A laboratory instrument manufacturer is being helped to bring a new product to international markets thanks to the support of Teesside University.
Martel Instruments, based in County Durham, is working with the University to trial a new smart device which connects and records data from instruments in a laboratory.
VIDA, developed by Martel, allows laboratory staff to track, record and store instrument and measurement data at the push of the button.
It is also device agnostic, meaning that it can work with new and legacy equipment reducing the need to upgrade kit in order to run a modern, connected laboratory.
Using VIDA, laboratories can operate more efficiently, without relying on paper records and help maintain compliance standards.
In order to help Martel market VIDA in the United States, where many of the company’s clients are based, Teesside University is running pilot testing on the device to prove that it can operate in a commercial environment.
Funding for the pilot testing came from the GX project, led by NewcastleGateshead Initiative, which is a legacy project of the Great Exhibition of the North and helps North-East SMEs and scale-ups harness their innovation potential and capacity.
An academic team of Professor Paul Van Schaik, an expert in the psychology of human-computer interaction, and Dr Garry Weeks and Paul Douglas from the School of Health & Life Sciences, have been subjecting the device to rigorous testing.
They identified the equipment it needed to work with before checking its functionality and its data-gathering ability with a series of quantitative and qualitative tests.
They have also engaged some of the University’s industrial partners through the National Horizons Centre, the bioscience centre of excellence based in Darlington.
Professor van Schaik said: “As a University we work with a wide-range of state-of-the-art laboratory equipment and so are perfectly situated to help Martel test its VIDA device.
“We were also able to apply academic rigour to the design and delivery of the test to ensure it met the required standards of commercial operators.
“We are delighted to have been able to support the company and I am sure VIDA will prove to an extremely successful addition to their portfolio of equipment.”
Dr Weeks added: “This has been a research project which has real and practical significance, early feedback from our students and technical staff certainly indicates that VIDA will be a welcome addition within any laboratory – helping to streamline and manage their activity plus massively reducing manual data processing requirement.”
Keith Walker, Managing Director of Martel Instruments, said: “Martel Instruments is always looking to maintain its record of successful product innovation.
“We see VIDA as a cost effective solution to the problems of accuracy and connectivity which Lab Managers face every day.
“Teesside University has played a crucial role in developing VIDA to be user friendly and ready for market.
“The University has proved that VIDA is easy to use and that it has made a significant contribution to accuracy accountability and efficiency.
“Martel is grateful for the support it has received from the GX project and Teesside University, and looks forward to working together again to implement its new product roadmap.”
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