A day at the Analytica

Written by Anindya Ghosh Roy on . Posted in Think out of the box

I recently had a chance to visit the Analytica 2018, probably the largest International trade fair for innovative laboratory technology, analysis and Biotechnology, held in Munich, Germany. As a fresher to this field, I was about to witness the very best and my curiosity and enthusiasm went beyond words.

My day didn’t start on a good note as the public transport in Munich was suspended due to some technical failure and as a result, I arrived 15 minutes behind my expected schedule. The moment I heard the subway rail authorities welcoming the participants of the Analytica, I was mentally prepared for the magnitude of the fair. This year, Analytica hosted 1164 exhibitors from 49 different countries and saw a rise in the number of visitors to 35.800, which is a new Analytica record.

My reason for being at the fair was clearly defined; observe, learn, and network and that is exactly what I did. After the registration, I headed straight to my first stop. On the way I saw a pool of people trying to grasp all the information on a new technology developed by one of the big German companies. Extremely interesting was to see how the exhibitors came up with innovative ideas to attract more and more visitors to their stalls. From giving away free coffee in reusable bamboo cups to vending machines coughing up water bottles once a series of questions were answered. From free open bar to women dressed in STAR TREK uniforms, this exhibition had it all. I myself had agreed to take part in a raffle that could have got me a free iPAD (that was too much to resist).

The most interesting section was the LiveLab. Here, live demonstration was held to analyse food components. The latest lab technology was on display and the process was shown on a giant screen and the commentary was played on speakers so that it could be watched and heard from every corner of the hall. A make shift seating place ensured audience to sit and watch the show in peace. The flip side was that the commentary and interview was in German which I believe shouldn’t be the preferred language on an international platform such as Analytica (I may be wrong!).

Among the exhibitors, apart from the latest products, I felt a special focus was on automation and customization. For example, Gilson, whose pipettes we all grew up with, displayed its cloud-based product for managing and tracking protocols. The instrument collects and stores data to the cloud for sharing among peers to improve the correctness of future data. Although Gilson had already revealed its intentions in this direction in Analytica 2016, it surely looks like building on its ideas. Also, interesting were the companies that offer services for customized solutions and reagents as per the request of the client. From buffers to reference standards, everything is customizable. Such service providers not only customize the content but also the packaging size. This essentially avoids wastage of reagents and in turn saves a lot of money and storage space for the company. Logically speaking, this could be a good way to avoid contamination as single use vials could potentially eliminate excessive manual handling which is often the main reason behind the reagent contamination. This also shows how the companies take the Time=Money concept seriously and are dedicated on developing ideas to make processes quick and robust.

Overall, I was very satisfied with my day at the fair and ended up with quite a few business cards that I need to follow up on. The experience was overwhelming and hence I would like to give away few tips for the Analytica visitors:

  1. Planning is important. Do your homework. Your goal to visit the fair should be clear. It is easy to get lost in the fair with so much information on display.
  2. Be on time. Every lost minute means you are deprived of something important. Manage your time e.g. based on your interests, which area you should focus more and which stalls to visit.
  3. Carry a small notebook and keep noting down important points. Without these notes, it would be impossible to remember important details from the meeting.
  4. The fair is spread across a big area and if you have committed yourself to a lot of things, you would need to walk a lot. Be ready!
  5. For the students, carry some water and a sandwich in your backpack as the food and drinks are expensive inside the fair.

Most importantly, ENJOY!

It is important to enjoy and appreciate the efforts and advancements to understand the exciting times that lies ahead for us soon.

Tags: Analytica laboratory technology fair laboratory techniques

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