If you're familiar with the concept of co-working spaces such as JustCo and Trehaus, did you know that the same concept has been applied to labs?
Our COO, Zhaoru, was interviewed as part of a Nature Career Feature on co-working labs:
Lin Zhaoru co-founded and is chief operation officer of AbAsia BioLabs, a small manufacturer of reagents for research and diagnostics, based at NSG Biolabs. For her team of four, many of the advantages were social. "It's nice not working in isolation," she says.
If you've been following us on LinkedIn (you should!), you would have seen us at the many social events hosted by NSG Biolabs throughout these years.
Our successful, continued ISO13485 accreditation is also due to the long-term support of the NSG team. Their commitment to lab and equipment maintenance and cleanliness, as well as their thoughtful lab design and layout have contributed immensely to the smooth sailing of our audits.
Why did we end up in a shared lab space like NSG?
When we started in 2020, it was smack in the middle of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
In Singapore, we had restrictions on numbers, movement of people and types of activities allowed in order to reduce crowding and therefore the spread of the disease.
If we were to get our own lab space, any form of renovation would have been extremely challenging. Most major construction projects were already anticipating delays of more than a year. A small job like ours would not have even taken off.
Throw in a global logistics challenge and we would likely be facing lead times of months in receiving key pieces of equipment.
Starting at NSG took care of most of these issues. We also had the advantage of generous neighbours, who were happy to loan us consumables before our orders arrived, and who were also good company on late nights.
If you are considering starting your own biotech, answering some of these questions may help you decide where to set up shop:
How much space do you need?
Do you need a dedicated room(s) or are open benches ok?
Do you need a lot of storage space?
How concerned are you with maintaining privacy around your work?
Which pieces of equipment are essential, and will you be able to use these should the site be fully subscribed?
Do you have any particular requirements e.g. cleanroom, cold room etc.?
Does the facility have any of the licenses needed for your consumables/materials?
What is the pricing model like?
Are there any hidden costs?
To find out the other benefits shared lab spaces can have and what others have experienced, read the full Nature article here: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-024-00242-1
If you'd rather reduce your footprint or save yourself the hassle, consider outsourcing your protein production activities to us. Find out more in our Protein Production Services page.