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Pharma 4.0 Award 2019

Haven´t you always wanted to get honoured for your work?

On September 19, 2019 the Pharma MES and Pharma TRACKTS! Community recognized, honored and celebrated best practice achievements of pharma industry end-users from the MES and Track & Trace scene with the PHARMA 4.0 Award.

The votes for 2019 are cast! Congratulations to our winners!

  • Best MES related innovation: 1st place for DataComplex
  • The TRACKSTERS: 1st plae for the Open-SCS Working Group
  • Pharma 4.0 Award
  • Categories and Criteria
  • Review
  • Charity
  • T&Cs

Award ceremony

On September 19, 2019,  in Berlin, in the framework of the 8. annual Pharma MES conference, we.CONECT bestowed the Pharma 4.0 Award for best practice achievements of pharma industry end-users in MES and Track & Trace | Serialization projects .

During conference day 1, our shortlisted applicants got 10 minutes on stage to present their projects. Closing day 1, we united the Pharma MES and Pharma TRACKTS! communities for our festive award ceremony. The audience voted for their favorite achievement during the live polling session with our conference app.

Congratulations again to all shortlisted applicants and the winners of 2019!

Categories in 2019

The Innovators

Outstanding MES related innovation of the year


Best execution of a Track & Trace / Serialization project



  • In which context did you execute your project?
    E.g. OPEX, Lean, cost efficiency, compliance etc.
  • Complexity – How many team members and departments were involved?
  • How big was the business risk and how did you assess and mitigate it?
  • How did you get the support of all stakeholders?


  • Which software is in place now / was upgraded?
  • What does you technological landscape look like now in comparison to prior status?
  • What are the major changes?
  • How did Technology support the change?
  • Are there particular new features?


  • How did the project change your daily operation?
  • What value for the company did you project bring?
  • What is the innovative side of your approach?
  • Did you develop new tools, apps, processes?
  • How do you think does your project set you apart from the other industry approaches?
Hall of Fame

On the occasion of the Pharma MES, the leading networking conference on manufacturing execution systems in pharmaceuticals and biotech, we.CONECT has bestowed the renowned Pharma 4.0 Award twice already, in 2017 and 2018.


1st Place: Vifor Pharma

OptiworX: Dynamic Augmented Reality @ Shop Floor

The winning project’s target was the productivity improvement of filling and packaging lines in order to secure market supply of the company’s main products, supporting key products’ annual growth of more than 20% with existing equipment. The realization of a proof of concept applying an innovative AR based technology was provided by Goodly Innovations GmbH (OptiworX) who joined our applicant Dr. Benno Bischof on stage for their winning presentation. Together, both companies collaborativeley developed an application to meet the pharma business needs, reduction change over times and thereby lead times by applying OptiworX and significant improvement of the effective runtime or OEE. This was the very first installation and go-live of this system worldwide. Congratulations to Benno and his team!

2nd Place: Genetech in cooperation with POMS

Tech Transfer Optimization

The review of every recipe in MES is cumbersome as information from Basecamp (PLM) needs to be compared to a PDF extracted from the POMSnet recipe line-by-line. Current lead times for each campaign to prepare dispense recipes is 2 weeks and for downstream recipes is 4 weeks and several hundred manhours. The innovation in his propject is automatic integration of Master Data Management System (PLM, Basecamp) to POMSnet MES and other controlling systems so that all data is managed in a single data repository and automatically integrated to MES and other controlling systems. What made this project stand out is that the Basecamp (PLM) and POMSnet MES system were integrated so that MES recipes for weigh and dispense and downstream are automatically generated and approved at release time from PLM. After being awarded 2nd place. Jody Logan, Associate Director of Tech Transfer at South San Francisco Production of Genentech, presented this project in full at the Pharma MES USA in 2018!

3rd Place: AstraZeneca

Voice Directed Technology

The third place was awarded to Yaseen Mubarak and his team from AstraZeneca Australia, being represented by their project partner Werum IT Solutions. AstraZeneca’s Voice Directed Technology has introduced voice based interface with Manufacturing Execution System and its electronic batch record. The primary objectives are a) Ease of doing manufacturing activities with operators being hands-free and being focused; b) Improved compliance maturity with real time electronic data entry during the controlled sequential process execution. Voice Directed Technology is theri first known instance of introducing a voice interface to operators to perform pharmaceutical manufacturing activities on the shop floor in a regulated environment and has empowered the operators to perform the activity on the line without the need to carry a paper, iPad or laptop. The instructions are directly delivered to headset and their response is directly recorded in the electronic batch record. Great work here! Swati Priya, who was part of this project team, is presenting this project in full at the 2019 Pharma MES Asia conference.


