New Lab Network – sharing knowledge and sustainability

KI Science Park recently launched the Lab Network for their member companies that have laboratory and R&D activities. The initiative is done in collaboration with A Working Lab. The aim is to promote a closer collaboration between the member companies through the exchange of knowledge and experiences. The network aims at bringing companies closer together, narrowing the gap between academia and industry, and to explore synergies with sustainability in focus.

Why a Lab Network?

Many of KI Science Park’s member companies have laboratory-based activities. To promote collaboration and increase the exchange between the companies and also between industry and academia, KI Science Park recently initiated the Lab Network together with A Working Lab, a coworking concept from Akademiska Hus for start-ups and small businesses within life sciences at Campus Solna. The companies were invited to a kick-off event at the end of February.

Several areas were highlighted during the meeting where the companies have common challenges: sharing knowledge and experiences regarding methods, lab equipment and collaborations. Also, when the need for new equipment arises, maybe someone in the network has experience or even an instrument they could make available? Unexpected shortage of supplies or problems with instruments are also examples of what companies face, but that could be easily remedied through a tighter network.

– The value of bringing together individuals from both the lab co-working environment at A Working Lab and the more established member companies with various backgrounds in such a format was evident. And the larger companies are eager to share their experiences and pay it forward to the start-ups and small businesses. The Lab network is a great example of the value of community and what we can achieve together to address interests and needs together," says Sara Gunnerås, COO at KI Science Park AB.

– This forum will contribute not only to the exchange of information and experiences but will also have a focus on sustainability. Some of the topics of interest are having, routines for the safe disposal of hazardous waste, and learning more about recycling and reusing instruments, all particularly important for startup companies. There is great value in having the startups at A Working Lab meeting more established companies, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel every time! We are more innovative working together, which is the idea behind A Working Lab, said Armando Cázares-Körner who is Lab Manager at A Working Lab.

What happens next?

The meeting left everyone wanting more and the next meeting is already being planned, the focus at the next network meeting will be for the companies to get to know what their neighbours work with in more detail. Both Sara and Armando see a potential in developing the Lab Network further with study visits and open events for even broader interactions.

– There was also an interest in finding out more about the research infrastructure available within the region, such as core facilities at Karolinska Institutet and SciLifeLab and possibilities for access and collaboration. As this is prioritized from several perspective within the region, we feel encouraged to also look closer at opportunities for collaboration and how to support this interest further, Sara Gunnerås concludes.


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