What main changes are driving innovation in the lab?
Data-driven decisions on space and equipment usage, self-driving labs, secure IoT for monitoring, and remote collaboration.
Can you elaborate on these changes within your organization? What data do you capture, why is it important, and how is it utilized?
We're enhancing resource control and investment strategies, especially as we adopt a shared lab concept. Data including power consumption, equipment logs, and calendar bookings contain insights into instrument utilization. Shared labs require insights into instrument usage to guide decisions on procurement, whether to buy, rent, or lease. We also optimize maintenance and placement based on usage patterns. Our focus is enabling data-driven decisions on CapEx, OpEx, and scientific workflows.
Have these changes led to positive outcomes in space and equipment utilization?
The idea of monitoring lab equipment utilization and space occupancy yielded favorable returns in parallel pilots. We plan to expand these strategies globally in 2024.
You mentioned self-driving labs. How far along is Roche in implementing this, and what challenges arise?
We're in early stages, proceeding incrementally. While appealing, self-driving labs come with significant costs. Change management poses another hurdle, altering scientific processes and roles. Preserving lab identity while embracing innovation is crucial.
What challenges have you faced in change management and how were they tackled?
We adopt a step-by-step approach, focusing on quick pilots for success and partnering with the right stakeholders. Successful internal pilots make it easier to extend changes to other colleagues.
Data automation is anticipated to impact the Lab of the Future. How do you envision this in 10 years?
Simplifying data access and organization is key. AI might assist in data analysis and hypothesis generation, though practicality must be separated from hype.
What's on your horizon?
A current focus remains on equipment and space utilization. Space optimization, crucial in land-constrained locations like Basel, is a future priority. Changes in lab workflows, a shift towards dry labs, and adapting infrastructure to support scientists are also areas of interest. AI's influence in pharma R&D is an exciting new venue but may take longer due to industry conservatism and regulatory constraints.
Could you summarize the key themes you'll address at the Lab of the Future Congress?
I'll discuss our journey implementing equipment utilization monitoring.
We are looking forward to hearing more from our Lab Operations Track speakers at the Lab of the Future Europe Congress 2023, on the 26th and 27th of September, at the Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam. To find out more about their sessions, and view the rest of the programme, navigate to the agenda page on our website.