And this year sees the launch of the SmartLAB Innovation Network. Funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) as part of its Central Innovation Program for SMEs (ZIM), the network is dedicated to developing and standardizing innovative lab technologies. Many of the partner companies from science and industry involved in smartLAB at LABVOLUTION are founding members of the SmartLAB Innovation Network. The special smartLAB display will once again be an integral part of LABVOLUTION/BIOTECHNICA to be staged next from 16 to 18 May 2017.
Using a visionary prototype lab, the special smartLAB display is designed to show how laboratory life will change in the age of digitalization and Industry 4.0. "The positive results have enabled us to join forces with almost all our current partners and a number of new partners in order to initiate this innovation network for the lab of the future," said Dr Sascha Beutel, member of staff at the Institute of Technical Chemistry at Leibniz University in Hannover and spokesperson for the smartLAB initiative. "We can now quickly and easily apply for defined projects of individual nature, which means that numerous innovations will be developed by the next LABVOLUTION 2017."
The aims of the newly founded network are to develop and standardize innovative lab technologies, and applications and solutions based on these technologies. This will lead to streamlined workflows and improved quality, and at the same time increased efficiency and improved process reliability. The focus will be on the modularization and integration of functionalities and components for an adaptive laboratory environment that can be flexibly and individually adapted to specific requirements. Other important features will include the digitalization and networking of all stages involved in the lab value chain, allowing all relevant information to be provided in real time and processes to be managed and monitored. Finally, the inclusion of robot systems to enable direct and optimized interaction between humans and machines and the automation of processes will also play a key role.
Founded on the initiative of Ellwanger EurA Consult AG, the SmartLAB Innovation Network currently consists of ten SMEs, three large companies and three research institutes from fields such as lab instruments and apparatus, measurement and testing technology, lab equipment and lighting, consumables, software/IT and, last but not least, user labs. Networking and the integration of other stakeholders will strengthen and expand the network, which also remains open to new partners.