smartLAB 2017: For Tomorrow’s Intelligent Laboratories
News Oct 24, 2016
If you’ve ever wondered what tomorrow’s intelligent laboratories might look like, the smartLAB showcase is the place to go to find answers. smartLAB will be in its second season in 2017, having premiered successfully in 2015. It will be held from 16 to 18 May in Hannover, Germany, at LABVOLUTION, Europe’s flagship fair for innovative lab equipment and laboratory workflow optimization. LABVOLUTION is staged alongside BIOTECHNICA life sciences show, so there will be plenty of synergies on offer. Visitors to next year’s smartLAB showcase will be able to immerse themselves in the rapidly evolving world of intelligent, digitally enhanced laboratory systems.
“Flexible, digital integration, automation and robotics, integrated functional surfaces and modular systems – these are the things tomorrow’s laboratories are made of,” commented Dr. Simon Bungers, the CEO of Berlin-based software company labfolder and spokesperson for the smartLAB Group. Concrete examples of this convergence of technologies will once again be presented by multiple enterprises and institutions from science and industry. Under the overall leadership of the Institute of Technical Chemistry at Leibniz University Hannover, they are combining their expertise and solutions to create fully digitalized systems that encompass all laboratory work processes. Their current focus is on visualization, interaction and communication – which is why smartLAB 2017 is taglined “communicating science interactively.”
The smartLAB 2017 showcase will feature several devices that are new to laboratory integration. These include an interactive dispenser, a QR code scanner, an SLS (selective laser sintering) 3D printer and an induction charging station for mobile devices. The interactive dimension will be supplied by a robotic arm that has been tested and licensed for human-machine interaction in the lab, an app that visitors can use to directly view the SmartLAB display’s laboratory information management system (LIMS), and a remote presence robot.
Of course, the key benefit of the smartLAB lies not in the unique or special nature of its individual components, but in how those components interact with one another. “We have a truly holistic view of laboratory value chains and are developing smart solutions accordingly,” smartLab Group spokesperson Simon Bungers explained. “We are using the smartLAB initiative to explore options for radically simplifying lab processes and documentation while enhancing quality and efficiency,” he added.
Occupying an area of more than 400 square meters (4,300 sq. ft.), the smartLAB showcase will comprise a showroom housing the actual smartLAB plus an exhibition area where the participating enterprises and institutions can run their own displays and explore various aspects of tomorrow’s intelligent laboratories in presentations and panel discussions.
Among the highlights of the showcase will be a series of daily use-case demonstrations that will paint a very concrete picture of tomorrow’s intelligent laboratories. Three use cases will be demonstrated live on each day of LABVOLUTION. They will be from the fields of biotechnology, environmental technology and food technology. Specifically, they relate to an application for inoculating bioreactors and initiating bioprocess monitoring; an application for determining the phosphate content of soil samples, and an application for testing food samples for the presence of genetically modified components.
The smartLAB project has also spawned the smartLAB Innovation Network – a Germany-wide cluster of companies and research institutions dedicated to the development and standardization of innovative laboratory technologies. The network is part of Germany’s government-sponsored Central Innovation Program (ZIM).
Staphylococcus epidermidis is an ubiquitous colonizer of healthy human skin, but it is also a notorious source of serious nosocomial infections. Now, a new machine learning technique will help predict the risk of developing a serious, and possibly life-threatening S. epidermidis infection.READ MORE
Small imperfections in a wine glass or tiny creases in a contact lens can be tricky to make out, even in good light. In almost total darkness, images of such transparent features or objects are nearly impossible to decipher. But now, engineers at MIT have developed a technique that can reveal these “invisible” objects, in the dark.
For scientists wrestling with problems as diverse as containing superhot plasma in a fusion reactor, improving the accuracy of weather forecasts, or probing the unexplained dynamics of a distant galaxy, turbulence-spawning shear flow is a serious complicating factor. A new supercomputer-powered effort aims to make modelling shear far easier.