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Shared labs – the best solution to help speed the development of your technology?

April 13, 2021

The world of science and technology moves at a fast pace. Companies are constantly looking for ways to improve their product, while ensuring costs remain low. While trying to find easier, simpler, and speedier ways to continue the development of their product, they also need to manage the admin associated with running a business. deciding where to allocate their investment is some of the painstaking work which has to be undertaken. These decisions are often driven by economics and can be difficult, and sometimes painful, to make.

In 2018 The US Science Board published their spending for 1970-2015. In 2015 alone, they spent $495.1 billion on research and development1. In 2018 the EU dedicated €295 billion to the same area2. And in an article published by CB Insights in 2019, they noted that 70% of technology companies fail, most in their first 20 months3. The low success rate puts additional pressure on start up founders to be more careful with their funds. With lab equipment easily running into the 1,000’s there is often a choice that must be made between purchasing the right equipment to enable the research to continue or just adapting the experimental approach.

This is where shared labs can play an important role - here collaboration and cooperation are the main principles. Using a facility where you not only can share office space but also lab equipment may be a novel idea to some companies - sharing doesn’t fit the narrative of a competitive workspace. However, many companies are now beginning to recognize the benefits offered by such facilities. Here, there is a community of support and collaboration; entrepreneurs can meet, share the experiences of building a company, exchange ideas and work together.

Once the idea of sharing has been embraced, the next hurdle would be to decide where to go. Well, in the spirit of sharing, we have gathered a list of shared lab facilities from around the world, so you can see a snapshot of what is available to you. 

UK

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

Located in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst has been running since 2012.  In addition to being part of the Golden Triangle of research in the UK, Stevenage Bioscience catalyst also provides access to funding, mentorship and networking. It is the ideal location for start-up companies who need to scale up innovation. Tenants have access to two shared labs and one is provided by Cytiva (formerly GE Life Sciences) with the newest kit.

Imperial White City Incubator

Located in west London, Imperial College Incubator opened its doors in 2016 with the goal to be a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship providing office, laboratory space and support for early-stage companies focused on science and technology. 

Germany

Life science factory

Founded in 2019 and initiated by Sartorius, the Life Science Factory promotes scientific progress and the foundation of start-ups in the life science sector. Located in Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Life Science Factory provides state-of-the-art laboratory space while working towards their goal of strengthening research and development of innovative technologies and sparking homegrown entrepreneurial spirit amongst researchers.

Norway

ShareLab

ShareLab, a launchpad for academics, start-ups, and industry developing new products and services based on life science and biotechnology, was founded in 2017. Set in the Oslo Science Park, ShareLab provides a fully equipped lab, lab management services, commercial and scientific network, and coaching to early-stage companies and researchers.

Netherlands

Life Sciences Incubator - Utrecht Science Park

Having opened its doors in 2017 in the Utrecht Science Park, the Life Sciences Incubator (LSI) is home to various innovative life sciences start-ups. Providing a vibrant, dynamic and exciting place to work, the Life Sciences Incubator comprises 4,000 m2 of office space, laboratories and general facilities, including a reception desk and conferencing facilities.

Austria

Startup Labs Vienna Biocenter

Started in 2020 coworking labs in the Vienna BioCentre Campus host workspaces, lab spaces and instruments for young researchers to rent. Providing a cheap and flexible way to conduct research, Startup Labs are home to a total of 60 laboratory and 30 office workplaces. The labs are primarily intended for the fields of biochemistry, biomedicine, biotechnology, genetics, molecular biology and pharmacy.

Switzerland

The 5th Floor CO.LAB

Having opened its doors in Muttenz, Switzerland in November 2020, The 5th Floor CO.LAB are offering a shared laboratory for startups and businesses in need of access to hands-on research in a laboratory. With easy accessibility to instruments and consumables The 5th Floor CO.LAB are helping businesses save money on initial investment into expensive lab equipment by giving them access to the instruments on demand.

