Start-ups may have just found a new best friend. Say hello to Science Exchange, a marketplace that allows laboratories to rent out their equipment and run experiments for others. Dr. Elizabeth Iorns, a biologist from New Zealand, started the company in 2011 after observing how expensive research equipment is highly under-used.
Science Exchange has taken off and is already connected to 1,000 labs including contracts set up with Johns Hopkins University, the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School. Facilities that sign up with Science Exchange list their equipment and prices, so users can explore their capabilities and compare costs.
Using a Contract- research lab can delay a project because of contract arrangements and meetings with lawyers. Science Exchange differs from laboratories that offer contract work because it bypasses much of the time constraint. Customers and the facilities renting out their lab equipment have prearranged contracts with Science Exchange that administer interactions between both parties.
Ethan Perlstein, a customer of Science Exchange and founder of PerlsteinLab, notes that using science exchange, “might add another month of lead time and another few thousand dollars of legal costs.” Especially at start-ups with limited resources, Science Exchange has helped demolish a barrier to entry into the pharmaceutical market and others, which require expensive equipment to run experiments.
Dr. Iorn’s marketplace is part of the new trend of building a shared economy made popular by companies like Uber, an app based taxi service. These companies have begun to change the habits of consumers. Everyone does not need to own a car, a submarine and a Metrohm Ion Chromatography System. Creating marketplaces like these helps curb down consumption and reduce waste.
While marketplaces are expanding in all consumer aspects world wide, what marketplace solutions will arise in the synthetic biology industry?
Check out the original article here.
Image: Lee Dyer, Yellow and Grey Design for Compare and Share.