Building a Smart Laboratory 2017 Contents


Welcome to the smart

laboratory Tis year’s edition of Building a Smart Laboratory focuses on the benefits that implementing paperless technologies can provide in both regulated and non- regulated environments. With increasingly stringent regulatory requirements facing many industries, the smart laboratory offers the most efficient and cost-effective way of meeting these requirements. As the data integrity article on page

An introduction to Building a Smart Laboratory 2017


Choosing the right software can be a complex task. This introduction sets out procedures that must be followed to implement paperless technologies in the lab – with a particular focus on data-intensive science and new trends

Data Integrity takes centre stage 6

The smart laboratory can help maintain data integrity. But, as Isabel Muñoz-Willery and Robert Castelnovo discuss, the place to start is with an organisation’s business needs, not the technology and informatics tools themselves

Dealing with data 10

Managing change in the laboratory: informatics providers share their experiences on the importance of using the latest laboratory informatics technology

The smart laboratory 12

An introduction to the concept of a ‘smart’ laboratory based on the

data/information/knowledge triangle – joined-up science. The progressive digitisation of the laboratory offers unprecedented opportunities to increase the efficiency and productivity of scientific work

Data: Instrumentation 14

An overview of the types of laboratory instruments and their capabilities, emphasising the changing requirements for being ‘smart’. We look at the latest progress towards truly digital laboratories

Information: Laboratory informatics tools


An overview of laboratory informatics tools – laboratory information management systems, electronic laboratory notebooks, laboratory execution systems and scientific data management systems – and how convergence is changing the informatics market

Knowledge: Document management


How the smart laboratory contributes to the requirements of a knowledge eco-system, and the practical consequences of joined-up science. Access to, and the preservation of, explicit knowledge has traditionally been achieved with paper; the digital age presents a new set of challenges

Beyond the laboratory 29

How the smart laboratory can help to improve your business, through greater productivity and efficiency, better integration with existing systems, better regulatory compliance, and data integrity and authenticity

Practical considerations

in specifying and building the smart laboratory


How to go about building a smart laboratory; what approaches to take, and how to deal with potential roadblocks. Becoming ‘smart’ takes time – not least because of the investment required, but also because of the impact of the change and the need to consider legacy requirements

Knowledge: Data analytics 40

Taking the theme of knowledge management beyond document handling into the analysis of data to help develop new products or improve existing ones

Summary 41

Pulling together the various threads on how to make the laboratory ‘smart’, and recognising that being smart is a journey, not a destination

References and further reading 42

l Further reading l References

6 highlights, while informatics tools can already solve the regulatory issue for laboratories the correct system must be identified and implemented. Tis requires users to understand the capabilities of a potential system and the needs of the laboratory so that they can properly build their informatics tools from the ground-up with this knowledge. Although the point is made in the

context of data integrity, it is the essence of this entire publication: building a smart laboratory can solve many business problems, but in order to make sure that it is truly ‘smart’ some clear thinking needs to be done in advance. Technology will not do our thinking for us, but the hope is that this guide will offer some pointers along the way to a paperless and smart laboratory. While this guide does provide all the

answers, it does provide an introduction to everyone that faces the challenge of increasing productivity, reducing costs and increasing data integrity – in short, making the laboratory ‘smart’.

The authors of the guide are: Peter Boogaard Industrial Lab Automation Siri Segalstad Segalstad Consulting AS

Joe Liscouski Institute for Laboratory Automation

Charlie Sodano eOrganizedWorld John Trigg phaseFour Informatics Ltd Isabel Muñoz-Willery NL42 Consulting SL Roberto Castelnovo NL42 Consulting SL

Cover image:

Building a Smart Laboratory is published by Europa Science, the publishers of Scientific Computing World (ISSN 1356-7853). ©2017 Europa Science Ltd. 4 Signet Court, Cambridge, CB5 8LA, UK. All images

Tel: +44 (0)1223 221033. Fax: +44 (0)1223 213385.


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