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Digital Science Announces Investment in US-based Laboratory Safety Company, BioRAFT


By Alex Jackson June 14, 2012

LONDON / CAMBRIDGE, MA – 14 June 2012

Digital Science, a technology division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd., today announced its investment in BioRAFT, a developer of laboratory safety and compliance software. The company was founded in 2003 by Nathan Watson, a former researcher and lab manager, and is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Today also marks the release of a global survey exploring current attitudes and practices in laboratory safety.

BioRAFT develops software tools to help make laboratory safety and compliance easier to achieve and manage. In the course of their work, scientists frequently deal with hazardous chemicals, radioactive substances, and potentially dangerous biological reagents. Recent news of laboratory accidents – some fatal – has thrown light on the pressing need for better training, record-keeping and oversight in laboratory safety. BioRAFT provides a platform and range of integrated modules that support researchers and safety officers in these tasks, reducing the administrative burden and resulting in a safer working environment.

Today’s launch of a survey with Nature Publishing Group (like Digital Science, a division of Macmilllan Publishers Ltd.), the UC Center for Laboratory Safety and BioRAFT marks an important step for all three partners. The data gathered will enable each of them to better serve their communities – and, in the case of BioRAFT, to craft even more useful and effective software solutions for achieving safety in the lab.

“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. “Digital Science understands the needs of the research community, and is an ideal partner for BioRAFT. We are honored to work with them as we expand our platform to help research organizations improve safety and regulatory compliance.”

BioRAFT joins Digital Science’s growing portfolio of businesses in the scientific software space, including Labtiva, SureChem, figshare, BioData, Symplectic and 1DegreeBio.

“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.”

For more on BioRAFT, visit its web site at You can also learn more about other Digital Science businesses and products at, and access the laboratory safety survey at


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