Future Manufacturing Research Hub

CMAC is developing cutting edge design and modelling tools alongside integrated production and supply chain systems to address the future needs of patients, consumers and industry. Health systems worldwide are facing challenges to deliver better medicines to more people with tightening budgets and this programme addresses these via use of continuous manufacturing and digitally enabled, integrated end-to-end processing.

The idea behind this research programme is to take a molecule and use as little material as possible to rapidly design an end-to-end continuous manufacturing process to deliver the product. The resulting process design will be used to deliver a microfactory that can manufacture the product. The business case to support this innovative way of producing pharmaceutical products will be developed in parallel.

A partnership of world class researchers, from seven universities whose expertise spans multiple disciplines, will deliver the research programme.


The CMAC Future Manufacturing Research Hub Programme will deliver a platform research capability benefitting collaborators and industry partners and will address the Grand Challenge ‘Rapid performance-based design and continuous manufacture of structured particulate products’.

Key goals:

  • Development using minimal material and experiments exploiting predictive modelling
  • Understand and control particle attributes for manufacturability and control
  • Demonstrate simplified, integrated, flexible continuous process streams

Hub Platform Research

The Hub platform provides the underpinning operational framework, equipment capability and personnel to effectively support the targeted research activity in a flexible way over the course of the project. Specific activities include:

We have recently published flyers on Solvent Selection, Additive and Morphology Control  and Advanced Measurments and Characterisation.

Hub Grand Challenge Research

This project will deliver a step-change in capability to bring functional high-value solid products rapidly to market, with a focus on pharmaceutical products. Small molecule systems of interest to industry and academic partners will be investigated. The work will inform development of radically new approaches for advanced predictive design and integrated manufacturing.

Three main work packages will deliver the grand challenge:

Predictive Design & Digital Twin

Rapid, predictive design of products and processes

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Future MicroFactories

Innovative flexible efficient production systems comprising integrated processing platforms

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Future Supply Chain

Future digital supply of personalised products and medicines

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Recent work focused on delivery of an example of a prototype microfactory and its digital twin  for MF2 using the exemplar compound Lovastatin has been featured in this video and was demonstrated at the CMAC Open Day 2018. There are also Digital Twin and Microfactory flyers available.

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