science, Innovation and Tech, British High Commission New Delhi commented:

We are hugely proud to usher in this new and dynamic partnership between CPI and NCL, which is a fantastic addition to the UK-India Net Zero Innovation Centre. We’re bringing the brightest minds in our two countries together to tackle the challenge of climate change – I’m excited to see how this will springboard promising tech into the marketplace to accelerate the path to decarbonising industry.”

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