Introducing Benchling Connect: Tackling Lab Instrument Connectivity and Data Management with New Open Standards and a Flexible Platform
SAN FRANCISCO, September 19, 2023 — Benchling unveiled its new platform for lab instrument connectivity and data management, Benchling Connect, today at Benchtalk, the company’s annual customer event. With Benchling Connect, R&D organizations automate time-consuming, manual lab instrument data collection and consolidate the management of experimental data and metadata all on a centralized platform. At launch, Benchling Connect supports out-of-the-box integrations with 12 commonly used instruments. Scientists benefit from a user-friendly, point-and-click interface to streamline connectivity and data management workflows. With Connect, Benchling confronts industry-wide challenges with proliferation of proprietary instrument data models and vendor lock-in by mapping all instrument output to the Allotrope Simple Model (ASM), and making the converter codes open source and freely available on GitHub.
Biotech has long been in gridlock when it comes to improving instrument data connectivity. The old ways of collecting and transferring data manually, ad-hoc, and with USB drives does not scale with labs’ growing collection of instruments and tools. Research from a recent third party survey of biopharma R&D and IT executives* illustrates this challenge. A majority of the scientist and IT respondents report their organization uses more than 100 lab instruments, and nearly half (47%) indicate that less than three out of five of these instruments are connected to software that supports data capture. The top two barriers to growing the adoption of connected lab instruments cited by IT and R&D are: (1) lack of standard instrument data formats and (2) a lack of internal resources to write integrations. Scientists are forced to manually transfer instrument data and manage customized data pipelines, preventing them from using data at scale, creating burdens on IT teams, and introducing regulatory compliance risk.
“Addressing the chronic data lifecycle challenges with lab instruments requires a new approach. Proprietary data formats and software solutions that lock customers into a small set of vendors aren’t the answer – an open source approach is,” said Shawna Wolverton, Chief Product Officer at Benchling. “We’re certainly not the first to work on the complex problem of instrument connectivity, but we’re confident that our approach, which drives open industry standards and provides ease of integration with native instrument connectivity, will drive the real, material impact on data quality and R&D throughput that the industry needs.”
With Benchling Connect, customers can now:
Automate instrument data capture with out-of-the-box connectivity. Benchling Connect directly integrates instrument data sources into Benchling for scientific workflows. Customers benefit from a simple, interactive, scientist-friendly experience that eliminates the need to jump across different user interfaces or manage logins across multiple systems. At launch, API and file-based instrument integrations are available for 12 instrument models across seven categories, including: plate readers; cell culture analyzers; HPLC; cell counters; liquid handlers; qPCR; dPCR; plus a “file watcher” feature to pull flat files off a lab PC.
Harmonize instrument data and automate data processing runs. By centralizing and harmonizing instrument data into a common format, Benchling Connect breaks down data silos and fosters real time collaboration. In addition, Benchling Connect supports automated data processing with point-and-click tools, eliminating the need for complicated and customized transformations to prepare data (e.g. “make it FAIR”) for analysis. With Benchling’s analytics integrations, including JMP and other tools, R&D teams can capture, manage, and analyze instrument data end-to-end.
Manage scientific data and metadata end-to-end, on a single platform. Benchling already has the scientific metadata (e.g., sample information) that scientists input, so the linking with ingested instrument data is automatic. Benchling Connect models and tracks scientific data and metadata, and R&D teams can browse, search, and connect ingested data easily into notebook entries, results tables, and more..
Accelerate and modernize R&D data strategy. Benchling Connect is built on open data standards, which are future-proof and eliminate vendor lock-in. R&D organizations have access to open source instrument data converters that support flexible use case adaptations, and robust APIs that provide connections to data lakes and warehouses. Benchling Connect open sources data converter codes that map instrument output to ASM data models, and makes these freely available on GitHub.
Grow with a flexible, data-agnostic platform. Unlike other third-party software vendors that force a data strategy on customers, Benchling takes a data-agnostic approach so customers can quickly connect to the platform regardless of their preferred data lake or infrastructure approach.
For more information, timing and availability, please visit the Benchling Connect web page.
* Source: Blinded survey of 300 biopharma R&D and IT professionals, conducted by third party research firm, 2023.