The SmartLab Exchange, which took place from May 18-19, 2022 at the Hotel Palace, Berlin, Germany, is one of the global meetings for lab informatics leaders. Scimcon continues its proud sponsorship of this event, and attended in-person to facilitate one-to-one meetings with a number of informatics customers from big pharma and biotech, and industries including food and beverages.
Scimcon has sponsored both the 2022 SmartLab Exchanges in North America and in Berlin, as these events provided a forum for a community of senior R&D, Quality Assurance and Quality Control decision-makers from industry in North America and Europe. 2022 has provided the ability to transition from virtual to real-life events again, and Scimcon took this as the springboard to meet the industry face-to-face.
Speakers at the SmartLab Exchange Berlin 2022 included the best of the best, with attendees from a range of big name companies including Eli Lilly & Company, BioNTech, Syngenta, Novo Nordisk and Mondelez, among others. SmartLab Exchange is attended by 70 invite-only decision-makers. The unique invite-only format of the event means that both sponsors, speakers and delegates can access a closed community that meets their individual needs.
Feedback and Voice of the Industry
Attending from Scimcon were Geoff Parker and Dave Sanders, and during the event they took the opportunity to poll the customers and contacts from many of the attending organizations, to identify the current 2022 trends in the lab informatics industry. SmartLab Exchange represents the lab informatics community across industries including:
- Medical device
- Food & beverage
- Consumer goods
Geoff and Dave spoke with vendors from many of the 70 attending organizations at Berlin to take a pulse of the mid-year trends in the industry. Geoff explains “We spoke to many of the attending 70 companies during SmartLab Exchange in Berlin to ascertain the biggest challenges and priorities for attendees. Scimcon works globally as a lab informatics consultant and implementation partner, with big pharma and biotech companies as well as vaccine manufacturers. We tend to see similar challenges from lab to lab, from organization to organization, and it is useful to take events like SmartLab Exchange as a means of checking in and ensuring that our understanding of our customers’ needs are current.”
He continues: “Interestingly, having already spoken with attendees at the earlier Florida event, we have also been able to compare the priorities of attendees across both events, to give us a clearer view of what the attendees identify as important, in each geography. In Berlin, we saw a desire to increase speed and accuracy of data, to improve automation of instruments and processes, and a desire to learn from other peers in the industry.”
Summary of trends in lab informatics for the modern lab
In the informal poll of attendees at SmartLab Exchange Berlin, Scimcon was able to identify key trends and themes that are important to the modern lab in 2022.
The subjects identified as highest interest to the delegates were:
- Lab automation
- Instrument connectivity
- Data quality and integrity
Attendees were keen to learn more about data trends for the lab, especially:
- Data integration
- Data storage and archiving
- Data standardization
- Data visualization and reporting
Comparison of priorities for the modern lab identified at USA and EU SmartLab
There were distinct differences in what attendees identified as priorities in North America earlier in 2022, and in Europe in mid-2022. Geoff explains: “We took the trouble of polling two audiences, one at each event, and when Scimcon mapped out the priorities, they are different according to geography. More of the people we spoke with in Berlin mentioned digitization and paperless lab, and what we found was that the Berlin attendees have more specific priorities related to digitization of their labs, so the big-picture focus was more precise: how to automate, how to connect and improve throughput and accuracy, and the tools to underpin this. Unsurprisingly, LIMS was the biggest focus identified in our poll in Berlin, as despite being a decades-old technology, it is at the heart of how labs can remove unnecessary processes and automate their sample workflow more easily. This could be down to the fact that more of the European attendees we spoke to were more manufacturing-focused, whilst the US attendees at the Florida event were more R&D oriented.”
He continues “Earlier this year, on the other hand, we found Florida attendees to be more interested in the data and how to manage it, and in the support they could access from industry consultants who work with market leaders and aide projects in this area. In the big picture, it is interesting to map both geographies against each other, to see what the lab informatics industry is most worried about and sees as challenges to overcome in 2022 and beyond.”
Geoff summarizes “As lab informatics consultants with a global customer base in pharma and biopharma labs, it is important to us to check in with influential decision-makers from the lab, to check the services we provide are matching their needs. SmartLab Exchange in Berlin provided us as sponsors with the useful face-to-face opportunity to poll the attendees and gain insight from trends that will impact the modern lab decision-maker. Scimcon partners with customers globally, and this type of clarity into the market needs is invaluable.”
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