There are many examples of product enhancements using improved design and or different materials to create better equipment for the lab….
This incremental advancement can be significant in each step and certainly over time allows products to evolve to a surprising extent, when you stop to compare the latest version to one produced a decade ago.
This is impressive, but what about innovation, rather than evolution?
In my view, truly innovative products are those that solve a problem that has not previously been solved. Or solve an existing problem in an entirely new way; use technologies or materials that have never been used before; or even create a completely new process.
For example, everyone is excited (quite rightly) about the value to be extracted from the ever-greater volumes of data that can be now be captured in the lab.
However, people do not currently collect data and store it in a way that makes the analysis that is to follow easier to perform. This has led to some thriving data integrators, such as Pangaea, set up by three university professors, which cleans the data so that it can then be processed in a tool such as IBM Watson.
Sometime soon, we hope, an equipment manufacturer will design the data collection process backwards from the end point, making the data easier to analyse for better and faster results. When it arrives, this new process will surely be a strong contender for the Innovation Award presented by the Lab Innovations show.
Gerald Law is Chief Executive at Innovation DB the world’s leading database of innovative technologies.They are sponsors of the Innovation Award at Lab Innovations.