10 February 2010, Kurhaus Wiesbaden, Germany.
With the 5th Digital Pharma & Life Sciences Conference Microsoft and its partners continue their commitment for the pharmaceutical and chemical industry. The international event focuses on innovative IT solutions and projects for research and development, collaboration as well as life sciences. These topics became apparent as key challenges during the Executive Briefing Sessions established 2009 with the chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences industry.

"The chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences industry will show growth again in 2010 after the economic downturn this year. Surveys forecast a growth of about two percent in 2010 for both industries and a further growth of five percent in 2011," says Paul Meier, Director Manufacturing Process & Utilities, Microsoft Germany. "We have to set the course today for such a growth: Processes in research and development have to accelerate, the IT environment has to be consolidated and harmonized. An important aspect is optimized collaboration: This starts with the integration of standard business applications and leads currently to the professional adoption of innovative web 2.0 technologies for industry specific social networks. But compliance issues can be challenging. Here our industry initiative shows its specific strength: The strong industry focus of the Microsoft teams and our partners for the chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences industry allows us to develop innovative IT solutions considering regulatory policies and continuously changing market situations."

Topics of the Digital Pharma & Life Sciences Network
The Digital Pharma & Life Sciences partner network, established by Microsoft and BearingPoint, shows strategies and IT solutions for the chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences industry at its annual conference with exhibition. According to current IT projects and Executive Briefing Sessions, where Microsoft and partners discuss with customers the strategic and technological relevance of innovations, three topics came out:

  • Life Science: Global data and information management
  • Research and Development: Automation and consolidation of R&D processes
  • Collaboration: Flexible tools for cross-company and cross-system collaboration

"These three topics become increasingly important looking at the opportunities which are offered by central information platform, artificial intelligence and web 2.0 technologies," says Egbert Schröer, Industry Manager Process Manufacturing & Utilities, Microsoft Germany. "For example several projects show that self-learning systems could effectively support the global information management for disease patterns and therapies. This results in a knowledge and time advantage, which is relevant for physicians and patients as well as for pharmaceutical companies."

Efficiency is fundamental for research and development: The usage of central information platforms like Microsoft SharePoint simplifies and consolidates the pipeline management in research and development as well as the company-wide document management. Especially in regulated industries like chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences, the resulting advantage in time optimizes the product lifecycle management and helps to reduce time to market.

"An interesting current trend is the increased adoption of web 2.0 technologies for internal and external business collaboration," says Egbert Schröer. "The experiences from public social networks have driven the professional impact of web 2.0. Marketing and human resources as well as research and development are at the forefront. These departments particularly benefit from flexible collaboration tools with partners from the industry and universities."

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