The Laboratory of the Future in Dubai


European LabTech visionaries presented the Laboratory of the Future at the Merck X-Innovation Summit 23 November, 2017, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The X-Innovation conference in Dubai brought together innovators from the pharmaceutical, life science, digital health and lab tech industries. The participants included former and current start-ups from Merck's Accelerator Program as well as experts from Merck and Dubai.

Under the title "The laboratory of the future: How start-ups can disrupt the industry", labfolder presented together with the British sharing platform Clustermarket and the Karlsruhe-based start-up cubuslab on how to use laboratory data and resources more efficiently.

"We believe that the division of work in the laboratory will continue to increase in the near future," said Dr Simon Bungers, CEO of labfolder.

"But the real challenge is that laboratory processes — from ideation to the choice of the optimal experiment design to implementation and documentation — is a highly specialised value chain."

Labfolder presents at X-Innovation conference

To help scientists gain access to specialist knowledge and high-tech equipment, Johannes Solzbach co-founded the London-based start-up Clustermarket.

"On our platform researchers can find equipment that other labs are offering to share. You can access the hardware that is too expensive for you to purchase yourself and even more — you can find the experts for the respective application as well," he said.

When the necessary lab instruments are found, that is where cubuslab comes into play. The cubuslab platform enables the remote control and monitoring of laboratory equipment and data extraction.

"Our users can virtually monitor every work step in real time and thus always understand whether everything is running smoothly in the lab," explained Julian Lübke, Head of Product and co-founder of cubuslab.

The data generated in this way can then be directly adapted and structured with labfolder so that all individuals involved in the process can have controlled access to the results.

By interconnecting their services, these three visionaries want to make possible what has long been standard in the IT industry; the simple and cost-effective outsourcing of tasks that are not part of their customers' core competencies, secure monitoring of processes and the seamless combination of the work results on one common platform.

"The digital revolution was only possible because specific technology and knowledge became accessible to start-ups via the internet. The combination of our services is an enabler for the industry as it makes usually expensive experiments many times cheaper and more accessible," said Bungers.

Munya Chivasa, head of the Merck Accelerator and organiser of the event, said: "As a company that conducts its own research and at the same time is active as a laboratory supplier with brands such as Sigma-Aldrich and Millipore, we intensively think about what the laboratory of the future will look like. This future is also very much driven by start-ups, so we are happy to be in touch with labfolder, cubuslab and clustermarket as lab-tech disruptors of tomorrow."

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