News & Views
Flying the flag for sustainability at Lab Innovations 2023
Sep 26 2023
The UK’s largest laboratory trade fair leads the way for scientific sustainability and innovation
Lab Innovations is once again gathering the brightest minds and the most exciting developments from the laboratory industry at the NEC, Birmingham, on 1-2 November to champion a green approach to science and technology. Visitor registration is open now and attendees can experience exhibits on robotics and automation, interactive sustainability environments, live theatre demonstrations and the highly coveted Lab Awards.
Last year, Lab Innovations hosted 192 exhibitors, including notable companies such as SLS, SciMed, IKA, Shimadzu, Analytix, Getinge, PerkinElmer, Antylia Scientific (formerly Cole-Parmer) and Veolia Water Technologies. With that number set to grow in 2023 following last year’s record rebooking rate, Lab Innovations has expanded its floorplan for 2023’s show allowing visitors to meet with more companies than ever before. All sectors across the laboratory spectrum will be represented, from biotech and pharmaceuticals to cleanroom and food and drink.
In 2022, 4,213 attendees visited Lab Innovations, which was a 35% increase on 2021’s attendance and the highest attendance for a Lab Innovations show to date - this is expected to grow again for 2023’s show. Upwards of 200 suppliers will be on hand for discussions and there will be more than 40 hours of content between the live theatre formats. Attendees will be able to earn continuing professional development (CPD) points from the talks and presentations at the show.
“The engagement, the size, the scale and the sense of celebration at Lab Innovations 2022 has been off the charts,” glowed Jane Banks, External Relationships Manager at the Science Council, at last year’s show. “Sometimes you forget the unique conversations you can have face-to-face, and the show has been evidence of that.”
A trip to the theatre
Lab Innovations is home to four free-to-attend theatre programmes: the Royal Society of Chemistry Theatre, the Insights & Innovation Theatre, the Cleanroom Hub and Live Lab. After a successful show in 2022, the Live Lab Theatre, which is the home of live technical demonstrations during the show, has doubled in size for 2023’s event. This means there are more opportunities than ever for exhibitors to showcase their technologies.
The Sustainable Lab is also back, run as always by Green Light Laboratories (GLL). Andy Evans, Director of GLL, has been advising laboratory end users about how to use their equipment in the most environmentally friendly way possible for over a decade.
“Lab Innovations is a great opportunity for end users to see how our equipment works in a real laboratory environment and how the data we’ve collected can be replicated in their own labs to help them to be more sustainable,” reported Evans in 2022.
The Royal Society of Chemistry and Insights & Innovations Theatres, the latter sponsored by PerkinElmer, are some of the most engaging displays of innovation and progress available for the professional audience. Expert speakers will share their advice on sustainable practices and even lessons from the Amazon jungle for a sustainable lab.
After a tremendous reception in 2022, the Sustainability Trail will also return to the NEC to wind its way across the show floor. The most sustainable solutions offered by the top exhibitors in each sector will be mapped out, with visitors able to take a guided tour of the eco-friendly products and services on show.
Ask the Experts
The number one reason that visitors come to Lab Innovations from all across the UK and Ireland is to find answers to their questions about developments in the lab industry and their current way of working. Who better to answer those questions than experts from the world-leading manufacturers exhibiting at the show? In 2023, one-to-one sessions - available to book via the event app - with these informed, helpful representatives will be available for the first time as part of the Live Lab content theatre.
The dedicated Ask the Expert space will give visitors access to the brains behind the instrumentation and equipment that they use day-to-day, with time reserved for the questions specific only to your needs and the answers that only the experts can provide. Practical and sustainable tips about how best to use their equipment, how to maximise its operational lifetime and specialised insights for different applications are just a registration away.
“Lab Innovations is a really important show for us,” said Paul Vanden Branden, Director at SciMed, in 2022. “It is a great opportunity to hear from customers in person, so we can fully understand their requirements and operational situations and work with them to deliver solutions that meet their needs.”
The SmartLab area, sponsored by Automata, is a brand-new feature for Lab Innovations 2023. This space in the NEC will be dedicated to AI, digitisation, robotics, automation and the smart technologies that are paving the way to the laboratories of the future.
Automatic sample preparation or product purification to streamline your workflow, robotic assistants to optimise menial tasks around the lab and laboratory management software to help translate your research into results. All this and more will be on display in the SmartLab area, with experts on hand from the exhibitors to answer the questions specific to your needs as a customer.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the most hotly tipped tool to change the way lab work is conducted over the coming years and decades. From AI-based imaging for superior visualisation of chemical and biological processes to accelerated drug development from candidate molecule library searches to personalisation of medical treatment, the research field is advancing at a marvellous pace. Lab Innovations is your one-stop destination to learn about all these developments and find out how they can boost your research or business.
The SmartLab area will also host a brand-new start-up innovation zone. Here, visitors will find the most exciting tech start-ups from the UK and beyond, those companies pushing the boundaries of progress even further with radical ideas and products.
“I’ve very much enjoyed Lab Innovations this year,” commented Jacqueline Balian, sector head for laboratory technology at GAMBICA, speaking at last year’s show. “Lots of our members come to this event and they see it as one of the key events in the calendar year. We will definitely be here next year.”
The Lab Awards
The Lab Awards are back and bigger than ever at this year’s show, where winners will be crowned in categories such as sustainability, collaboration and innovation. Although the deadline for submissions has passed, tickets for the event are still available and some award sponsorship places are open.
In previous years, the lab awards have been hosted on the exhibition floor at Lab Innovations, but, this year, the thirteen winners will claim their prizes on the evening of November 1 at The Vox, Birmingham as part of a special black-tie gala dinner. In addition to old favourites, new awards have been added to recognise rising stars, lab technicians and smart labs. Those shortlisted for an award can purchase a ticket at a discounted rate.
“The Lab Awards are an opportunity for the whole lab industry to come together and celebrate the very best of our achievements over the past year,” said Simon Farnfield, Event Director at Lab Innovations. “The brightest minds and the most dedicated professionals from the lab world will gather to recognise the hard work and innovation of their peers - and have a great night while they do it.”
On the evening of the awards, the Vox will play host to a black-tie gala dinner and a special host, who will be announced soon, will present the winners with their prizes. The gala dinner is made possible this year by the huge growth in interest in the lab awards across its first two years of running, with industry highly valuing wins at the event.
“We’re really privileged and grateful for our efforts to be recognised finally after months of hard work,” explained Magdalena Karlikowska, CEO of Cytecom, as she accepted the Best Technology Innovation award in 2022.
Visitor registration for Lab Innovations is open now and you can sign up for your ticket to the largest congregation of the British and Irish laboratory community. Sustainability, automation, innovation and celebration are all on the agenda at the NEC, Birmingham on 1-2 November: come and join us.
Lab Innovations 2023: FACTS & FIGURES
- Exhibition dates: Wednesday-Thursday 1st and 2rd November 2023
- Venue: NEC Birmingham, Halls 3 & 3a
- Opening hours: Wednesday 1st November from 9:00-17:00, Thursday 2rd November from 9:00-16:00.
- More information is available here
- Free tickets are available online here
International Labmate look forward to meeting you at Lab Innovations 2023
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