The goal of digitalization initiatives in life science companies is to improve experimental reproducibility, reduce errors, and increase productivity. Efforts to implement these initiatives are high because of inconsistent infrastructures, poor or lacking integration interfaces, and diverse personal skill sets.
At the online KNIME Data Talks - Lab Data on April 22, 2021, industry experts met to discuss how these challenges can be overcome. The line-up included speakers from BASF SE, the SiLA Consortium, Biosero, Merck, Hit Discovery Constance, and KNIME.
Talks presented topics such as the value of end to end lab automation, measuring cell density with KNIME and SiLA, chemometrics and the analysis of NIR data, and using KNIME to FAIRify data.
A common tenor in all the presentations was the importance of connectivity: among lab devices and computer systems to bring greater speed, quality, and flexibility in lab automation - in research data to streamline the analysis process - and in lab teams where an easily adopted open data science tool facilitates collaboration.
Patrick Courtney (SiLA Consortium), who presented the SiLA standard for interoperability in the laboratory, particularly stressed the importance of connecting lab devices and computer systems to enable automatic control and analysis.
Jeany Prinz, Head of Life Sciences at KNIME and life sciences data scientist, Alice Krebs, moderated the two-hour online event. It was attended by over 250 people from labs in industry and academia, from a wide range of fields, such as toxicology, computational chemistry, analytical chemistry, manufacturing engineering, and applied environmental science.
“The presentations met with a very positive response,” commented Jeany Prinz, “and confirmed just how powerful KNIME is in the lab, also through the SiLA integration. Thinking of KNIME not only as an analysis but also as an orchestration tool, as described by Michael Koeppl from Hit Discovery Constance, opens new avenues in the life sciences space.”
A lively panel discussion concluded the event examining how the specific struggles in lab digitalization can be solved. Mireille Krier, Laboratory Manager at Merck, highlighted how the easy adoption of KNIME has empowered her team to collaborate more effectively. The panel also took questions from the audience, such as the role FAIR principles play in their daily work, which are most challenging to implement, and ...whether humans really are better than robots?!