US

ABI-LAB

Established in 2016, ABI-LAB accelerates growth and success of startups by fostering a collaborative environment and providing best-in-class equipment and services to entrepreneurs. Located in  Natick, Massachusetts, ABI-LAB provides affordable and move-in ready lab space thus creating a vibrant and collaborative community.

M2D2

Founded in 2007, The Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) in Lowell, Massachusetts offers inventors and executives easy, affordable, and coordinated access to world-class researchers and resources. As well as offering incubator space, M2D2 provides fee-based services in the areas of business planning, product prototype development and clinical pathway assistance.

JLABS

Founded in 2012, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS is a global network of open innovation ecosystems, enabling and empowering innovators across a broad healthcare spectrum. By providing the optimal environment for emerging companies to grow and optimize their R&D, JLABS reaches their goal of removing obstacles to success to help innovators unleash the potential of their early scientific discoveries.

Magnify

Magnify offers entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to grow their businesses at CNSI, within the preeminent research ecosystem of the UCLA campus. We are centrally located at the Court of Sciences, which houses the schools of engineering, physical sciences, life sciences, and medicine. The CNSI houses physical space for companies and affords entrepreneurs utilization of our robust technical and administrative infrastructure.

Brazil

BiotechTown Open Lab

With strong expertise in the development of general bio-businesses and health products, BiotechTown Open Lab was established in Nova Lima in 2018. The center offers an Open Lab structure for startups and companies of all sizes thus enabling them to use the scientific equipment they might be in need of. By doing this, BiotechTown promotes the interaction of companies with universities and research centers thus enabling collaboration in science. 

Israel

BIOHOUSE LABS

Started in 2018, BIOHOUSE LABS located in Jerusalem Bio Park is all about people. Providing a fully equipped laboratory coupled with quick access to the medical center BIOHOUSE LABS ensures to use their experience in assisting startups to easily work on their research projects. Having a variety of spaces such as wet-lab space, designated lab-stations (benches) and shared lab rooms makes BIOHOUSE LABS a highly sought-after shared lab provider in Israel.


BioGiv Excubator 

Located in the high-tech village in Givat Ram, Jerusalem since being founded in 2014, the BioGiv Excubator provides early-stage biotech and biomed companies with access to designated lab space, as well as access to shared equipment and tissue culture facilities, research service centers and experts. Being a one-stop-shop for researchers makes the BioGiv Excubator a competitive place to be. 

India

Bioriidl

Founded in 2017, BioRiiDL is a biotechnology and life science incubator based in Mumbai, India. Being the first community biolab in India, Bioriidl aims to help, nurture and provide services to startups, technology and knowledge-based enterprises who are willing to work in the areas of biotechnology. 

Singapore

NSG BioLabs

Established in 2019 to incubate and support growing life science companies in Singapore, NSG BioLabs offer a conducive R&D environment with scalable laboratory and office infrastructure. By providing 15,000 sq ft of laboratory and office space designed specifically to incubate revolutionary biotechnology related start-ups, NSG BioLabs are aiming to translate innovative technologies into breakthrough biotech ventures.

Australia

Co-Labs Melbourne

Offering affordable lab space and co-working for biotech startups, Co-Labs opened its doors in Melbourne in 2020. Since acknowledging biotech startups in Australia often have a limited runway to make things happen, Co-Labs are aiming to lower the entry barriers into biotech by providing companies and researchers with affordable access to scientific instruments and assistance along the way.

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References

  1. National Science Board (2018), Science & Engineering Indicators 2018. Available at: https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2018/nsb20181/report (Accessed: 26.03.2021)
  2. Europa.eu,(2018),  R & D expenditure. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/R_%26_D_expenditure#R_.26_D_expenditure_by_sector_of_performance (Accessed: 26.03.2021)
  3. CB Insights (2019). 368 Startup Failure Post-Mortems. Available at: https://www.cbinsights.com/research/startup-failure-post-mortem/ (Accessed: 26.03.2021)