1st Place: BioNTech

IVAC 2.0

The first ever Pharma 4.0 Award – MES winner is the team from BioNTech with their IVAC 2.0 project. The project team set out to transform and extend a paper based complex BioPharma process into electronic landscape using Pharma MES, Pharma LIMS and other components to integrate highly computerized proecess landscape. Process targets included an indivudalized vaccine by analyzing patient tumor with state of the art NGS systems (Illumina).

The first step to innovation was to setup an MES for individualized API in clinical studies, using standard SW (customization) as well as an in-house developed software (HPC) and in-house developed SW for interface integration. Tey were the first to use liquid N2 automated freezing and storage system in a production workflow.

What makes this project stand our from the rest is the project duration. In less than 3 years, the team and theri project went from design to operational readyness filling many “white areas” of the process at the beginning (process
execution as well as used devices and technology) with colour, life and patient value. Ensuring compliance for a totally new system was here the key, since regulatory agencies never had such a type of API application. Along with the lean methodology, reducing costs and production time (ethic principle for cancer). BioNTech is truly pioneering with their new process (IVAC), using and extending standard horizontal Pharma SW platforms. Best in class! Congratulations to our 2017 winners!

2nd Place: GlaxoSmithKline

eBR packaging in ERP

Philippe Léglise and his team were awarded 2nd place for their project “eBR packaging in ERP”. During this project, Philippe’s team implemented a full electronic batch record (master data, process excution, review by exception, approval flow) for the packaging step in ERP encompassing 6 production lines. They replaced legacy interfaced MES by ERP and achieved full interaction between ERP and an automation tool on the shopfloor.

The innovation here is the simplification of ISA-95 standards, creating an MES layer included into ERP layer. GSK developmed an ERP based MES/EBR using PI-Sheet technology, and designed direct interfaces connecting ERP with automation tools using webservice.

In a short time, concrete benefits have emerged from this implementation. Dual maintenance of data across ERP and a stand-alone MES application have been eliminated. The multiple interfaces present before have been replaced with a single web-service function to handle the communication between the ERP engine and Shop floor vision systems. Moreover, the user-friendliness and easiness of use has highly facilitated the acceptance by the end-users. Outstanding work! Congratulations to Philippe and his team!

Our Charity Partner: action medeor e.V.

On behalf of the award winners in 2019, we.CONECT supports action medeor e.V..

Founded 1964, the charitable, non-governmental organization action medeor e.V. today is the largest medical aid organization in Europe.

Since 1964, action medeor has supported around 10.000 healthcare facilities in 140 countries all over the world. Medical facilities receive drugs as well as medical equipment and supplies either at cost price or as donations. By buying large quantities action medeor is able to offer high quality products at low prices.

Our aid is supplied in co-operation with different church and secular organizations, religious communities, private initiatives and healthcare centers abroad. Based on many years’ experience, action medeor has built up a comprehensive network of facilities in the healthcare sector.

In cases of emergency, action medeor delivers medical aid to the disaster area. Thanks to a permanent supply of 220 different drugs and 450 items of medical supplies and equipment stored in a 4.000 square meter warehouse deliveries of medical aid can reach the disaster area within the first 24 hours.

action medeor stocks Emergency Health Kits ready for immediate shipment in case of emergency. These packages weigh about 900 kilos and can provide up to 10.000 people with medical supplies for three months. Furthermore, other products like special nutrition for victims in famine areas are available from the warehouse in Tönisvorst.

In co-operation with experienced local non-governmental organisations, action medeor handles its own health care projects in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Here action medeor supports the establishment of healthcare services and the education and training of local personnel. These health care workers then can provide medical care for others as well as information regarding prevention and treatment of dangerous diseases.

A further goal is the strengthening of local medical structures in developing countries. To achieve this goal action medeor runs training courses for pharmaceutical personnel and supports the local development and production in collaboration with local manufacturers. This is done to achieve a better availability of drugs and reduce the dependency of the developing countries on expensive imports.

Terms and Conditions

  • All the details must be submitted in English only.
  • The project has to be about an MES related innovation or a project in the Track & Trace | Serialization environment.
  • The implementation of the project shall not date back more than 2 years.
  • Only projects that have been implemented are to be considered.
  • The Assessment Team will consider only those nominations providing complete information requested on the application form.
  • A company may nominate more than one initiative for the award.
  • Besides being used for evaluating for the awards, all information provided in the application form may be published on an open platform (website/portal/social media) by we.CONECT. By making the submission you give complete rights to we.CONECT to publish the work with your name and company name in place. It is hence advisable to ensure that your submission has the necessary approval within your organization.
  • The Advisory Board of the conference will evaluate the suitability of all the nominations submitted for the different award based on the documents submitted. The Advisory Board‘s decision on mapping the nomination shortlist with the award category will be final and binding for the nominee.
  • Decisions of the Advisory Board are final and may not be disputed. The Advisory Board will adhere to our award guidelines.
  • Business Partners and solution providers are not allowed to apply but are welcome to engage their clients and have their client hand in an application in cooperation.

The Pharma 4.0 Award in pictures

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