SINGAPORE, June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- New programme aims to help companies increase productivity with technology solutions for pharmaceutical and chemical sectors Pfizer Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd, Glaxo Wellcome Manufacturing Pte. Ltd. and Siemens Pte. Ltd, have signed on as founding members of a new A*STAR R&D Consortium Programme - Innovative Processing of Specialties and Pharmaceuticals (iPSP). Launched by A*STAR's Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES), the consortium offers a platform for pharmaceutical and specialty chemicals industry players to address various challenges such as costs, regulatory compliance and responsiveness in production and processes to bring drugs from trials to markets. The consortium programme brings together industry leaders to address an increasingly urgent need to access emerging "next generation manufacturing" technologies that provide quantum change improvements in cost, quality, environmental impact and process robustness in pharmaceutical manufacturing processes. The advancement in technologies and adoption of best practices in processing technologies will help companies drive up productivity and maximise manpower development to maintain their competitive edge. The programme also offers a unique platform for members to interact, develop and grow the industry processing technology knowledge base by facilitating the technology transfer and manpower development in advanced chemical processing technologies. The programme draws on established resources and capabilities at ICES. These include the Kilo Scale Laboratory, pilot scale multipurpose continuous plant, a fully equipped development laboratory and staff experienced in process development and operation. The Institute's core skill areas including chemistry, chemical engineering, analytics, control, formulation science and catalysis form a strong basis for the development of innovative manufacturing approaches. The programme will see research activities undertaken in industrially relevant areas like process analytics (PAT), Quality by Design (Qbd) as well as continuous manufacturing systems. In Singapore, the chemicals and energy industries accounted for around S$100 billion or 34% of our total manufacturing output in 2012 . The chemicals and energy sectors are key pillars in Singapore's manufacturing output. This consortium presents tremendous opportunities for companies to extend their presence in Singapore and leverage on its position as a gateway to Asia. It also allows them to respond with agility to the emerging needs of Asian customers and end-consumers, through innovation or customisation of new applications. "ICES has built strong and deep capabilities in the understanding of process science and technologies and the time is ripe for such depth and breadth of knowledge to be applied to the chemicals and pharmaceutical industries. By identifying common research focus, companies can mutually benefit from joint research. This will enable companies to address industry-wide challenges and further reinforce the competitiveness of Singapore's chemicals industry," said Dr. Keith Carpenter, Executive Director, ICES. Bringing impact to Singapore's pharmaceutical and specialty sectors As a leading research institute in process innovations, ICES provides easy access to research and development resources, making a difference to corporate organisations looking for an edge in the global marketplace and tapping into our exciting technologies and solutions to expand beyond their home markets.