Few disciplines are as closely related as science and engineering yet a huge divide exists between the two. Close collaboration between scientists and engineers is required in the development of combination products. Bridging the divide between the two is therefore crucial to your success in bringing new combination products to market.
How Scientists and Engineers Differ
Scientists and engineers differ in the way they view the human body and approach its problems. Engineers see the human body as a mechanical system made up of a series of interdependent components, such as valves, pipes and pumps. They use engineering principles to design devices to help fix these components and treat or prevent disease. Scientists see the human body as a chemical system made up of a series of interdependent chemical reactions. They use chemical principles to create drugs and biologics to help alter the body’s chemistry and treat or prevent disease. These two differing approaches are a long-standing source of conflict between scientists and engineers.
Other Sources of Conflict Between Scientists and Engineers
Contrasting approaches to viewing the human body and solving its problems aren’t the only source of conflict between scientists and engineers. Incongruences in quality systems and regulatory paths for drugs, devices and biologics, and failure rates at different stages of combination product development contribute to the rift between the two groups. Low early-stage failure rates and high late-stage failure rates in device development often create negative perceptions of engineers among scientists, while high early-stage failure rates and low late-stage failure rates in drug and biologic development often create negative perceptions of scientists among engineers. The failure of scientists and engineers to acknowledge the importance of each others’ roles often leads to an “us” and “them” mentality that can hinder successful combination product development.
How to Encourage Close Collaboration
Close collaboration between scientists and engineers is essential to ensuring successful combination product development. By understanding the similarities and differences between the two and knowing how to use them to your advantage, you can improve your combination product readiness and shorten your time to market.
Quality Solutions Now can provide you with the on-demand strategic support and tactical project management expertise you need to encourage collaboration, maximize knowledge sharing and boost productivity among your multidisciplinary team. For more information on our scalable, flexible and cost-effective solutions, please contact us today.