Commercial laboratory information management systems (LIMS) are nowadays sold as off-the-shelf software. As the article by Peter Rees on page 16 indicates, the trend is increasingly to focus on standardised products; the consequence is that, during implementation, all systems will require a degree of configuration or customisation to meet the buyer's requirements.
September / October 2004
Suppliers of IT to the science-based industries are looking at the attractive prospect of growing markets. In the case of Laboratory information Management Systems (LIMS), the worldwide market is set to expand from $210 million last year to $330 million by 2009, according to the market research firm Frost & Sullivan.
Some people believe that they should get scientific software for free. Other people believe that, if you pay for your software, at least you have someone to turn to for help in implementing it and someone has a responsibility if things go wrong.
Charlotte, a 17 year-old student on a vocational childcare course, volunteered out of ecological and humanitarian idealism for an environmental study. With only a very hazy and biased idea of the issues involved, and having three times failed to get a 'C' grade in GCSE maths, she wasn't a promising candidate for anything more than manual contributions. Yet she cracked one of the three main scientific problems encountered.
Nanotechnology is breaking free from the shackles of fiction and is now a serious science. By the year 2020, more than $1 trillion worth of products could have been 'nanoengineered'1.
Nanotechnology is now attracting major government and commercial investment and considerable academic interest. Venture capital funding reached $300 million in the US in 2003, and nanotechnology has been the driving force behind a steady stream of practical applications coming to market.