The Novo Nordisk Foundation recently funded a grant — Real-time sustainability analysis for Industry 4.0 (Sustain 4.0) — that will enhance the collaboration between NC State and DTU. The principal investigator for this grant is Dr. Carina L. Gargalo, a researcher at DTU. Previously a postdoc on the AIM-Bio project, she is very familiar with the AIM-Bio Virtual Pilot Plant research project and the development of digital twins at the BTEC facility by graduate students from the lab of Dr. Krist Gernaey, professor in DTU’s Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering.
The Sustain 4.0 grant has a three-year duration and its main goal is to “explore and use novel Industry 4.0-based technologies to develop a Digital Twins based AI-powered Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool to bring real-time sustainability analysis into the daily operations, optimization, and decision-making arsenal. Thus, the tool to be developed aims at embracing and optimizing all aspects of sustainability while countering the adverse aspects of industrial growth.” In addition, the tool will be open source and plug-and-play to make it accessible to interested academic and industrial partners.
Dr. Gargalo visited NC State University during February 2023 to discuss the new project, meet with potential collaborators, and catch up with her AIM-Bio colleagues. During her visit, she met with BTEC personnel including BTEC Executive Director Gary Gilleskie; Dr. Ryan Barton, manager, Bioprocess Automation; Dr. Kurt Selle, assistant director, Fermentation and Cell Line Development; and Delia Bradley, AIM-Bio program manager. Noteworthy is that the BTEC simulated GMP production environment is planned to be reviewed through LCA under the Sustain 4.0 project as per the interest of BTEC and PROSYS.
During her visit, Dr. Gargalo also connected with other NC State colleagues with similar interests. For example, NC State has another interdisciplinary research collaboration with DTU, the Biocatalyst interactions with Gases (BIG) project. Dr. Gargalo met with the PI of the BIG project, Dr. Sonja Salmon, and attended a CALS research showcase on Long-Term Carbon Sequestration at the NC State Plant Sciences Building. The focus of the showcase was on technologies that “permanently” pull carbon out of the air and the implications for managing climate change. Dr. Gargalo also attended the IConS, Institute for Connected Sensor-Systems workshop on Centennial Campus on Feb. 23, 2023, and met with Dr. Michael Daniele, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State.