Insights from SLAS2022

masked attendees at a conference

It was phenomenal to be a part of SLAS2022 last week in Boston. For us at HighRes, it was an excellent opportunity to see all of our friends and frenemies, connect with current and prospective clients, enjoy a few drinks and laughs with the SLAS community, and learn more about current directions and future trends. With SLAS2022 now over, several of my colleagues and I shared our feedback on what we learned, liked, and did not like during the conference. This blog shares our perspective on the conference, our community, and the lab automation market. 

First, we find AI in-silico design is the next big thing in the discovery space with the bottleneck being the “make” and “test” steps that happen in the physical world. There is a greater need for automation and particularly solutions that will help drive cost and time out of the “make” and “test” parts for the DMTA cycle. 

Second, cloud labs and workflow orchestration have a critical mass of providers who desire to provide a solution. This product space, however, is still very nascent. The current market solutions will require more time to mature and provide solutions that will provide a positive impact for scientists and organizations. That said, we are very excited by this trend as it validates our position that the digital transformation in the life science market is accelerating.  

Third, continuing along the lines of our market’s digital transformation, we see a split amongst software solution providers into two camps. The first camp proposes an all-encompassing platform solution approach, which means those vendors provide an entire company-centric solution to the client. The second camp is taking a best-of-breed approach, which means those vendors provide an open platform for integrations. It is unclear which camp will provide the best solution within our evolving market. Time will tell. 

Lastly, there has been a historical positioning, led by several liquid handling vendors, to process samples in batch mode. This has been the prevailing preference of many scientists for an exorbitantly long time. At HighRes, we pioneered the push for continuous sample flow for improved sample uniformity. During SLAS2022, we saw increased interest from many attendees with highly automated labs to support the combination of continuous sample processing along with batch processing. 

At HighRes, we are extremely excited about the future of scientific discovery, lab automation, and taking the next steps with you.  We look forward to seeing everyone at our next SLAS gathering in Dublin, Ireland. 

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