BioLAGO e.V.

Project dates

Full title of the project:
bioSASH (BioLAGO-SiLA 2/AniML Serial Hackathon) for robotics in the laboratory

Short name of the project:

Date of the award:

Project duration:
15 months

Lead Company:
BioLAGO e.V. (Germany)

Project Partner(s):

SiLA (Switzerland)


“The TTE addresses an important barrier to the effective operation of the healthcare laboratory – interoperability.  A fragmented supplier community does not at present offer the interoperability common in other sectors. In particular, this lack of interoperability hinders the integration of modern robotic technologies with other tools in the healthcare laboratory. Without this, samples are lost and data delayed, which has a negative impact on healthcare outcomes.

The clinical relevance is improved quality and productivity in diagnostic testing, in particular, to reduce costs and improve healthcare outcomes. Savings come from a reduction in labour (50%) and chemical reagent costs. Reduced testing times (50%) and improved turnaround time (30%) bring earlier diagnosis and lives saved.

The project brings together a technology supplier (SiLA: Standards in Laboratory Automation) to provide the technology, with a regional network of healthcare SMEs (BioLAGO). Technology will be transferred using hackathons, as short, intense and focused events where participants work in small teams to deploy the technology in a small set of well-prepared proof-of-concept prototypes. The project, therefore, creates new links in the value chain between a technology, suppliers and users, and also between these stakeholders on a regional basis. These links must be high trust links going beyond the transactional in order that the standard be taken up and adopted.

The technology is SiLA 2: an open communication standard developed in Europe. This is based on established technologies from outside the healthcare domain, adapted to the needs of the life science laboratory. The technology has been created and validated by a community of developers from the laboratory industry to TRL6, with new features added at TRL5. It is used in a number of product offerings. The technology is now ready to be applied to specific areas of robotics in the clinical laboratory.

The objective is to create 4 new prototypes of robotic systems in the healthcare laboratory at TRL 7. This will establish a new market for SiLA-connected lab devices and facilitate the introduction of new robotic tools.

The initiative will bring in smaller innovative suppliers and smaller laboratory users that do not have the right resources in-house to develop solutions.

This barrier has been confirmed in conversations with end users. SiLA organized a workshop on “next generation robotics in the lab” at ELRIG UK in Nov-2019 with a full agenda and constructive discussions. In mid-2019, BioLAGO and SiLA organised a pilot hackathon which attracted 27 participants and resulted in 2 new prototypes. Discussions at the SLAS trade show in Jan-2020 confirmed a strong interest in SiLA technology, but several groups requested support, in particular hackathons and training. Training modules have since been developed. An easy-to-use SiLABOX interface was developed and together with a SiLA browser forms a starter kit to aid transfer”