Organized by Elemental Machines, a LabOps startup based in Cambridge, MA, Biotech Connect 2022 was a full day event at MassBioHub, where R&D lab leaders met in person on September 22 to analyze the changes shaping up scientific discovery in the future. The theme of the conference was “Transforming operational efficiency for the lab of the future.”
Elemental Machines offers a suite of software and hardware to connect equipment to the cloud – and unite a lab full of data onto a single dashboard or their favorite systems via API.
At the conference, Elemental Machines announced a tool called LabOps Excellence Maturity Model. In short, it is a framework designed to help LabOps professionals improve proficiency within each of the six pillars of LabOps. The six pillars of LabOps are:
- Asset Management: A systematic approach to the governance and realization of value from the lab equipment that LabOps teams are responsible for, over their whole life cycles
- Safety & Compliance: Adherence to and training on the numerous local, state, and federal regulations specific to laboratories including, biological safety, hazardous materials, etc.
- Operational Data Management: Management of all lab-related data (outside of experimental data) from creation, storage, security, and integration with other systems
- Logistics & Procurement – Sourcing and management of materials needed to run lab experiments.
- Team Management: An organization’s ability to lead a group of people in accomplishing a task or common goal (at the single lab, department, and organizational level)
- Sustainability: Best practices to reduce energy consumption and waste in the laboratory environment
The maturity model details 5 stages of LabOps Excellence and encompasses the teams and processes that govern LabOps. These range from the initial stages that are irregular, inconsistent, and chaotic to the optimized stage where teams and processes are continually improving and adapting.
This is just one of the products offered by Elemental Machines, which is expanding its portfolio of integrations by adding coverage for two new classes of instruments, bioreactors and liquid nitrogen tanks.
Elemental Machines also empowers LabOps professionals and scientists with data in a multitude of forms, extracted in myriad ways. One of the company’s key competitive advantages is third-party integrations.
To truly crush data siloes in the lab, LabOps professionals need to take source operational data (i.e. lab equipment) and connect it to the cloud where others can use it. To do this, Elemental Machines uses its powerful IoT sensors to gather operational data intelligence and conveniently present this data on the cloud. When Elemental Machines’ engineers and data scientists complete a new integration, existing equipment around the world gains new functionality as a cloud-connected, data-reporting device.
The takeaways are:
• Bioreactors represent the most natural next step after incubators because they are an organic part of the scale up process. With bioreactors Elemental Machines is continuing to assist customers with their development journey.
• The integration with liquid nitrogen tanks will enable customers to be more proactive and no longer rely on the temperature monitored inside the tank chamber to determine when the level of liquid nitrogen is low.
The combination of complementary tools to streamline previously manual and error-prone methods is the key to data fidelity and reproducibility.
LabOps are a key component of biotech and hence, of modern healthcare. Vaccine conservation, efficient energy consumption, seamless operations at laboratories and hospitals depend on the exacting standards of LabOps.
Behind both business and human trends is data. New technology has made it possible to automatically collect, analyze, and report research results using internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) features that were long predicted but are only now arriving at labs in force. The impact in the ability of researchers to reproduce experiments and ensure technical quality is already having a profound effect in science.
Valuate research predicts the global lab automation market could grow from $13.7 billion in 2022 to $19.8 billion in 2028. LabOps plays an essential role in driving efficiency in the research process for the pharmaceutical market, which Statista pegged at $1.27 trillion in 2020.