Lab equipment management software company spins out from Strathclyde

A company providing software for the management of laboratory equipment has been spun out from the University of Strathclyde.

The ULab platform provides lab managers with all the tools they need to run their labs more safely, more sustainably and more efficiently. ULab can also help generate additional revenues.

It offers prospective research collaborators the opportunity to see what technology is already available and avoids double purchasing, while research funders can ensure their grants are being used prudently.

The ULab platform has been operating for several years, both within Strathclyde and with the labs of external universities, research groups and companies. It has become an important keystone tool in many labs, whose managers have said they cannot imagine running them without ULab.

It has played an integral role in the development of the QR codes used to regulate access to the Strathclyde campus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before spinning out, ULab had more than 4000 users, based in several hundred labs in 11 countries. It is now in the process of recruiting investors and signing up customers from the higher education and private sectors.

ULab CEO Simon Mone said: “ULab began as an internal tool to provide Strathclyde with improved efficiencies in managing labs and lab equipment but we have since opened up more widely.

“We give lab managers everything they need including access to the information they need for managing maintenance and equipment failures, as well as a facility for incident reporting.

“ULab’s reporting tools provide lab managers with the reports they need for their funding bodies. Project leads, who have a requirement to demonstrate what capital investment has been made and what equipment has been bought with their funding, can easily do so with ULab; this is often very expensive equipment and so it’s important they can demonstrate that this investment has also benefited others beyond their project.”

The Strathclyde team at ULab comprises Professor Blair Johnston and Dr Timothy Plumridge, both of the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, and Dr Ian Thompson, IT Manager with the University’s Faculty of Science.

ULab was supported in its preparations to spin out by business management consultancy Vivolution and by Strathclyde’s Research & Knowledge Exchange Services and Innovation & Industry Engagement departments. IP and Commercialisation Manager Debbie Stack was Strathclyde’s lead for the spinout process.

ULab will be pitching on 10 June at technology investor showcase EIE 2021.

ULab is deployed on the IBM Power Cloud - operated in partnership with Cognition Foundry – a platform of which ULab is an early adopter.