Investing in a safer lab workplace
June 14, 2012
Today, we are delighted to announce our investment in BioRAFT, a US-based software company specialising in tools to better manage health and safety protocols in the lab and compliance processes. Today also marks the launch of a global lab safety survey, done in part by BioRAFT, the University of California's Laboratory Safety Center and Nature Publishing Group, our sister company. You can read more about that here.
University health and safety practices have been under increased scrutiny in recent years following a number of accidents and fatalities that have made the mainstream news, such as the young chemistry researcher from UCLA who died in a lab fire in 2008, charges filed this past December. The reality of the systemic problem plaguing research institutions is hard to ignore, arising from antiquated information management systems, inadequate training regimens and inefficient compliance mechanisms that place too much admin on the researcher - all failing to provide for a safe and efficient workplace for students and faculty alike.
BioRAFT was founded in 2003 by Nathan Watson, a former researcher and lab manager, to address this issue, creating the software to solve a pressing need he saw in his day-to-day work.
“During my time in the lab, I learned that if lab safety and regulatory compliance processes are not as easy as possible to follow and manage, then researchers miss requirements, institutions receive fines, and people get hurt,” said Nathan Watson, CEO of BioRAFT.
The addition of BioRAFT to our portfolio signifies a move forward in providing better tools to make research more efficient and safer, a leading concern for the members of our community, and one that's oft neglected.
"Science is a profession, and we created Digital Science to provide the professional-grade software that researchers deserve," said Timo Hannay, Managing Director of Digital Science. "Nothing in a lab is more important than the safety and training of its members, and BioRAFT allows its users to achieve that with the minimum of distraction from their real aim – to make new discoveries. We are delighted to welcome them to Digital Science's growing network of innovative young companies."