Automata LINQ; Unlocking open, included lab automation


On this interview, we discuss to Mostafa ElSayed, CEO of Automata, about their new, open, included lab automation platform Automata LINQ and the way it unlocks labs’ folks, area and possible.

Please may just you introduce your self, let us know about what Automata does, and what makes it thrilling?


My title is Mostafa ElSayed, and I’m the co-founder and CEO of Automata. Automata is a laboratory automation industry that was once based as a startup in London in 2015. What we paintings on is shifting laboratories in opposition to a fashion of open, included automation, which lets them get admission to the total possible of automation many are lacking nowadays.

In the event you stroll right into a laboratory nowadays, there’s a pervasiveness of partial automation. Within the business display nowadays, you’re going to see a large number of those units that automate a step in a scientist’s workflow.

We’ve observed a large call for available in the market for automation that takes that partial automation and connects it in combination to automate that scientist’s whole workflow. We name this type of automation open, included automation and that’s what we’re considering right here at Automata.

Absolutely automatic high quality regulate for genomics

You’re the CEO and co-founder of Automata, a lab automation corporate. Are you able to let us know a bit bit extra about it? What are a few of your objectives and missions?

Automata was once born from an commentary that automation was once no longer starting off in a spread of markets. We’ve observed the arena of automobile production get remodeled thru automation. We’ve a basic trust that this era can substitute the best way folks paintings.

Being available in the market for goodbye, for 5 years, and promoting loads of our robots, we discovered that buyers have been beginning to use robots increasingly, however they weren’t adopting the era at a scale that might develop into their industry.

We made up our minds two years in the past that for a corporation to actually undertake automation at scale, there’s a substitute that should occur within the control procedure. Automata can not simply be considering part of that adventure. We need to personal that adventure to ship worth to our consumers as temporarily as conceivable. That is the theory of time to science. We’ve remodeled the industry round that concept, each within the sorts of merchandise we make and the groups we create to reinforce our consumers on that adventure.

It’s been a in reality thrilling couple of years. We’ve began to look our consumers and the laboratories that we paintings with undertake this era at scale. They’re now in a position to run their laboratories on the throughput that they up to now weren’t in a position to succeed in and at a reliability price that was once up to now unattainable underneath guide paradigms. For us, this is a in reality thrilling time within the adoption cycle of this era.

Laboratory automation has observed super developments in recent times, with many firms turning to automatic procedures to extend their workflow. What may just automation carry to the existence science area, and which sectors would specifically have the benefit of this?

We see 3 major drivers for automation on this sector. The primary is just like the bread and butter of automation, which is the relief of menial duties. We all know that that is the advantage of automation.

Within the existence sciences, the phrase science is closely dependent at the repeatability and reliability of the effects. It was once stunning to us when visiting laboratories that perform at scale in quite a lot of establishments that their error charges have been throughout the roof. The traceability of a pattern is opaque at absolute best. We’ve observed automation substitute different industries on this admire. I believe it is a transparent get advantages that automation can carry to this marketplace.

The ultimate get advantages is what we’re seeing in areas like next-generation sequencing, prime throughput screening, and experimentation for the explanations of drug discovery. Automation is a basic tenant for them with the intention to do those workflows on the tempo and scale that they wish to reach their goal.

Automata LINQ

Symbol Credit score: Automata

At Automata you might have advanced Automata LINQ, a platform that gives true end-to-end automation by means of each automatically and digitally connecting lab apparatus. Are you able to let us know extra about this? What benefits does the usage of LINQ have no longer just for analysis however innovation additionally?  

We’re large believers in the upward thrust of automation scientists. We’ve observed this position in probably the most maximum modern laboratories that we have got labored with. There’s a newly empowered position in those organizations for a person who’s answerable for the adoption of this era.

Our process is to empower them thru our era. We don’t see ourselves because the mavens of their area. We see ourselves as serving to the ones mavens. For this reason LINQ was once born and why it isn’t only a {hardware} providing. The LINQ combines our totally automatic lab bench, which works into the similar footprint as a normal lab bench whilst offering robot connections between tools, and our device which digitally connects instruemnts and allows true walkaway time. With LINQ, our function is to empower automation scientists to develop into the organizations that they transfer.

You lately attended SLAS 2023. Are you able to let us know extra about what era you showcased right here?

