The area where pumps intersects with pharma and biotech is thriving and growing. Patent applications here have mushroomed in number in the last two years.
It’s not hard to see why: the pharma and bio sector is in a state of flux with the end of a number of patent periods for leading products.
Coupled with the competition this has generated within the pharmaceutical industry is the developing role of biotechnology and with this, increasing incursions into traditional pharma territory.
Add to this mix the knock-on effects of automation and digitalisation. Faster response rates, plus more varied and smaller quantity production lines increase the need for more agile processes and technological innovation.
Speed of output needs to be balanced with still greater attention to the essentials of safety and containment in order to avoid the risk of product contamination.
Lastly, within the UK, there is an increased need for competitiveness, given the limits on European market access in the wake of Brexit and the need to secure new suppliers and consumers further afield.
Central to coping with this is the pumps, valves and flow system technology that underwrites much of industry’s drive for greater efficiency.
Change comes in many forms and attending to the more mundane aspects such as seal performance may reap significant benefits.
Likewise, while asset lifecycle will assume a greater significance in the process world, we can expect a parallel development in disposable tech within the pharma and bio sectors, as well as their food and beverage counterpart.
Whatever the other uncertainties, evidence from the European Patent Office suggests the spirit of innovation remains strong within British industry.