Artificial Intelligence Lab for Biosciences

Artificial Intelligence Lab for Biosciences ( Lab) was established by Royal DSM (a global science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living) and TU Delft (ranked among the top universities in biotechnology research globally). The laboratory will be the first of its kind in Europe to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to full-scale biomanufacturing, from microbial strain development to process optimisation and scheduling.

The lab will be part of the Dutch National Innovation Center for AI (ICAI), which works to keep the Netherlands at the forefront of knowledge and talent development in AI. It will be led by Professor Marcel Reinders, Director TU Delft Bioengineering Institute. DSM regards biosciences as an important tool for addressing climate change and resource scarcity, and for optimising the global food system. It will invest €2.5 million in the laboratory over the first five years.

Traditionally, scientific research is based on trial and error within multiple sub-studies. These work together toward a specific objective, such as a new product or production technology. What makes AI unique is that it allows scientists to invert this process. The desired objective is brought to life in a digital environment using ‘digital twins’ (a virtual ‘mirror’ of the desired real-world situation), while machine learning helps determine how to achieve it. Although AI is already widely applied in engineering research – for instance, to replace physical wind turbines or tunnels with digital twins – the Lab will be the first of its kind to explore AI’s potential in biosciences and biotechnology.

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