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Immersive virtual reality as a competitive training strategy for the biopharma industry

Immersive virtual reality simulations tailored to aspiring industry operators in biopharma manufacturing could become a cost-effective alternative to real-life training for teaching practical skills.

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Fig. 1: Flow chart of study setup.
Fig. 2: Direct and indirect performance metrics comparing VR with SOP reading and real-life training.
Fig. 3: Enjoyment and mental effort comparing VR with SOP reading and real-life training.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank our collaborators from the biopharma industry, A. Pittelkov, J. Scholl-Fleischer, S. Martinussen, J. N. Sørensen and F. Christensen, for providing reagents and equipment, co-creating the VR simulation and organizing the interventions at the production schools. We would like to acknowledge L. Dam Pedersen, K. Juul Thomson, M. Nielsen Gravholt and M. Lyhne Haslund for inviting us to conduct this study at their schools. Acknowledgements also to our metrology experts N. Vad Eiberg, H. Graulund and T. Bolt Botnen for training students in real life and assessing their practical skills. Great thanks to M. Mouritz Marfelt for initiating and negotiating the collaboration with the biopharma industry. Our thanks also go to S. Stauffer, A. Mortensen and E. Durand, who helped with instructing participants on how to use the VR headsets on the training days. We would like to acknowledge D. Franke, S. Tjong, H. Hansen and N. Dewa for their relentless effort creating the VR simulation. Finally, our thanks go to C. Tachibana for copyediting. The study was funded by Innovation Fund Denmark, large-scale project 5150-00033, SIPROS. M.O.A.S. further acknowledges funding from the Novo Nordisk Foundation under NFF grant number NNF10CC1016517.

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Authors

Contributions

P.W. designed the study, managed the project and analyzed the data. F.C.-K. designed the VR simulation and coordinated the content collaboration. P.W., S.B, A.L.C. and F.C.-K executed the study. P.W., S.B., A.L.C. and M.O.A.S. wrote the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Morten Otto Alexander Sommer.

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Competing interests

A.L.C. and F.C.-K. are employees of Labster ApS. P.W. and S.B. received funding from a joint grant between the University of Copenhagen, the Technical University of Denmark and Labster ApS, where they were formerly employed. P.W, A.L.C. and F.C.-K. hold warrants in Labster ApS according to the length of their employment.

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Supplementary Methods and Table 1

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Wismer, P., Lopez Cordoba, A., Baceviciute, S. et al. Immersive virtual reality as a competitive training strategy for the biopharma industry. Nat Biotechnol 39, 116–119 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41587-020-00784-5

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