What we do

A flexible, responsive and trusted partner, we provide specialist technical facilitation services to industrialists, researchers and innovators pursuing sustainability through process R&D and manufacturing in speciality and fine chemicals, bio-tech, pharma and the wider process industries


Whole Process Understanding

Sound decision making and risk management at any stage of the innovation life cycle depends on a profound understanding of your processes and the value chains and systems within which they exist.

By moving project teams’ thinking beyond mechanistic ‘what’ questions to a holistic conversation built around matters of ‘why’ we help our clients

  • understand the risks and benefits of change
  • identify knowledge gaps and uncertainties
  • prioritise action, and
  • build the case for innovation.

Why choose Britest?

Tried and tested

Britest’s robust process understanding tools and methodologies have been used successfully since 2001 to analyse product development and manufacturing processes to show where and how major improvements can be made..

Always innovating

Britest continues to innovate: helping businesses embed and exploit new approaches to process understanding, encouraging collaboration, and championing better ways to develop and apply focused process improvements for the benefit of clients globally.

Demonstrated value

Britest facilitation using the tools has generated many £millions of productivity gains, driving enhanced business sustainability and competitiveness. Browse our case studies to find out more.


Agile and client focused

Britest’s not-for-profit, membership-owned model creates a strong core community of interest in developing our capabilities through innovation, but gives us the flexibility to work with clients of every kind.

A trustworthy partner

You can work with us safe in the knowledge that your data and information will be securely, confidentially and professionally handled, fully respecting your intellectual property rights.

Networked strength

We leverage our contacts and partnerships across the UK, Europe and beyond to provide you with the best insight and solutions.


What can we do for you?

Technical Facilitation delivering answers to your questions



We've run this process for years, but it's gradually getting worse - why?

We've just changed something in the process to fix a problem, but now we've got more impurities - why?

Problem solving - rapid, focused, science and understanding based

We can help you address issues of poor quality, unreliability, long turnarounds, unpredictable scale-ups, downtime, high costs and all the rest by

  • Defining process problems - setting clear objectives, understanding constraints and identifying gaps in knowledge to gain shared understanding and team buy-in to the desired project outcomes
  • Identifying where value is being lost in a process and where to target efforts to maximise the gains
  • Focusing effort where it is most needed by breaking down complex processes into individual stages
  • Visualising the science behind what is happening in a process or piece of equipment to understand the mechanisms of success and failure: identifying 'whys', not just 'whats'
  • Defining solution strategies via thorough root cause analysis

Problem Solving - Case Studies



We've got a process that we've run for many years, which we think is optimised; how can we squeeze more out of it?

We have to scale the process up 10-fold in six months - how should we commit resource to minimise risks?

Mapped whole process understanding - systems thinking visualised

Britest’s evolution continues to ensure that we can meet - and exceed - the demands of modern manufacture. Our methodologies have expanded to take in important aspects of bioprocessing, broader whole supply chain understanding and new ways of working in an increasingly digitalized world. We work with agility across time zones and continents, with actors in distributed value chains, and provide links across traditional functional boundaries such as those between drug substance and drug product development in pharmaceuticals manufacture.

Britest’s evolution continues to ensure that we can meet - and exceed - the demands of modern manufacture. Our methodologies have expanded to take in important aspects of bioprocessing, broader whole supply chain understanding and new ways of working in an increasingly digitalized world. We work with agility across time zones and continents, with actors in distributed value chains, and provide links across traditional functional boundaries such as those between drug substance and drug product development in pharmaceuticals manufacture.

Process Understanding - Case Studies



We use lean and six sigma to make our plant run to set-points, but we think there might be better equipment available, or better process parameters – how do we investigate this?

How do I develop and document our quality control strategy more effectively?

Next level operational excellence – beyond incremental improvement

With established processes the pressure to get the most out of fixed assets is relentless. Aging equipment start to generate new problems. Faces change with time and original understanding of the process becomes diluted. Britest can help by

  • Complementing Lean / Six Sigma - drilling down into the underlying science behind issues highlighted by quality investigations adds value by allowing teams to identify robust, understanding-based solutions.
  • Managing Corporate Knowledge - Britest tools and facilitation methods permanently capture process understanding so that it can be used throughout the life of your assets. Knowledge and experience are easily and effectively shared through visually rich, and scientifically sound documentation.
  • Bringing people together - A Britest study is a structured group activity. People at all levels in the organisation can contribute to and get the knowledge and understanding they need to keep things at peak performance.

Operational Excellence - Case Studies



How can we take a robust approach to choosing process development or improvement options?

I'm looking to add a new product to our portfolio, how do I know I can be competitive?

Complex Decision Making – effective models, embracing uncertainty

Taking the step to decide to invest in innovative technology is hard. Risk aversion is understandable and difficult to overcome. A rational, systems-based approach is needed to marshal the risks and benefits of change, consider the uncertainty in the data and construct a clear justification on whether to proceed or, equally importantly, to redirect resources elsewhere.

