Co-Create the Future of Packaging

The immense carbon footprint of the global pharmaceutical and MedTech industry begs for rethinking practices along the entire value chain. Whether it is manufacturing processes, distribution and transport, or the usage and disposal of products - packaging is always the central issue. Innovate and rethink the current processes and practices along the global pharma and MedTech value chain with Uhlmann and “sustainabilize” the future of packaging.  

#responsiblepharma #sustainablevaluechains #sustainablepackaging

  • 🏆  Rewards
    EUR 3,000 per Challenge + funding and collaboration programs + joint publication
  • 🕑  Deadline
    Jul 18, 2022, 9:59:59 PM
  • 👥  Teamsize
    1 to 9 persons
  • 🌎 Scope

    International - open to participants from all over the world

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To help you navigate the broad and vast playground and to answer the key questions of this Challenge, Uhlmann has identified three sub-areas that will help you drive your innovation efforts beyond the quick win’s.

Products, Manufacturing & Packaging:

The increased pressures from consumers and governmental regulations for greener pharmaceutical & medtech supply chains have triggered packaging pioneers to rethink their processes. To further increase supply chain sustainability in Uhlmann’s ecosystem, we need to rethink product’s manufacturing and packaging processes. Both manufacturing and packaging materials and processes for medicine are still quite unsustainable. Bioengineering, such as the 3D printing of medicine or modular construction processes to enable refurbish and reuse practices open up potentials for rethinking packaging manufacturing processes. Due to changes in manufacturing outcomes such as biomedicines, cold chain packaging, while still in its infancy, has gained traction as innovative packaging companies are trying to find ways to reduce their own environmental footprint. Passive, active, and hybrid packaging systems, volumetric efficiency of containers, and further advancements in smart packaging technologies need to be leveraged and phased into a holistic and coordinated packaging approach – from manufacturing to distribution.

Pharma & MedTech Value Chain Systems & Standards:

Today’s pharma value chain is heavily defined by existing local systems and standards (i.e. medical supply network, local health system, supply chain transparency regulations, regulatory product standards, …).

  • Logistics and distribution demands of transporting drug via aviation, truck, ship, and rail need to be balanced with their environmental impact, which is increasingly demanded by novel standards in the industry (e.g., EU good distribution practice). Approximately 4 million refrigerated road vehicles are in operation worldwide to satisfy increasing Cold Chain demands. Therefore, to create a more sustainable packaging ecosystem, logistics and distribution systems need to be rethought - leveraging reverse and decentralized logistics, novel tracking technologies and smart data-driven supply chain processes, recycling systems, as well as connected and credible end-of-life strategies for the distributed products.
  • Corresponding to shifting efforts towards carbon emission reduction, the pharma industry faces challenges in adhering to strict safety standards while reaching its environmental goals. The introduction of formal CSR standards and other regulations make the development of eco-friendly packaging systems ever more challenging while at the same time opening up vast potential for improvement. Thus, solutions embracing novel technologies, big data, and AI with respect to standard development and enabling greater supply chain transparency can be developed.
  • Lastly, considering supply chain fragmentation, multi-stakeholder collaboration is a potent way to change policy and markets. No one supplier, manufacturer, or pharma company alone will be able to “sustainabilize” the entire value chain. To drive circular economy approaches across the complex value chain, platform and similar solutions, the establishment of industry-wide voluntary standards, and early transparency about changes in regulatory environments that rethink and harmonize collaborative action and engagement across supply chains and industries with governments and civil society are sought to create impactful partnerships.

Integrated Proposal:

In the wake of the many untapped disruptive innovation potentials across pharmaceutical supply chains, the drive towards sustainability in packaging may be pushed beyond the quick wins within this track. System-level approaches and research proposals are sought that “sustainabilize” current approaches to pharma / MedTech production and packaging and initiate ground-breaking strategic and systemic change in global supply chains, pioneering a “green revolution” together with Uhlmann.

Knowledge Base

Impulses & Articles

Data Sets

All data sets were provided by the digital platform "AI for Good", who are co-initiators of the Innovate2030 program.

  1. Greenhouse Gas Emission across supply chain for the Food Industry
  2. Carbon Emission from electricity production
  3. Pharmaceutical & Medical Industry Database helps you find new opportunities in the sector

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