Biologization and Digitalization Top Themes at BIOTECHNICA and LABVOLUTION
News Jun 03, 2015
While BIOTECHNICA is a showcase for mainstream biotechnology and the life sciences, LABVOLUTION provides extended coverage of laboratory technology in other sectors of industry apart from biotechnology itself, including chemicals and pharmaceuticals, medical technology, environmental engineering, quality control and the food industry. One of the key themes explored by BIOTECHNICA and LABVOLUTION in Hannover is the trend towards biologization and digitalization.
Industry 4.0, networking, the whole world going mobile – digitalization is a megatrend of our age, familiar to all and directly affecting each one of us. But there are other key trends at work too, even if they are rather overshadowed by digitalization. One of these megatrends is so-called biologization. “Biologization, or the application of biotechnology to existing processes in a whole range of industry sectors, is already an important driver of innovation”, says Dr. Jochen Köckler, member of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe. “BIOTECHNICA 2015 shows how far we have come down this road.” This view is confirmed by Dr. Peter Heinrich, Board chairman of BIO Deutschland: “There are very few problems today in areas such as food, health, the environment, climate change and energy where biotechnology cannot be a big part of the solution. In chemicals, pharmaceuticals, energy and materials, the biologization of traditional industries has become an unstoppable trend, and biotech companies have a special role to play here.” Dr. Siegfried Bialojan, Managing Director of the EY Life Science Center in Mannheim and a member of the advisory board for BIOTECHNICA and LABVOLUTION, cites some specific examples: “Whether it’s new textiles made from spider silk protein, flue gases turned into biomass for the production of plastics, or foodstuffs manufactured with the aid of certain types of yeast – the chemical and consumer goods industries have already embraced biologization with enthusiasm.”
Meanwhile the structurally similar trend towards digitalization and networking will also be much in evidence in Hannover. Köckler: “We’re looking forward to a world first in October: for the first time visitors to LABVOLUTION will be able to see a model ‘Laboratory 4.0’ in action, fully wired and networked for the virtual future.”
BIOTECHNICA – now with new PLAZA format and new “Bio-IT” marketplace
Digitalization is also a major theme at BIOTECHNICA this year. The new marketplace “Bio-IT” takes its place alongside the existing marketplaces “Bioeconomy” and “Personalized Medicine Technologies”, adding another important strand to the show’s coverage. The displays here examine both the role of IT in biotechnology and the use of bio-engineering in the IT industry. Also new for this year is the BIOTECHNICA PLAZA, which serves as a central connecting hub for the three marketplaces. As the starting point for exploring these three featured themes, together with their associated Forum program hosted on two stages, and also as a meeting place for networking and partnering, the BIOTECHNICA PLAZA is very much the heart of the show. For the first time Deutsche Messe is offering a professional partnering service for exhibitors and visitors attending BIOTECHNICA and LABVOLUTION. There is no charge for using the service, which is powered by a special software tool developed by the EBD Group. This allows users to create their own online profile and schedule meetings at the show in advance.
Meanwhile BIOTECHNICA retains all its traditional strengths as Europe’s premier industry gathering for biotechnology and the life sciences. For 30 years now industry and the scientific community have used BIOTECHNICA to find products, technologies and partners for joint ventures. BIOTECHNICA is the only trade show of its kind to cover the complete value-adding chain for red, white and green biotechnology – from basic scientific research to the finished product.
LABVOLUTION – with smartLAB and European Lab Automation
By contrast, LABVOLUTION has no established track record as yet. It was less than a year ago, after all, that Deutsche Messe announced the creation of a new trade show with the aim of showcasing the complete range of laboratory equipment and technology for research labs, analytical labs, production labs and training labs. One of the highlights of this premiere will be the already mentioned special display smartLAB. This is a project in which a study group made up of scientists and business enterprises set out to design and develop an intelligent model laboratory. The result is smartLAB, which will be revealed to the public for the first time at LABVOLUTION. Live demonstrations of various application scenarios will show how laboratory life is changing in the age of digitalization. Running in parallel on the 400 m2 dedicated display area will be a forum program exploring various aspects of “Laboratory 4.0”.
LABVOLUTION is also hosting this year’s European Lab Automation (ELA), Europe’s largest conference and exhibition on automation in the life sciences, last staged in Hamburg and Barcelona. The ELA exhibition will be integrated into LABVOLUTION, while the conference program – for which a separate ticket must be purchased – takes place in the adjacent Convention Center. The three strands of the ELA conference explore the themes Lab Automation and Robotics, Genome Engineering and Personalized Medicine.
In a departure from tradition, the formal opening event is not taking place on the eve of the show, but rather in the evening at the end of the first full day. One of the highlights of the BIOTECHNICA/LABVOLUTION Reception will be the presentation of the EUROPEAN BIOTECHNICA AWARD.