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In 2017, Tech Watch rolled out the ‘Technology Innovation Lab’ to facilitate the in-house adoption of pre-commercial or recently commercialized instruments, offering a bridge between external early-access prototypes and commercial walk-away instruments. In the Technology Innovation Lab, life science technology specialists are working, which are trained in the technology platforms and work alongside the VIB research groups to get the technologies launched, handle troubleshooting, train VIB scientists to use the platforms, manage the collaboration with the companies (agreements, project coordination) and help make with the VIB groups strategic decisions on technology implementations at the end of platform evaluations.

In the first years of running the ‘Technology Innovation Lab’, the 10X Genomics Chromium (single cell RNA sequencing), the SGI-DNA BioXp 3200 (benchtop DNA synthesis), the Millidrop (single cell culturing), Oxford Nanopore Technologies GridIon and PromethIon (long-read sequencing) the Akoya Biosciences (single cell proteomics) instruments have been successfully evaluated and subsequent services have been established to provide VIB access to these technology platforms. Ongoing evaluations in the Innovation lab include the Sphere Fluidics Research Instrument (single cell culturing), the Mission Bio Tapestri instrument (single cell targeted DNA sequencing), the Nanoview Biosciences ExoView platform (extracellular vesicles characterization), the Celsee Genesis system (single cell RNA sequencing and CTC enrichment) and the ReFeyn MPOne (Mass photometry).

The ‘Technology Innovation Lab’ has enabled VIB PI’s / scientists to get priority access to breakthrough technologies funded under the Tech Watch program to harvest maximal value. Where possible, external partners from our Technology Network are granted access to the Innovation Lab platforms.

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