The ORCHID project (Organ-on-Chip development) is an EU initiative, coordinated by Leiden University Medical Center and the Dutch Organ-on-Chip consortium hDMT in The Netherlands. The main goal of ORCHID is to create a roadmap for organ-on-chip technology and to build a network of all relevant stakeholders in this promising innovative field. In the ORCHID project that started on 1 October 2017 in total seven leading European research institutions are involved.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 766884

Project ORCHID: Organ-on-Chip In Development


Organ-on-chip technology will revolutionize the healthcare domain by offering new and ground breaking solutions to different industries and especially for regenerative medicine and medication. Organ-on-Chip In Development (ORCHID) will create a roadmap for organ-on-chip technology and the framework to build a network of relevant stakeholders. ORCHID will achieve this through 5 objectives:

  • evaluation of the technology (state of the art and unmet needs)
  • identification of ethical issues, establishing standards and identifying measures for regulatory implementation
  • analysis of economic and societal impact, training and education
  • developing a roadmap which will guide the required R&D efforts and
  • raising awareness and building the ecosystem for organ-on-chip technology through a digital reference platform.

ORCHID will have a broad impact: it will facilitate drug development, contribute significantly to reducing animal experiments and help in developing personalized medicine. ORCHID will achieve these goals by providing a framework to the main stakeholders, bringing together key players and raising awareness on organ-on-chip technology throughout Europe. The digital platform will gather all information on existing and new initiatives in the field. In this way ORCHID as a whole will secure and reinforce Europe’s leadership on organ-on-chip. The consortium is composed of the main contributors to the field who are all very experienced and who will strongly collaborate with each other. Leiden University Medical Centrum (LUMC) will lead the consortium, the Institute for human Organ and Disease model (hDMT) will focus on the strategy and the roadmap, Fraunhofer IGB on impact assessment, CEA Leti on eco-system development and the digital platform, IMEC on the ethical aspects, regulation and standardization and the University of Zaragoza will lead dissemination. ORCHID will install an Advisory Board composed of complementary specialists in the field.

Organ-on-chip: a Future Emerging Technology

Organs-on-chips will radically change the way and the speed at which drugs can be implemented clinically, not only for general drug development but also for personalised drugs. This is not only key for making drug and cosmetic development test-animalfree, but the accuracy and speed with which outcomes can be evaluated will surpass standard cell cultures and laboratory animals that presently capture human physiology and response on drugs imperfectly.

Organ-on-chip technology is cutting-edge science, which goes beyond the frontiers of knowledge and requires multidisciplinary collaboration. hDMT, one of the partners of this consortium, has submitted a FET Flagship proposal for this technology with a broad support from European research centres and is actively working with other regenerative medicine proposals to settle a broad EU flagship. Partners are European leaders in their specialist area but their collaboration is essential to realize the potential of this emerging technology.


The main goal of this CSA is to create a roadmap for organ-on-chip technology and to build a network of academia, research institutes, industry, and regulatory bodies to move organ-on-chip technology from promise in the laboratory into reality for the citizens of the Europe and the rest of the world.


1: Assess the status of organ-on-chip technology in Europe

Identify the state-of-the-art on organ-on-chip technology in Europe and worldwide and define the challenges in the field of

  • Human cell technology (stem cells, organoids, primary tissue explants)
  • Chip technology (microfluidics, microfabrication, micromanipulation)
  • Steering and monitoring protocols, predictive model development and data analysis (automation, signal and image processing, big data analysis, computational modelling)
  • Applications
  • Identify the unmet needs which can be served by organ-on-chip technology and prioritize the applications that should be targeted, in particular for healthcare, personalized medicine, animal experimentations, and how to introduce organ-on-chip approaches for these particular applications.

2: Identify ethical issues, drive standardization and take steps for regulatory take-off

  • Chart the available standards and regulatory network of laws, regulations and guidelines to take away potential barriers, and make recommendations to accelerate the uptake of organ-on-chip technologies.
  • Assess ethical aspects of personalized organ-on-chip technology during the project and issue recommendations towards the policy makers.

