Technology Demonstration Partnership Leverages ERC R&D

Achievement date: 

Since 2011, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has joined the Center for Structured Organic Particulate Systems (C-SOPS), a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center (ERC) based at Rutgers University in partnership with New Jersey Institute of Technology, Purdue University, and the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, in a joint effort focused on continuous manufacturing technology. The initial project—called “INSPIRE”—led to the implementation of a commercial direct compression system at the J&J facility in Gurabo, Puerto Rico.


The ongoing partnership between J&J and C-SOPS represents more than $30 million in shared research investments in continuous manufacturing research. It has also had a major growth impact on the ERC in several significant ways; the collaboration provides the ERC and its researchers the opportunity to demonstrate the full practical impact of its capabilities in an immediately commercial context. J&J benefits by gaining direct access and full use of the ERC’s state-of-the-art modeling methods. And the partnership also further serves as an example for other potential partners in demonstrating the range and scale of possible cooperation in the development and implementation of advanced manufacturing technologies.


INSPIRE was supported by resources in excess of $2 million across the ERC as well as direct investment of more than $25 million by J&J. The INSPIRE project led to a successful $1.6 million NSF Accelerating Innovation Research (AIR) grant focused on the development of non- destructive tools for predicting tablet dissolution where J&J was the co-investor.


This partnership was significantly enhanced in 2014 by a $2 million grant to develop predictive models for continuous wet granulation, a $3.5 million grant to continue to expand the toolbox for direct compression systems, two additional grants focused on process modeling ($200K) and a new AIR proposal focused on commercialization of modeling technology, with J&J as the main partner.