DIY laboratories and the academic revolution

Science is for scientists, right? And where do you find these scientists? In the multi-million pound laboratories of universities, of course. Well actually, this mindset is currently experiencing a significant shift. No longer is scientific research limited to expensive universities with vast levels of funding.

Today, the idea that anyone can be an actively-working scientist is more believable than ever. There are ever-increasing numbers of inventors and entrepreneurs erupting in the most unexpected places. This new culture of knowledge is what has given rise to the DIY laboratory.

What is a DIY laboratory?

Installation of a DIY laboratory is not one that you can do in your basement, though some try. Don’t misunderstand us. Installation should always be the work of licensed professionals to ensure the workspace is safe. A DIY laboratory is one that exists outside of the massive institutions that have dominated the world of research and discovery for so long. Small startup organisations are now finding their feet in their studies and are more than capable of setting up their own facilities. They are getting involved in the world of innovation.

Independent research organisations are often formed to address specific issues like conservation or space exploration. DIY laboratories are more commonly based around open-source principles. They provide access to the tools and techniques needed to participate in the decisions being made about their communal space.

This is particularly important when it comes to communities. They need the necessary knowledge to influence decisions surrounding environmental concerns in their area. Some academics insist that universities are the only place to do serious work. But, others beg to differ. Just look at what Elon Musk has done with his investigation into space via SpaceX.

What you need to know

DIY laboratories are a new way to give people the freedom they need to pursue original and mind-opening research. It also allows talent to become more visible amongst their peers. And when it comes to many of the world’s issues, more bright minds are precisely what we need. But, like with any laboratory, setting up a DIY space requires safety measures and must adhere strictly to regulations.

What to do

The UK is yet to make use of public laboratories, due to high levels of transparency within British research. But, with new startups becoming increasingly adventurous, it is likely more and more will need to set up their own workspaces. To do so there needs to be particular care in the following areas:

  • Costs – It is essential to finesse the finer details before getting to work on your laboratory, so you know exactly how much it will cost to build and run.
  • Prioritisation – Be clear, concise, and honest about your financial requirements and stick to the original plan.
  • Realistic expectations – Don’t ask for too little or too much money when applying for funding.
  • Asking for help – When creating your proposal for funding, asking for help is invaluable to ensure you have the best possible application.
  • Planning – Effective planning is critical to minimising costs. You will also need to outsource every component of your installation like gas, benching, and furniture.
  • Design – Custom designs must always comply with regulations
  • Installation – Safety should take top priority with the use of professionals.
  • Project management – You need someone to keep installation timely, cost-effective, and straightforward.

This might seem like a lot to think about. But there are plenty of experienced companies out there who specialise in laboratory installation. Higgins is one of them.

Higgins can help with the planning, design, and installation of your laboratory. Our priority is your safety, meaning all of your facilities stick to regulation and provide you with a long-lasting, profitable laboratory for your business. Get in touch with us today on 01625 613 308 for more information.