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Statik builds a simulator for research on the logistics chain of covid-19 vaccines

17 January 2022

A perfect example of how the creative sector can help the health tech sector: researchers at KU Leuven's Access-To-Medicines Research Center (ATM) are conducting high-level transdisciplinary research on the design and management of health systems and the management of supply chains. They did the same for the logistics chain of the famous COVID-19 vaccines, and web agency Statik was asked to help which resulted in a cross-over collaboration between two Leuven MindGate members.


When several COVID-19 vaccines were approved for distribution in the European market in late 2020, the ATM team began working diligently on a supply chain model for the production of these vaccines. Such a model allows for testing and exploring different "what-if" scenarios:

  • How long will it take to produce 100 million vaccine doses?
  • What if certain substances are not available?
  • What is the effect on delivery time if quality control of vaccines is delayed?

The supply chain model aims to answer such questions. In this way, the production and distribution of vaccines can be organized even better.

When the ATM team researchers contacted Statik in 2021, a first prototype of the model already existed. Data on production and distribution sites were collected from international organizations and pharmaceutical companies in close collaboration with CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations).

All data were manually copied into complex spreadsheets, a time-consuming and not very scalable process. Those spreadsheets were then processed by simulation software, after which the research team finally manually translated the results again into graphs and reports.

After analyzing the complex data structure, Statik built a user-friendly interface for the researchers in which the stakeholders involved can enter all the necessary data about vaccine production and distribution. Users can also create and request simulations via the interface, after which the application exports all data in a format that can be processed directly by the simulation software.

Security was a particular concern here, given the market sensitivity and confidentiality of the data.

The first version of the simulator has since been delivered, with satisfied researchers as a result. Data collection is no longer a time-consuming and error-prone process, but runs efficiently, safely and scalably. In the longer term, the intention is also to automate the processing of the results of the simulations into graphs and reports.

In the meantime, the researchers have not been idle and can share with the world the first results of their research into the logistics of covid-19 vaccines, as you can see in the video.

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