5 Types of Industries That Can Benefit from Co-Working Labs


Co-working is a term that people don’t often associate with laboratory work.

 

When people think about co-working spaces, they usually visualise open-concept floor plans with designated areas for desktop work, meetings, and coffee breaks. Professionals who make use of these spaces mostly belong to the freelancing, IT, marketing, and public relations sectors rather than the sciences.

Co-working labs are indeed a niche concept, one that seeks to bring the co-working business model to a unique market. By offering laboratory space for rent, co-working labs in Singapore enable startups and early-stage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to speed up research and development (R&D) and the commercialisation of their products or technologies. This lease-based model eliminates burdens driven by equipment unavailability, safety concerns, and the high costs of lab construction.. 

Saving on expenditures allows biotechnology companies to realign their focus towards R&D while allowing colleagues to better collaborate and to bring groundbreaking ideas to a wide range of markets. 

In this article, we will be looking at some of the sectors that biotech firms can easily disrupt by having their R&D supported by a cost-effective lab space.

Biopharmaceuticals

The biopharmaceutical industry has had a grip on the world’s attention over the past couple of years as the general public thirsted for updates on COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and testing methods. But even without this pandemic-driven clamor, biopharma has always been an important industry as it involves the development of new medicines and treatment options for both minor and critical diseases and medical conditions.

Products of biopharma R&D include personalised medicines specific to an individual’s biological makeup and curative therapies that relieve the demand for prescription medications. 

Biomedical Engineering and Biorobotics

Biomedical engineers work to alter genetic information and imitate the biological systems of humans or animals. One important biomedical engineering concept is synthetic biology, which has allowed life-saving practices such as cell and organ transplants. Synthetic biology is meticulous and requires extensive lab work, particularly in areas such as cellular agriculture, tissue engineering, and genome editing.

In contrast, biorobotics revolves around infusing the functionalities of living organisms into mechanical systems to create machinery with heightened sensory capabilities. Biorobotics has paved the way for products like advanced prosthetics, which are designed to recover physical functions that have been eliminated by accidents or genetic deficiencies. Combined with neural engineering, biorobotics has allowed scientists to develop artificial skin receptors and other key components of highly advanced replacement limbs.

Novel concepts such as nanotechnology and artificial intelligence can also help scientists develop precision intervention and diagnosis technologies for cancer, chronic pain, inflammatory conditions, and infectious diseases. Beyond medical applications, biorobotics can aid the development of animal-like machinery for logistical systems and military weapons.



Consumer Products

Chemical engineering is largely responsible for the development of everyday products such as cosmetics, cleaning agents, and plastics. As consumers become more conscious of these products’ chemical components, they begin seeking products and brands that not only work well for their everyday needs but are also better for the planet than products from the past. Enterprises can bank on this demand by developing natural, sustainable, or environmentally friendly products that maximise function while minimising environmental impact. 


For instance, researchers can find ways to create novel “plastics” that are derived from plants and other organic materials. Other applications of biochemistry R&D include low-VOC paints, non-toxic toys, and body care products that are made from naturally derived ingredients. The development of biofuel from biomass or plant and animal waste should also be of interest, especially with the rapid depletion of fossil fuels and the ongoing climate crisis.


Agriculture and Food Science

Nutrition and agriculture are also key areas that rely heavily on lab work. Pesticides, including insecticides and herbicides, have been the subject of controversy for decades due to the negative impact these products have on many non-target life forms, including keystone avian, amphibian, aquatic, and insect species. Biochemists can experiment with ways to produce effective pesticides and other agrochemicals that do not have adverse toxicological effects on harmless animal and plant life. Lab work can also lead to the development of better fertilisers as well as agricultural products that enable practices such as indoor farming and high-tech horticulture.

Additionally, biochemists can use lab resources to drive improvements in crop quality, product shelf life, and nutritional content in food products. They can also help identify ways to provide potable water and an ample, inexpensive supply of nutritious food, especially in poverty-stricken parts of the world.

Bioremediation and Environmental Conservation


Sometimes, the best way to clean up the planet is to use what is already in the biosphere. Bioremediation involves using plants, plant enzymes, fungal agents, and microorganisms to detoxify environments and eliminate contaminants in soil, water, and air. Scientists can work in labs to develop methods of removing toxic chemicals, organic pollutants, and other domestic waste that destroy natural resources. Bioremediation has played a big role in saving the planet, as seen in efforts to use hydrocarbon-eating microbes to remove oil spills that negatively impact marine life.

Grow Your Ideas⁠—From the Lab and Beyond

The global biotech industry is poised to grow to USD 3 trillion by 2030. But aside from being a highly profitable sector, biotech offers a great potential to make quality of life better for many people . Having a lack of resources should not stop you from taking the first step towards this noble goal. By taking advantage of co-working labs’ more accessible way of doing R&D, your firm can contribute to changing lives for the better and shaping a more sustainable world.



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