At SLAS this 12 months, we unveiled the LINQ platform for the first actual time. Automata LINQ helps labs at each and every stage of automation, by means of combining 3 elements: the Automata LINQ bench, the Automata LINQ device and a world-class provider, to create a lab automation resolution specialized for each and every lab’s workflow and lab. 

We have been operating demos at our stand appearing the end-to-end automation of media trade, cellular counting and imaging and high quality regulate in genomics functions. Those are only a few examples of the way the platform will also be utilised in labs. As a result of the versatility of each the scale and configuration of the bench (it may be arrange like a linear bench, or as an islan, or to suit round corners), and the truth that it may be included with any collection of third celebration tools, it is in a position to be tailored for any lab or workflow.

At SLAS2023, we had a in reality just right reaction as a result of I believe individuals are intrigued that those functions are conceivable inside this footprint and inside a industry fashion that adapts to them. 

The COVID-19 pandemic put a dangle on many in-person exhibitions and meetings. Why are in-person meetings and exhibitions so necessary for corporations like your self? What benefits do they have got in comparison to digital ones?

For in-person occasions, particularly in this type of marketplace, there’s a ‘display me’ angle. Not anything speaks louder to those automation scientists than for them to look a like-for-like in user. It’s something to coach them about what automation can do. It’s any other factor to turn them.

Once more, you will have to no longer burden those folks with the theory of what can I do with this era? It’s our process to turn them what’s conceivable after which construct merchandise that permit them to scale from there. I believe in-person occasions are an improbable automobile to try this.

The continued COVID-19 pandemic has additionally highlighted the will for speedy, automatic applied sciences regarding checking out functions. What involvement did Automata have inside the COVID-19 pandemic?

COVID-19 was once a chance for us to show two of the corporate’s basic rules that make up our values. The primary is area. That is 50% of the explanation why Automata were given an important collection of initiatives right through the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been in a position to talk to the urgency of our consumers and display a capability to reply. We embed folks on your laboratories when you’ve got the dimensions that makes it essential. The opposite issue that COVID-19 confirmed is what can occur while you automate in relation to turnaround time and scale. One more reason we have now observed good fortune right through COVID is that the science was once being found out as we went alongside. On the earth of conventional automation, that may be a very tough paradigm.

In the event you communicate to a couple of our consumers, you’re going to see that one of the vital major causes they selected us is as a result of we paintings on 48-hour turnaround instances by means of adapting our platform to suit the purchasers’ wishes. Moreover, we are actually in a spot the place they are able to do it themselves thru our product.

Those equipment will have to by no means get in the best way. This is one thing we see closely on this marketplace. The device will also be basically nice, however again and again the weather related to that device can turn into bulky for those scientists.

Absolutely automatic media trade and supernatant sampling

Are you hopeful that with greater consciousness surrounding the benefits of firms automating their workflow, we can see extra researchers the usage of a lot of these platforms?

We’re seeing a degree of hobby, call for, and consciousness that lets no longer have imagined previous to the pandemic. We arrange an advisory board and what they’re seeing at the floor is fantastic.

What we also are seeing in genomics, for instance, is the universality of those era platforms, which is in reality thrilling. It displays that genetic platforms are appropriate to all kinds of diagnostic makes use of. Up to now, this universality was once rather crippling.

With this type of era, which we have now observed within the NHS, is that you’ll take those platforms and construct a genomics or genetics issue. That is the place you space era underneath one roof that products and services various diagnostic verticals. To me, if that isn’t the long term, I have no idea what’s.

What recommendation would you give to researchers or firms wanting to begin the usage of automation however are not sure the place to start out?

At first, it’s more uncomplicated than you assume. Search for individuals who make it simple for you. Don’t glance for individuals who have opaqueness and credibility blended. The second one is that we discover good fortune the quickest, this concept of time to science, for patrons who needless to say they’re the mavens of their assays. The purchasers are the mavens in their workflows, and we assist them automate them.

As era suppliers, we wish to make those equipment be just right for you. I believe it’s that synergy between no longer preaching about consumers’ workflows or clinical processes and respecting that they’re the subject material skilled of their box.

We additionally see an important ‘land and extend’ mentality on this marketplace. A large number of those folks are actually happy with the theory of liquid dealing with, for instance. This is a very small step to query what will also be automatic in a liquid dealing with operation. This in the long run drives the seed of substitute. Then 3 months or so down the road, firms may have automatic greater than 43% in their total procedure.

