Acknowledging Bio/Pharma Innovation

Published on: 
Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology-05-02-2021, Volume 45, Issue 5

The world of bio/pharma has been celebrating its achievements across a variety of categories in the latest rounds of awards.

Similar to the world of filmmaking, which recently celebrated the 93rd Academy Awards, achievements in innovation and progress across multiple facets of the bio/pharma industry have been recognized in some recent awards announcements.

Royal recommendation

The end of April marks the time of year when Her Majesty the Queen confers Her Awards for Enterprise for businesses of the United Kingdom (1). Making it onto the 2021 list are several bio/pharma companies and science initiatives across two fields—innovation and international trade.

Those companies winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the field of innovation in 2021 are Exscientia and GW Pharmaceuticals. Exscientia (a clinical-stage artificial intelligence [AI]-driven pharmatech company) was selected as a winner in recognition of its work in the field of AI-driven drug discovery, and GW Pharmaceuticals (a specialist in discovering, developing, and commercializing regulatory approved cannabis-based medicines) has been recognized for its work in harnessing cannabinoid science.

Five bio/pharma companies were acknowledged in the category of international trade in 2021. The companies were 3P Innovation (an engineering and automation company that designs and manufactures solutions for pharma and other sectors); Biorbyt (a supplier of reagents to life sciences communities); DLRC (a regulatory affairs consultancy service provider for pharma, biotech, and advanced therapies companies); Oxford Genetics/OXGENE (a provider of technology solutions to accelerate the discovery, development, and manufacture of cell and gene therapies); and Quay Pharmaceuticals (a contract development and manufacturing organization).

Another winner announced, under the category of promoting opportunity (through social mobility), was In2scienceUK, which, although not a bio/pharma company per se, is certainly worth a mention. In2scienceUK works with young people from low-income backgrounds to help them progress into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees and careers, and, ultimately, improving the number of people who are working towards a STEM career pathway will have benefits in the long-term for the bio/pharma industry.

Operational acknowledgment


On 27 April 2021, the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) announced the winners of its 2021 Facility of the Year Awards (FOYA) (2). The FOYA programme recognizes innovation and creativity in global manufacturing facilities that serve the pharmaceutical industry.

Category winners of the 2021 FOYA awards were Takeda Pharmaceuticals International (Facility Integration and Process Intelligence and Innovation), ElevateBio (Operational Excellence), Janssen Sciences Ireland (Project Execution), and Government Pharmaceutical Organization (Social Impact). In addition, Gilead Sciences and Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing received recognition for operational agility during the pandemic.

“Now more than ever, it is important to spotlight the dedication of companies like the 2021 FOYA Category Winners …,” said Thomas Hartman, president and CEO of ISPE, in a press release (2). “COVID-19 has certainly presented significant challenges to the pharmaceutical industry, and the innovations of these dedicated companies has a direct impact in shaping global expectations for the manufacture of effective and safe medicines.”

Connecting through collaboration

The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) revealed its winners of the 2021 Connecting Healthcare Awards on 28 April 2021 (3). These awards acknowledge collaborative efforts by organizations, medical societies, pharma companies, and other stakeholders, who work together on projects that improve the lives of European patients.

This year’s winners were The International Map of Axial Spondyloarthritis (Overall Winner), The Dreamcatcher (Innovation Award), Conectados (Service Delivery Award), and Breaking Depression (Prevention & Awareness Award). Additionally, the judges commended Breathless (a project that is helping to redefine severe asthma care) and EUPATI (Patient Engagement Through Education).

“It’s only through working together and understanding each other’s perspectives that we can improve patient’s journeys and lives, and shape the future of healthcare in a patient-centric way,” said Nathalie Moll, director general of EFPIA, in a press release (3).


1. The Gazette (London Gazette), “The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2021,” 29 April 2021.
2. ISPE, “2021 ISPE Facility of the Year Awards Winners Announced,” Press Release, 27 April 2021.
3. EFPIA, “Announcing the Winners of the 2021 EFPIA Connecting Healthcare Awards,” Press Release, 28 April 2021.

About the Author

Felicity Thomas is the European editor for Pharmaceutical Technology Group.

Article Details

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe
Vol. 33, No. 5
May 2021
Page: 6


When referring to this article, please cite it as F. Thomas, “Acknowledging Innovation,” Pharmaceutical Technology Europe 33 (5) 2021.