3: Analyse the impact on economy, society, training and education

  • Analyse the economic and societal impact of organ-on-chip technology, including the effect on the 3Rs guiding principle of reduction, refinement and replacement of animal experiments.
  • Identify interdisciplinary skills and experiences necessary to prepare young scientists for the utilization of organ-on-a-chip technologies in their future careers.

4: Establish the organ-on-chip technology roadmap

  • Develop the organ-on-chip roadmap, indicating technology gaps, identifying trans EU synergy opportunities, including policy recommendations for regulation, training and education to ensure a successful implementationers.

5: Raise awareness and build the ecosystem for organ-on-chip technology

  • Promote the technology by defining and launching a digital platform which will become a worldwide reference for organ-on-chip technology in the coming years (2-4 years).
  • Promote interest in organ-on-chip technology by defining and organizing specialized training and education for young researchers, to enhance competencies within Europe in this field.
  • Organise and inform the value chain and stakeholders to raise awareness, build the ecosystem and maximise the benefits of this technology for economy and citizens health.

The indicators for these different objectives are:

  • The roadmap for organ-on-chip technology and its applications, based on the development status and the impact: technology v2.0, next areas to be explored, definition of the intermediate milestones and objectives, etc.
  • Training, education and exchange research programs to promote the technology including relevant skills.
  • Installation of a large international ORCHID advisory board to advise and raise awareness on the technology.
  • Digital platform which will be the reference for all stakeholders.
  • List of activities to raise awareness about organ-on-chip technology: events/workshops involving stakeholders, media publicity (social media/general media), publications. Recommendations to pave the way for innovation: facilitate market introduction, preparing the regulation and legislation for the organ-on-chip technology, solving ethical issues.


Del. NumberDeliverable TitleWP NumberLeadTypeDissemination LevelDue date (M)Delivered (dd/mm/yy)
D1.1Project handbook and
quality assurance plan
D1.2Inception reportWP1LUMCReportCOM329/12/17
Technical report M12WP1LUMCReportCOM13
D1.4Technical report M24WP1LUMCReportCOM24
D2.1Methodology of the
D2.2State of the art
on organ-on-chip
D2.3Report on unmet needs
of the stakeholders
D2.4Report on vision
D2.5Report on strategy
D3.1Societal and economic
D3.2Current and future
potential business
D3.3Questionnaire for
D3.4Identification of
training needs
D4.1Specifications for the
digital platform
D4.2Digital platformWP4CEAWebsites etcPUM1228/09/18
D4.3Report on pilot projectWP4CEAReportCOM24
D5.1Report on state-of-the-art and SWOT analysisWP5IMECReportPUM1230/09/18
D5.2Societal primer
on ethical use and
D5.3Guideline for the
research community
– outlook on the
regulatory pathway
D5.5White paper on
D5.6Policy paper on
ethics, regulatory and
D5.7Primer on organ-onchip
– Desirable, safe &
D5.8Organ-on-chip as next
drug discovery route
D6.1Final dissemination
D6.2Intermediate report
on dissemination and
D6.3Final report on
dissemination and
D6.4Website and project
WP6UNIZARWebsites etcPUM228/12/17



MS numberMilestone TitleWP NumberLeadDue Date (M)Achieved
MS1Acceptance of the midterm
MS2Vision workshopWP2hDMTM9yes
MS3Strategy workshopWP2hDMTM16
MS4Roadmap releaseWP2hDMTM24
MS5Impact studyWP3FraunhoferM10yes
MS6Definition of required
training and skill sets
MS7Digital platform
tested and ready to be
MS8Digital platform
accounting a minimum
of 100 active members
MS9Reach out of the
white paper towards
stakeholders and policy
MS10Acceptance of the
status of Dissemination
and Communication
activities performed
MS11Increased awareness of
the ORCHID network
and organ-on-chip
technology throughout
the European Union

The consortium is composed of the following organizations:

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 766884


Prof. dr. Christine Mummery

Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC)
Postal Zone S1-P
P.O. Box 9600
2300 RC Leiden
The Netherlands

Visiting address:
Building 2
Einthovenweg 20,
2333 ZC Leiden
The Netherlands

Ellen Thomassen

Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC)
Postal Zone S4-P
P.O. Box 9600
2300 RC Leiden
The Netherlands

Visiting address:
Building 2
Einthovenweg 20
2333 ZC Leiden
The Netherlands
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