Lab of the Future to be 50 percent virtual by 2030, survey indicates

Findings from a survey have shown 72 percent of respondents in the life sciences industry think the Lab of the Future will embrace virtual working.

Scientist in lab

Findings from a new survey have revealed that most respondents, at 72 percent, think the Lab of the Future (LoTF) will be 50 percent virtual or more by 2030, underlining a shift towards hybrid work seen across all industries. 

The survey was conducted by the Pistoia Alliance, answered by respondents attending its spring conference. However, the alliance highlights that to replicate a laboratory at home is much more difficult than replicating a virtual office, so it is essential life science firms develop a LoTF that keeps driving innovation forward and does not hinder scientific progress.

Further findings from the survey reveal 38 percent of respondents believe that emerging technologies  including artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain will receive the highest level of investment in life sciences over the next 12 months. Thirty-two percent believe that infectious diseases will receive the highest level of investment, followed by oncology at 14 percent. 

The survey also revealed respondents predict that the biggest contributors to life science innovation post-pandemic will be start-up biotech companies (35 percent), followed by start-up tech companies (19 percent) and big pharma/biotech (18 percent).

“Now more than ever, research is occurring at the intersection between industries. Companies must embrace this trend and work together to tackle future challenges. We must advance quickly from disease treatment to disease cure and finally to disease prevention,” commented Dr Steve Arlington, President of the Pistoia Alliance. “Pooling resources and skills and investing in emerging tech like AI and blockchain will enable us to better address future public health crises. Recently we have seen the benefits of collaboration during the development of vaccines, therapies and diagnostic tools to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. We must now apply this mindset to the multitude of other challenges we currently face.”