Novartis has entered into a multi-year collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), to streamline its core manufacturing, supply chain, and delivery operations, using the company’s cloud services.

Novartis said that the custom solutions from AWS, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning services, would drive agility, innovation, and cost efficiencies for its business processes and systems across the world.

AWS worldwide commercial sales vice president Mike Clayville said: “We are excited about this collaboration, bringing together AWS’s unmatched portfolio of services with deep Novartis expertise in the way they manufacture pharmaceuticals and the way they approach supply chain processes.

“AWS’s security, scalability, and highly reliable infrastructure can help Novartis advance its technical operations with greater agility and customer-orientation, and potentially reducing the time it takes to bring innovative medicines to patients.”

AWS data and analytics platform is the foundation for custom solutions

Under the collaboration, Novartis and AWS will jointly develop ‘Insight Centres’ to provide real-time visibility across the network of manufacturing operations and distribution centres, to both site operators and corporate users across the world.

The ‘Insight Centres’ are based on the trial operations centre SENSE, enabling manufacturing and planning teams to better predict and track production lines, detect possible tailbacks and improve accuracy.

AWS will enable Novartis to collect inventory, quality, and production data across its network and apply the former’s internet of things (IoT), analytics, and machine learning services for superior visibility.

Also, Novartis intends to use AWS IoT services to produce images that can be analysed using computer vision algorithms, to expand and improve the visual inspection of its manufacturing sites, and to monitor for manufacturing production risks.

Novartis chief digital officer Bertrand Bodson said: “I’m really proud of how the teams are working together on the ground to bring Amazon-like user experiences to our associates. There is a lot we can learn from the AWS team, and while manufacturing is a great starting place, we’re keen to also explore where else we can apply this technology.

“Using data science and digital technologies to reimagine the way we manufacture medicines is not only at the heart of our transformation, but also core to our ambition to bring innovative medicines to patients faster.”