Testa Challenge is inspired by events such as hackathons and open innovation and was initiated in 2020 by STUNS and Testa Center. The pilot run in 2020 was funded by Region of Uppsala and Cytiva. In 2022 and 2023 funding comes from the European Regional Development Fund through the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, Region of Uppsala together with Testa Center and STUNS.

Testa Center has been around since 2018 and is a test bed designed for biological projects as well as digital, technical and data (IndTech) projects within the bioprocess industry. However, we soon understood that the latter types of projects were not able to utilize the center as expected. This is partly because they lack the experience and competence to run a bioprocess but also because the lack of collaboration with biological projects at Testa Center due to higher risks in their own bioprocesses. Therefore, the Testa Challenge was created.

Testa Challenge is a way to open the bioprocess industry to the technical, digital and data segment. During Testa Challenge, IndTech projects get the opportunity to verify and validate their innovation in a fully funded start-to-finish authentic bioprocess that is run at Testa Center by experts from Testa Center and other sponsoring companies and/or infrastructures.

In March we concluded Testa Challenge 2022 which we organized together with Testa Center. This was the second time we organized the biomanufacturing challenge after its success in 2020.

This year, Testa Center performed the production of monoclonal antibodies from start to finish i.e., an antibody bioprocess. Five companies were selected by an external advisory board, to integrate their innovations into this process or to use the product from the process to evaluate their innovation. Below are the selected companies, play their corresponding videos to learn about their solutions:

ArgusEye (from Sweden)

Nyctea Technologies (from Sweden)

AnalysisMode (from Finland)

Scitara (from USA)

TimeGate Instruments (from Finland)

The participating companies had three weeks at Testa Center to generate the data they needed to evaluate their innovations. While some stayed for a couple of days other stayed throughout the three weeks. Besides the wet lab activites during the weeks, the participants had organized events such as seminars, one-on-one meeting with specialists, dinner and more.

After about a month after their time in Uppsala at Testa Center we had a report out session where each company presented their results. While some accelerated their development by two TRL-levels or verified that their innovation is comparable with the ones already on the market others got insights on what components to improve on their innovation.

This was the first time Malin Wiederholm and Anisha Khan from STUNS Life science was a part in organizing the event:

“It was truly amazing to see all the activity and knowledge transfer that was happening at Testa Center during the weeks of Testa Challenge, in retrospect we see collaborations forming and the companies who took part have shortened their time to market/ accelerated their industrialization.”

– Malin Wiederholm

“Being new to the life science industry directly from academia where I was very much focused on one field of life sciences, Testa Challenge definitely opened up my eyes to why we can’t rely on just one industry to get tomorrows more precise and efficient drugs to the market. Collaboration across industries is crucial to accelerate development, in all areas.”

– Anisha Khan

 

The aim is to secure funding to make Testa Challenge a returning event. We are currently planning for Testa Challenge 2023, keep your eye on www.testachallenge.com for the latest updates!

Testa Challenge 2022 was funded by:

Picture: Logo of the European Regional Development Fund

Testa Challenge 2022 was supported by: