by Gabriela Cimpan, Director of Sales, Europe (ACD/Labs)
As the Analytica Trade Fair in Munich came to a close in April, I realized that I had witnessed a tradeshow unlike many others in our industry today. It is probably the largest meeting I’ve participated in with 35,000 visitors and 1,244 exhibitors from 40 countries. The exhibition space spanned five halls in which any and every type of organization linked with laboratory research was represented. Analytica seems to have withstood shrinking travel budgets, mergers and acquisitions, and challenges that have hit the tradeshow circuit In fact, this year’s venue was so large I wish I had taken my trainers (sneakers) to traverse the exhibition space.
The meeting harbored scientific brainstorming, new ideas, and new products. It was a platform for introducing new hardware and launching new science. To sum it up, everything related to laboratory science was represented and without a plan you would be in trouble in the colossal exhibition hall. Also, I was amazed at the unwavering enthusiasm of delegates. After many years participating in tradeshows it was refreshing to speak with so many people keen to learn about how to improve the efficiency and productivity of analytical laboratories. There was a genuine interest in informatics!
The topics of conversation discussed at our booth were an extension of what we hear from customers and collaborators on a daily basis. Over the last 5 years there has been increasing interest in simplified IT landscapes. Pressures within R&D organizations mean that IT professionals are seeking enterprise-wide, global deployments of scientific informatics solutions. They no longer have the capacity or luxury to support numerous software packages. As a result, solutions that integrate into their informatics ecosystem and provide mutually exclusive functionality are very much desired. Inadvertently, this also reduces the burden of software training. At the same time, the last decade of mergers and acquisitions in the pharma/biotech sector; closures and consolidation of research sites; shrinking groups of analytical experts; and increased externalization of R&D, means that management and scientists are united in their search for effective knowledge management and tools that enable decision-support. Today’s scientists are expected to multitask, understand a variety of analytical methods and, if necessary, adapt to fast changing company environments and switch between different job descriptions. With all that in mind, having access to the right software environment can be extremely helpful in this complex environment. While the conversation around databasing of analytical knowledge used to elicit the response, “it would be nice but we haven’t got time to build databases,” organizations now recognize that repeat experiments due to lack of information and the inability to collaborate internally and with partners puts them at a competitive disadvantage.
I felt thoroughly invigorated going back to the office after this event. It can be easy to take for granted the solutions ACD/Labs offers when we’re discussing them on a daily basis to help address the challenges faced by our customers. Speaking with those unfamiliar with us and our technology is a great reminder that ACD/Labs serves a unique space in scientific informatics. The ability of the ACD/Spectrus Platform to process and analyze analytical data in a vendor agnostic platform; and capture live, assembled analytical data, chemical structures and reaction schema, and meta data in a scientifically searchable environment makes it possible for organizations to get answers from analytical data faster, to share analytical intelligence, and to collaborate more easily.