Affordable, on-demand lab space for rent: a revolution in the process of scientific innovation.
If you’re looking to lease a lab space in Melbourne to pursue your ideas; your options is few and far between. This lack of access is a barrier to innovation in Melbourne. Consequentially, our potential for progress is severely impacted. From a normative perspective, it’s easy to understand why this may be the case. Conventionally, research and innovation is conducted by an academic institution, or through industry R&D departments. Essentially, it’s only undertaken by those who already have access to the infrastructure If one finds themselves without active connections to these entities, it can be almost impossible for new and novel ideas to come to fruition. This sector is based on work being done at the lab bench, after all.
Luckily for us over in camp unconventional, we feel compelled to do things differently. Informed by the logic of thinkers such as Thomas Kuhn, we were privy to the fact that science tends to enjoy periods of stable growth, punctuated by revisionary revolutions that rewrite the current scientific paradigm (Bird 2018; Kuhn, 1970). We feel that now, more than ever, we stand at the precipice of a scientific revolution. One that could eclipse almost all those that came before it.
You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.Buckminster Fuller
The Restructuring of the Scientific Innovation Process
This revolution, we believe, will involve a paradigmatic shift in the way science and it’s outputs are conducted. This shift results in the emergence of a new narrative, a narrative based on collaboration rather than competition, on integration rather than isolation, on wholism rather than reductionism, on synthesis rather than analysis (Capra & Luisi, 2014; Wahl, 2016). Co-Labs Melbourne was born in response to this forthcoming change. After observing many patterns and trends in Biotechnology–on both a global and local level–we could see a trend beginning to emerge.
It has never been cheaper, easier or necessary to build business based on bio-innovation. As a result, we are about to enter a golden age in the life sciences. To ensure that Australia has what it takes to embrace this new bio-based economy, we created Co-Labs. A timely offering that will allow us to co-create the future of bio-innovation through supporting Australia’s nascent biotech businesses and life science startups. That is to say, we want to make biotech more accessible for those with the ideas to do great things.
Flexible, Affordable and Leased by the Bench
Co-Labs Melbourne offers an Australian-first turnkey solution for biotech innovation, where lab space can be rented by the bench, decreasing overheads and lead times. Co-Labs offers a simple solution to a complex problem by cultivating a flexible working environment that allows for ideas to adapt and evolve, then–once established–grow and flourish.
Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.H.G Wells
If we wish to survive and thrive into the future, we need to create a community of businesses that are responsive, resilient and regenerative. For instance, when creating Co-Labs, we based our business model on some of the fundamental principles of biology and ecology. Firstly, we drew inspiration from the dynamic interplay between an organism and it’s environment. Likewise, we have designed Co-Labs in a manner that allows for us to efficiently and effectively adapt and evolve, in response to the ever-changing landscape of innovation. Secondly (and perhaps most importantly) we noted that life on Earth creates conditions that are conducive for life. In the same vein, our business is based around the concept that nature optimises for the whole, rather than the individual (Dalio 2017). In other words, we cultivate cooperation and collaboration amongst other organisational entities within the biotech ecosystem.
Science 2.0: Creating an Ecology of Innovation
One of the coolest things about Co-Labs, in our humble opinion, is the application of the product-service system model to the science ecosystem. As a result, we are able to improve resource efficiency and overall sustainability by leveraging collaborative consumption and peer-to-peer collaboration. Our model means there’s no need to buy expensive equipment, nor set up your own lab space. Put simply, we’re kinda like the Uber of biotech.
In conclusion, we strongly believe that this new method of conducting research and innovation in Australia can serve as a catalyst for systemic change and, as a result, help make room for more sustainable scientific practices to emerge. If you have an innovative idea or would like some advice on navigating the biotech startup ecosystem, drop Andrew or myself a line, we’d love to hear from you!
Bird, A., ‘Thomas Kuhn’, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Available at: <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2018/entries/thomas-kuhn/>.
Capra, F., & Luisi, P. L. (2014). The Systems View of Life : A Unifying Vision, Caimbridge University Press.
Dalio, R. (2017) Principles : life and work, Simon and Schuster.
Kuhn, T. (1970). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (2nd ed.). University of Chicago Press.
Wahl, D. (2016). Designing Regenerative Cultures. Triarchy Press.