We’ve observed this in individuals who have followed automation for the primary time. To begin with, they didn’t also have automatic liquid dealing with. We’ve been in laboratories the place automation is their bread and butter, and they’re recognized for the dimensions of automation they have got. Automating a procedure step by step is a in reality necessary a part of the adventure for organizations to undertake this type of era.

What do you consider the way forward for laboratory automation and robotics will seem like inside the existence sciences business?

We strongly consider in and reinforce the upward thrust of automation. We consider that this may occasionally develop into the business. There will likely be increasingly more laboratories with totally automatic workflows at some point. This permits extremely quick turnaround instances and extremely fast-changing instances. In the end, the advantages are the versatility and the dimensions of experimentation.

We also are seeing, in the United Kingdom, for instance, the theory of empowering individuals who up to now may just no longer get admission to automation as a result of they didn’t have the dimensions to financially argue for automation.

If you construct this concept of a manufacturing unit and a horizontal era platform that products and services various folks inside the similar group, whether or not that’s the NHS, a personal diagnostic supplier, a biotech analysis company, or a CRO, you abruptly have a capability to come to a decision who can get admission to automation in the ones organizations. This barrier hugely comes down. To make use of a not unusual phrase, the democratization of who can get admission to this era rises.

In the end, we’re seeing probably the most maximum modern organizations advertise concepts like totally light-out rainy laboratories, which for folks like us is amazingly thrilling. You’ll be able to see the advantages rather obviously. All of it pertains to scale, flexibility and reliability whilst empowering a company’s scientists and operators to do extra significant paintings.

Laboratory Automation

Symbol Credit score: PopTika/

What’s subsequent for Automata?

At Automata, we really feel like we’re simply getting began. Within the ultimate two years, folks have began to grasp what we’re looking to do, and they’re adopting our angle at scale. We’ve moved them throughout that automation adventure, and they’re beginning to see some great benefits of this era and scale.

For us, that suggests launching the LINQ globally this 12 months. It method geographic growth into those thrilling markets that we see in america from our house base of the United Kingdom and Western Europe. It method doubling down at the use instances that we see nowadays which are extremely thrilling. There are a selection of use instances, for instance, areas like cellular tradition and next-generation sequencing.

Because of the corporate’s expansion within the ultimate two years, ultimate 12 months we closed a $50 million fundraiser to permit us to reinforce that growth. We’re hiring around the crew from a industrial point of view, a product point of view, and an engineering point of view.

We need to deepen our partnerships with firms that we have got been running with over the past two years, even possibly bringing a couple of firms into the umbrella of Automata. I believe there’s room for a few Eu firms to upward thrust on this area. I believe the east and west coast have this fantastic skill to construct those fantastic change-making organizations. We see many firms doing wonderful issues in the United Kingdom, however they don’t have get admission to to that scale. If they may have get admission to to it thru Automata, that will be a surprisingly thrilling factor.

About Mostafa ElSayed

Mostafa ElSayed is the CEO and co-founder of Automata, a world-class, London-based automation corporate disrupting the existence sciences business by means of developing and deploying totally automatic answers into labs the world over. Its present workflow automation providing, LINQ allows labs to free up their folks, area and possible by means of providing true walkaway time, expanding throughput and making improvements to the standard of effects.Mostafa ElSayed

Previous to co-founding Automata, Mostafa spent 5 years at Zaha Hadid Architects, changing into the Lead Dressmaker of the company’s Computation and Design Team. Automata was once born from Mostafa’s fascination with the potentials of design, engineering, and robotics to develop into office efficiencies and output.

Automata is nowadays a pacesetter in open, included automation in existence sciences, the place Mostafa spearheads the corporate’s imaginative and prescient and innovation with one eye to the way forward for existence science automation. Automata is replacing perceptions that automation era is costly and sophisticated and redefining what it method to ‘paintings’, empowering industries to automate up to now unhealthy, uninteresting, and hard bodily paintings.  

About Automata Applied sciences

Automata is a number one robotics and automation corporate powering the laboratories of the longer term. Our undertaking is to free up labs’ area, folks, and possible thru automation {hardware} and device.

Our lab automation era is environment friendly, scalable and dependable and successfully carries out regimen duties, to disencumber scientists to paintings on cutting edge analysis. 

We meet labs the place they’re on their automation adventure, and are the depended on spouse to consumers together with trusts inside the NHS, and The Francis Crick Institute. We also are supporting developments throughout Core Checking out Labs, Instructional Institutes, CDMOs, Pharma’s and Biotech’s.

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