Lab Innovations – the UK’s only dedicated showcase for laboratory, analytical and biotech equipment – is returning to the NEC in Birmingham on the 1st and 2nd of November for its sixth consecutive year. The UK is a global leader in research and development, and many of these advances will be showcased at the event, with over a third of exhibitors choosing Lab Innovations as the platform to launch cutting-edge technologies and enhanced product portfolios to help drive laboratory efficiency. Organised by Easyfairs, this free-to-attend show features more than 150 manufacturers and suppliers of laboratory products. And, as the largest such gathering in the UK, it offers the ideal opportunity to discover the latest innovations in laboratory technology. 

Everything the laboratory needs

Lab Innovations has much to offer science professionals, from laboratory technicians, analytical scientists, engineers and managers, all the way up to chief executive officers. A diverse selection of exhibitors covers a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, life sciences, chemical, pharmaceutical, food and drink, education, medical and healthcare, government, and water and wastewater. The exhibition offers the opportunity to take a step away from online or paper catalogues, and see the products up close and in person. With leading suppliers and manufacturers all under one roof, visitors will have the perfect chance to discover the latest developments and product releases, browsing the stands and discussing state-of-the art technologies as they wander around the exhibition hall. First-time exhibitors for 2017 will include Microlit, Thermo Fisher Scientific, VWR International, Alphatech, LabVantage Solutions and GS Biotech, which will have its recently launched range of innovative CO2/tissue culture incubators on public display for the first time.  

Following the launch of its new life science catalogue at Lab Innovations 2016, Scientific Laboratory Supplies (SLS) has enjoyed a successful year, and will be exhibiting again alongside returning companies such as Shimadzu and Eppendorf, with the latter demonstrating its new ‘smart network’ device management software, VisioNize®. This blend of new and returning companies will provide the perfect environment for effective face-to-face business conversations and, with over 30 per cent of exhibitors launching new products at the show, there will never be a better time to ask questions about the technologies and applications. 

An educational experience

Lab Innovations continues its strong links with the scientific community, with partners for 2017 including GAMBICA, Laboratory News, the Science Council, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), Innovation DB and UKSPA. Over the course of the two days, more than 35 hours will be dedicated to seminars and discussions focused on current hot topics, with a packed schedule spread across three live theatres covering the latest trends in laboratory science. 

Live Lab returns to the show floor with demonstrations of a wide range of the exhibitors’ most recently released products. This will be complemented by the all new Insights and Innovations theatre. Designed to address pressing issues facing the industry today, it will feature debates and presentations about the latest advances in food and drink technology, life sciences and pharma, as well as taking a look at laboratory sustainability, funding strategies in the face of Brexit, laboratory information management systems (LIMS) and the labs of the future. The panel discussion Automation vs training is sure to raise some interesting questions; increasingly automated laboratories may well be the future of high output research, but what is the cost of this to the training and availability of new scientists?

Continuing the long association between the RSC and Lab Innovations, the RSC theatre returns with an engaging programme that will be sure to pique the interest of exhibitors and visitors alike. From artificial intelligence in drug discovery to automated laboratories and counterfeit pharmaceuticals, there is something for everyone. No doubt, many people will be interested in An embarrassment of riches: Plant cannabinoids, endocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids, a presentation by Steve Alexander, associate professor in molecular pharmacology at the University of Nottingham Medical School. He will bring his expertise to bear upon the growing scientific interest in cannabis, exploring its potential medical applications and the current lack of successful cannabinoid medicines. In addition, the event will also include sessions from the RSC’s careers service – Get the skills to beat the robots – helping scientists future-proof their careers in light of the changing and complex labour market. 

Keynote presentations make an important contribution to the conference arena, and the RSC has engaged two exceptional speakers; science writer and broadcaster Adam Rutherford, and award-winning product design engineer Jude Pullen. Adam is the host of BBC Radio 4’s flagship science programme, Inside Science, and will be drawing on his experiences as a scientific adviser for the film industry as he talks about Pipetting in Hollywood: my life as a scientific advisor in films. With experience working on Word War Z (2013), Ex Machina (2014) and Life (2017) among others, Adam is well-placed to comment on the relationship between science and storytelling, and will also be touching on his not-so-secret mission to tap into the potential of blockbusters and popular culture to normalise science. On a different note, Jude will be taking an anecdotal look into Scratching the inventor’s itch, exploring the environment needed to foster scientific curiosity and creativity within the constraints of commercial viability. Jude’s fascination with solving unconventional problems led to him becoming a member of the BBC’s successful Big Life Fix team, and he will be drawing upon his experiences of working at Sugru and Dyson to help identify what sets innovative companies apart. 

A ‘must attend’ event

With so much on offer, Lab Innovations has something for everyone. Come and hear inspiring speakers, find out about the latest product launches, network with fellow innovators, and get involved in interactive seminars and hands-on demonstrations. It’s an event not to be missed.

Visit to keep up-to-date with news and see a full list of exhibitors, or follow @LABINNOVATIONS on Twitter.

Submitted on 12/09/2017