MainlyAI awarded VINNOVA funding for AI-driven sustainable production

MainlyAI AB together with Diamyd Medical and KTH Royal Institute of Technology have been awarded funding by the Swedish Governmental Innovation Agency VINNOVA for a project that will design, test and build a sustainability framework powered by artificial intelligence (AI) for Diamyd Medical’s production facility in Umeå, Sweden.

The project ALISTAIR (Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable Production), with a total funding of 13 MSEK including in-kind contribution, is part of the VINNOVA program “AI in service of the climate”. The project will study how AI technologies can be applied to (i) reduce greenhouse gas emissions of production plants, and (ii) support decision-making and trade-offs when controlling production plants with regards to vital parameters such as production speed, employee wellbeing, sustainability goals and waste management. The ultimate goal of the project is to present techniques and strategies general enough to be applied and scaled up in production facilities across industries.

Within the scope of the ALISTAIR project, there is a unique opportunity to design, implement, and evaluate the project results to the brand-new drug production facility being setup by Diamyd Medical in Umeå, the Capital of Västerbotten County in Sweden. The new plant will as a first priority produce recombinant GAD65, the active pharmaceutical ingredient in the therapeutic diabetes vaccine Diamyd® currently in late-stage clinical development. The 10,000 square feet site, comprising of clean rooms, laboratory facilities and office space, will facilitate full control, predictability and scalability of the production technology of the active ingredient.

“We are very glad to have this opportunity to work with recognized experts within the field of both AI and sustainable production”, says Ulf Hannelius, CEO of Diamyd Medical. “This project will directly support both the development of our production facility as well as enable data driven decision making and sustainability thinking in our operational work as we grow as a company.”

“We look forward to apply modern AI techniques and to further develop our AI solutions in the service of the climate to minimize the greenhouse gas emission of Diamyd Medical’s new production plant in Umeå”, says Elena Fersman, Adjunct Professor at KTH and Chairman of MainlyAI.

“This is a fantastic project focusing on designing a new sustainable and circular production plant in Umeå already from the start with the use of digitalization and AI as the enabler, says Monica Bellgran, Professor in Production Management, Director of KTH Research Platform ‘Industrial Transformation’. ”It is a quite unique opportunity we don’t see that often in Sweden, and from KTH we are delighted to be part of the consortium together with Diamyd Medical and MainlyAI. Thanks to the funding from VINNOVA we believe that Diamyd Medical’s production facility can be a great showcase demonstrating how AI contributes to sustainable production”.

About MainlyAI
MainlyAI is a research and technology-based company with the objective to allow for businesses to share data and insights in a safe and privacy preserving way and hence speeding up and democratizing the introduction of AI technologies. The approach of MainlyAI is centered around a platform as a service with an API providing a knowledge database of data and insights, and services simplifying the data/insight access and adoption of AI technologies for business.

About KTH Royal Institute of Technology’s participation in the project
Researchers from two departments at KTH; Machine Design (lead by Professor Martin Törngren), and Sustainable Production Development (Lead by Professor Monica Bellgran), will participate in the new research project.  

About Diamyd Medical
Diamyd Medical develops therapies for type 1 diabetes. The diabetes vaccine Diamyd® is an antigen-specific immunotherapy for the preservation of endogenous insulin production. Significant results have been shown in a genetically predefined patient group in a large-scale meta-study as well as in the Company’s European Phase IIb trial DIAGNODE-2, where the diabetes vaccine is administered directly into a lymph node in children and young adults with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes. A new facility for vaccine manufacturing is being set up in Umeå for the manufacture of recombinant GAD65, the active ingredient in the therapeutic diabetes vaccine Diamyd®. Diamyd Medical also develops the GABA-based investigational drug Remygen® as a therapy for regeneration of endogenous insulin production and to improve hormonal response to hypoglycaemia. An investigator-initiated Remygen® trial in patients living with type 1 diabetes for more than five years is ongoing at Uppsala University Hospital. Diamyd Medical is one of the major shareholders in the stem cell company NextCell Pharma AB.

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