Our approach is especially useful at the early stages of project definition and scoping where sound data is sparse or unavailable. We can help with

  • Decision Making - identify options with their commercial and technical benefits and risks and assess uncertainty. Our decision-making methodology allows application of a range of proprietary and public algorithms that will enable you to rank the options in terms of business fit.
  • Technical Risk Management – Documenting and at least partially quantifying the technical risks will help with setting priorities and identifying mitigation strategies, allowing you to monitor and manage process and product development towards reduced risk prior to commercialisation.

For more detail see this open access white paper or check out the relevant case studies.

Decision Making - Case Studies



How can we integrate corporate goals and sustainability targets into project management and decision making?

How can we develop business models for flexible, modular approaches to production?

Techno-economic evaluation of business sustainability options – safeguarding value, assessing opportunity

Developments in the Britest toolkit arising from several projects in recent years can help innovators take on board the difficulties of developing a viable business case for investment, and identify the risks and uncertainties associated with key techno-economic parameters (a viable business model built upon efficiency, quality, environmental sustainability, social impact, resilience, and supply chain) especially for early TRL offerings. Read more in our White Paper report Building a Britest toolkit for Sustainable Innovation.

In the context of flexible modular production we have delivered a generalised methodology supporting technoeconomic decision-making to select business cases based on mixed qualitative and quantitative data, along with a model to simulate the economic cases for each option being considered in the decision problem. We have also developed an understanding-based methodology for setting commercialisation objectives for innovative green chemistry / sustainable processes, road testing it on an innovative route to levulinic acid from the lignocellulosic content of paper sludge using solid-state catalysis and microwave heating.

Learnings and recommendations from our Innovation programme can help enhance the impact of sustainability focused projects by on the one hand by addressing the needs and barriers of those who make the decisions to adopt process innovations in industry, and applying best practice to shape a practical toolkit to assess the value (in sustainability terms) of new technologies and process modifications that seek to make resource and energy efficiency improvements. Check out projects SPRING and STYLE on our Collaborative Projects page for more details.



How do we ensure our project has a successful outcome for all partners and stakeholders? Are we measuring and monitoring the right things?

How do we get different disciplines (and organisations) all understanding what we do and don’t know? How do we keep track of the collective knowledge?

How can we successfully transfer technology between sites / organisations?

Clear technology or innovation targets – success defined

It may be art or it may be science, but we have sometimes been described by our collaborative partners as supplying "Project Glue". In addition to being a trusted and positively-influencing project partner we have successfully applied our knowledge of what is needed to make collaborations work to help formative consortia and successful project teams at an early stage of the delivery phase to understand what their project really needs to look like and deliver for success. Follow the example of significant organisations on the innovation landscape like CMAC, the MMIC partners, MMU and others by making use of Britest's unique project shaping facilitation service.



Specialist expertise helping you meet your development objectives



Can I be sure that this reaction isn't going to boil out of the reactor?

Are there any opportunities to make this process inherently safer?

Process Safety studies enhanced by understanding

Britest's Rob Peeling is an experienced Hazard Study leader and practitioner for other process safety and risk assessment methodologies. Rob's takes a fundamentally process understanding based approach to conducting and facilitating studies for

  • Developing and understanding the basis for safe operation
  • Assessing process reaction hazards - e.g. evolution of heat, gas
  • Early stage process hazard evaluation (Haz 1)
  • Detailed HAZOP and LOPA assessments.

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Help! I'm a chemist and now they want me to take things to commercial scale!

We need to understand how to make particles consistently. How do we ensure our processes are working for us and not against us?

We need we make consistent judgements about data and design experiments efficiently and effectively.

Training that gets to the heart of the matter

The members of the Britest Team have years of experience as industrial scientists, engineers and consultants under their belts, and we know how to translate wisdom into unapologetically applied and practical training packages that will enable you and your teams to meet your objectives. Topics include:

  • Understanding Process Plant Cleaning
  • Chemical Engineering for non-engineers
  • Statistics for Scientists and Technologists
  • Statistical Design of Experiments
  • Technology Transfer and Scale-Up
  • Physical Organic Chemistry concepts in Process Development

Contact us to find out how you can benefit from Britest expertise through face ot face or online training.

Find out more



What is this data telling me? Has my experiment been successful?

Has anything really changed in our process? Should we intervene or leave well alone?

I need to do a hundred trials but I've only got enough sample for twelve, what should I do? I've got loads of variables! Which ones matter the most?

Statistical design, analysis and process control

With extensive experience of the practical application of statistical methods to industrial research and manufacturing challenges in diverse industries, Britest's John Henderson can advise you on your data analysis and experimental design challenges. A time-served industrial R&D chemist and manager, John brings the knowledge and insight gained during more than twenty years as an associate consultant and trainer with the highly respected specialist service provider Statistics for Industry.

John can advise and provide training in topics such as

  • Samples sizes, margins of error, principles and application of significance testing
  • Sources of variability, Analysis of Variance, and process capability
  • Statistical design and analysis of experiments, regression, multiple regression and response surface analysis
  • Analytical test method capability and control
  • Trend analysis of time series and historic records to mine data for messages
  • Set up and operation of statistical process control schemes

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