Novozymes’ IT solution sets new standards in the bio-industry

Novozymes has recently developed and implemented an electronic lab notebook, ELN, in its R&D organization. By taking traditional lab notebooks online, Novozymes improves its global knowledge sharing and patenting process

Novozymes has developed the unique ELN solution in close cooperation with innovative IT solution providers, such as Microsoft, Danish IT Practice, and Israeli ARX. Thanks to the ELN, 500 R&D employees now have direct access to more than 250 projects in one language across sites and time zones.

Research without physical barriers

Lab notebooks are an essential part of Novozymes research, describing and documenting project experiments and results. Nevertheless, the traditional notebooks have been physically tied to the individual lab making it difficult to share knowledge across sites.

Novozymes’ ELN has a clear advantage in terms of knowledge management. Moreover, a unique signing option helps Novozymes to secure the earliest possible date of invention as part of the patenting process. Previously the thousands of notebook pages had to be signed by hand.

The ELN is a result of a strong focus on improving innovation in the global R&D organization, and more than 100 test users were involved in the test phase.

“It requires a great deal of insight and a stroke of good luck for an IT system to meet our needs so exactly. The ELNs are a perfect example of integration between business processes and IT systems, and they grow directly out of our business strategy, while at the same time specifically targeting the users in the organization,” says Per Falholt, Executive Vice President.

A simple interface but a unique solution

The ELN is primarily known from the chemical industry. However, searching for an alternative to the existing lab notebooks, Novozymes’ R&D did not find the right fit among the ELNs currently on the market. As a result, Novozymes invented a solution that builds on software already used in Novozymes (Microsoft Office and SharePoint).

The ELN is one of Novozymes’ many current IT initiatives working to secure innovation and global knowledge sharing.