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An 'effective' report.

Laboratory Equipment's 26th annual Lab Trends Report focuses on research effectiveness in 2015. The editors asked readers via a survey numerous questions pertaining to effectiveness in the laboratory--such as, how they define research effectiveness, how their organization and management support it, what tools and techniques they rely on the most to achieve it, how their research effectiveness has changed in the past five years, and more.

Contributing Editor Tim Studt, who has more than 25 years of experience in the industry, used the survey data and other proprietary information to create this report.

As in past years, he examines the difference between physical and life science researchers-- this time in regards to their own effectiveness, their manager's effective and their company's effectiveness. For example, life science researchers find their research managers slightly more effective than do their physical science research counterparts (which includes engineers). In the survey, nearly half (48%) of the life science researchers indicated that their research managers were mostly effective, while physical science researchers responded with 40%.

Unsurprisingly, money and costs were identified as the top element that limits a researcher's effectiveness. While the focus of the Lab Trends Report changes every year, money/funding always finds a way to get into the conversation--and in the past five years or so, it hasn't been presented in a positive light. According to survey respondents, the cost of performing research, inadequate research funding and old laboratory equipment and analytical instruments are the primary elements that limit research effectiveness.

On the other hand, researchers' experience and laboratory equipment and instrumentation were identified as the primary mechanisms for supporting an organization's research goals and effectiveness. Given the technological advancements of the last decade--which seem to only be beginning--it is reassuring to hear that high-performance equipment has a true impact on researchers' work.

As you can read in my interview with Mary Lavin, President of Sartorius Corp., it is a challenge for manufacturers to develop innovative equipment that makes lab professionals want to own something new--a challenge industry seems to be meeting, according to our survey respondents.

Finally, no report is finished without a look into the future--in this case, the expected drivers for lab system improvements by 2020.

Survey respondents identified automation, productivity and economics as the top three drivers for lab system improvements in the next five years. This information is reflective of the current laboratory environment, where researchers are being asked to do more with less. Hence, they need automation to eliminate some manual tasks, which would then free them up to be more productive.

Michelle Taylor


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Title Annotation:Editor's Note
Author:Taylor, Michelle
Publication:Laboratory Equipment
Date:Sep 1, 2015
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