A new and different Facebook group is enabling companies in the Umeå region to buy and sell second-hand laboratory equipment, as well as gain access to cheaper lab services.
“Umeå University, the County Council and a number of life science companies in Umeå are often in need of a laboratory, but new equipment is expensive and requires a great deal of knowledge to operate. This new Facebook group allows Umeå companies to sustainably support each other,” says Jennie Ekbeck, CEO of Umeå Biotech Incubator.
The new group is called ‘Labbutrustning och labbtjänster sök, byt, sälj’ (Lab Equipment and Lab Services Search, Exchange, Sell) and has already attracted a steadily growing number of members.
“It is a fairly specialised Facebook group but one that’s very much needed and appreciated by companies in Umeå,” says Jennie Ekbeck.
For a long time she has recognised the need to be able to buy and sell used lab equipment. That’s because brand new equipment is often extremely expensive to buy and requires specialist knowledge to operate.
“In the past the life science industry in Umeå was much smaller than it is today. Back then companies knew if anyone had a machine that was sitting and gathering dust. Today the industry has grown considerably and now it’s impossible to keep track of what equipment is in which lab. We hope this Facebook group can provide members with a better overview,” says Jennie Ekbeck.
Christin Grundström, who works as the Community Manager at Umeå Biotech Incubator, is responsible for the new Facebook group.
“I am convinced there is a lot of functional equipment in laboratories that is simply not being used. Now what you don’t use yourself someone else can benefit from – and at a competitive price too. By allowing more resources to be reused we’re also contributing to sustainability,” she says.
Christin Grundström recently listed a bioreactor for growing cell cultures in the Facebook group. If bought new it would cost SEK 100,000, but is now being advertised for SEK 10,000.
“It may be old but it has hardly been used,” says Christin Grundström, who continues:
“The problem with lab equipment is that if someone in the lab quits the expertise to operate it can also disappear, which means the machine may never be used again. If that happens it’s much better that the machine goes to a new owner instead.”
It is hoped members will also be able to offer each other lab services such as analyses.
“Sometimes you only need to use a certain piece of equipment once, so it is often unnecessary to buy it new and have to learn how to use it. Instead you can now post a request to the group and buy that particular service from someone else,” says Christin Grundström.
Both Christin Grundström and Jennie Ekbeck are confident the group can help companies in Umeå and encourage networking and collaboration.
“Thanks to this new Facebook group we have a new platform to meet on, which could lead to new synergies between members. In Umeå we are good at collaborating and embracing sustainably, so I really believe this Facebook group can be a boost to the city’s life science industry,” says Jennie Ekbeck.
For more information please contact:
CEO, Umeå Biotech Incubator
46 90-15 49 77
Umeå Biotech Incubator (UBI) is one of Sweden’s state-of-the-art business incubators within the life sciences. We help researchers to use their data to the benefit of patients and citizens, improving their health. We support and train entrepreneurs in the fields of pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and medical engineering, and act as a bridge between academia, medicine and the business community.