The KnowledgeBench product was developed in 2004 in close collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca. It is the latest development of rule-based systems to support new product development from a product line stretching back to the late 1980s. At that time, a collaborative project was set up between Shell Lubricating Oils, Shering Agrochemicals and Logica Cambridge Ltd under the auspices of the government-sponsored Alvey research programme.
Two specific formulation expert systems were created, one for each application and then the ideas were synthesised and a formulation expert system product called PFES (Product Formulation Expert System) was created and further enhanced and marketed by Logica plc (now LogicaCMG plc). This product (later renamed to Formulogic) gave rise to successful applications in the pharmaceutical, paints, food and drink, healthcare and cosmetic sectors; including one for Boots The Chemist for formulating SOLTAN (their range of sunscreen lotions) which won a UK Government DTi Manufacturing Intelligence award in 1991.
It is for this reason that some of the designers of the original system decided to form a new company, KnowledgeBench, and re-write the product from scratch using modern methods and tools such as Agile development and the industry standard J2EE platform. Once the first version of the KnowledgeBench product had been released, the company also acquired the rights to the original Formulogic system from LogicaCMG. There is now an upgrade path for applications built in Formulogic so that they can be ported to the KnowledgeBench architecture. KnowledgeBench Ltd also provides support for Formulogic systems.
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