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UK: Trade Fair Record Breaking Numbers for Lab Innovations 2019

Editor: MA Alexander Stark

Lab Innovations celebrated its 8th edition on 30 & 31 October 2019, trumping all records for the event. Attracting 3860 attendees — a 24 % increase on the previous year and the highest numbers so far.

Lab Innovations celebrated its 8th edition on 30 & 31 October 2019, trumping all records for the event.
Lab Innovations celebrated its 8th edition on 30 & 31 October 2019, trumping all records for the event.
(Source: Lab Innovations)

London/UK — At this year's Lab Innovations, over 160 exhibitors displayed a diverse and innovative product offering to visitors from more sectors than ever before, emphasising the event’s place as the UK’s largest annual trade exhibition dedicated to the entire laboratory industry.

Returning once more to Birmingham’s NEC, with lab procurement decision makers making up 75 % of those in attendance, Lab Innovations 2019 was clearly an event driving the business of science. It saw an increase in lab managers of 9 %, scientists 9 %, procurement managers 32 %, chemists 65 % and lab technicians 24 %; demonstrating a true hunger for future-proofing laboratories across the UK.

The buzz of activity across the two days of the event was bursting with business, networking and innovation. Home to a host of sustainable solutions and technologies to future-proof laboratories, Lab Innovations featured exhibitors showcasing products applicable to a plethora of sectors including food & drink, cleanroom, pharmaceuticals, academia, medical and more. Paul Vanden Branden, Director at Scimed commented, “Lab Innovations is the only show where we can display everything we do. Pretty much everyone in this room will be interested in something. Over a couple of days, we can meet existing and new clients from across the country, which would usually take us 2 or 3 months of visiting different sites.”

Building on its reputation as the largest annual gathering of the entire UK laboratory community, Lab Innovations invested in a new meetings concierge service for 2019, enabling visitors and exhibitors to pre-book meetings in advance and make business connections prior to the event. The new matchmaking tool added a further dimension to the available networking opportunities to maximise value for the entire industry.

Visitors were able to source hundreds of products, technologies and solutions for their laboratories from 162 exhibitors. With so many products under one roof, novel products were highlighted in brand new guided ‘Innovation Trails’.

Sustainability is a Major Topic

The subject of sustainability in the lab remains pertinent and continued to be a big focus for the event. The Sustainable Lab feature returned by popular demand for a second consecutive year, showing visitors how even small improvements in technology, procurement and best practice can reduce running costs to make funding go further. Director of Green Light Laboratories, Andy Evans, hosted packed hourly tours in the Sustainable Lab, demonstrating case studies on smart equipment monitoring, fridge performance and fume cupboard loading.

The sustainability theme was extended into the conference programmes with busy sessions advising on the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF), the recycling of metal from electronic waste and the separation of the rare earth metals, along with the recycling of lithium ion batteries.

With new technological developments and digitisation expanding the boundaries of research and science, the popular Insights and Innovation seminars supported lab professionals in future-proofing their laboratory and learning best practice for lab management. Expert speakers demonstrated new technologies that will help accelerate or improve processes, benefit research and keep their laboratory at the forefront of the industry. Topics included ‘Combining AI and Computer Vision to Address Research Challenges’ and ‘Using Virtual Reality in The Lab’, ‘Evolution of UKAS Assessments’, ‘Cannabis Testing — growing pains & how to reach the highs’ and ‘New Approaches to the Skills Crisis’.

Plans for Lab Innovations 2020 are well under way and the organisers already have more fresh ideas to grow the event even further next year. Lab Innovations 2020 will take place on 4 & 5 November at the NEC, Birmingham, UK.