Following a formal welcome to Aveiro from the University’s Vice-Rector Professor Artur Manuel Soares da Silva, a full agenda included progress reviews from the initial stages of the project’s six industrial case studies where the teams have made a positive start on scoping their work into tackling and reducing the environmental impact of pharmaceutical manufacturing and value chains through the application of end-to end, sustainable-by-design thinking and a range of advanced technologies based upon green chemistry, mechanochemistry, and digitalization.
The ETERNAL case studies are targeting a range of approaches towards the ubiquitous issue of solvent use in both chemically and biochemically based pharmaceutical manufacturing processes, to removal and management of potentially carcinogenic impurities like nitrosamines from process wastes, to approaches to better target desired products over impurities, and towards innovative workflow digitalization.
The meeting also heard from specialists in sustainable process design and the environmental fate and eco-toxicological effects of pharmaceuticals, who are cooperating across the project’s work packages to scale-up the case studies and perform environmental and ecotoxicity assessments, to build the necessary end-to-end descriptions and process understanding of the case studies in order to build working descriptive models upon which formal life cycle assessments will be based later in the project.
In addition to the formal agenda, the meeting also provided plenty of opportunities for social team building and fruitful conversations between the ETERNAL partners about next steps and further possibilities as they dig deeper into the project’s mission to boost the reduction of the environmental impact of pharmaceutical products throughout their entire life cycle. In this respect, thanks are particularly due to the meeting organizers at the host partner, led by Prof. Susana Loureiro and Dr. Maria Pavlaki.
Commenting on the progress made so far, project coordinator Pablo Ferrer Pérez said, “I am particularly proud of the team spirit that we have created in the ETERNAL project. Solid relationships help in the performance of all the detailed work that needs to be carried out properly in a collaboration like ETERNAL. Each of the partners is highly committed to their work and our relationships are unbeatable. From a project management point of view, all tasks are proceeding at the right pace and time and resources are being managed optimally in line with our expectations at the six-month stage.”