Biopharma in the age of data and AI


In a recent study, Benchling reveals the opportunities and challenges facing the biopharma industry in the age of data and AI. We have summarized the most important information for you.

Benchling’s “2023 State of Tech in Biopharma” study shows how biopharma companies are using technology in an era of data and artificial intelligence (AI) and what obstacles they need to overcome. The study surveyed 300 research and IT professionals from biopharma companies. It was the first to examine how the industry is deploying technology stacks consisting of robotics and automation, networked instrumentation, research data platforms, cloud-based scientific applications, and AI and machine learning.

Technology adoption in the biopharma industry

The biopharma industry has made great strides in implementing technologies. The study shows that 70% of respondents use research data platforms. Robotics and automation platforms follow in second place with 63% and AI/ML with 59%. However, the use of SaaS software lags behind. Only 18% of respondents reported using it for most of their research and IT work.

This high technology use is also reflected in the complex technological environment of the labs. Over half of scientists report using more than five different scientific software applications daily. Meanwhile, 40% of IT staff in large organizations support more than 20 applications. Consequently, 84% of organizations still rely on custom software solutions. This, in turn, indicates outdated systems.

Collaboration and data availability challenges

The survey also highlights the challenges in terms of collaboration. Around 41% of scientists find collaboration with other teams problematic. Yet 38% of survey participants must collaborate with 20 or more people on a daily basis. Despite the use of modern technologies, the FAIR data principles of interoperability (I) and reusability (R) still seem out of reach. Only 28% of respondents said they had achieved organization-wide data interoperability. Data reusability was mentioned by 30%.

The greatest barriers to technology adoption

According to the study, the two biggest barriers to technology adoption in the biopharma industry are a lack of qualified personnel and a lack of solutions tailored to science. This underscores the industry’s urgent need to attract qualified professionals who are willing to develop new software solutions tailored to the needs of science.

Necessary steps to improve the situation

Benchling’s research shows that companies need to take a critical step to foster greater alignment between their research and IT departments. This also means rationalizing different technology priorities and being honest about the real barriers to technology adoption. These include cultural and organizational changes, among others. In the coming years, the importance of scientific data and AI will continue to grow. This will increase pressure on the biopharma industry to abandon outdated technologies and build a solid digital foundation.


Benchling’s “2023 State of Tech in Biopharma” study highlights the opportunities and challenges facing the biopharma industry when it comes to implementing and leveraging cutting-edge technologies. Attracting talented professionals is essential to remain competitive and accelerate scientific progress. In addition, collaboration between research and IT must be fostered and appropriate technologies must be implemented. This is the only way companies can meet the demands of the digital age in the biopharma industry and ensure long-term success.

Source: Cloud Computing News