The Lab Awards: from balances to the ball

Published: 8-Nov-2023

The Lab Awards, the leading awards ceremony for the UK’s laboratory industry, was held at The Vox, Birmingham, on 1 November and celebrated the lab industry’s key achievements from the past year

The event, brought to you by Lab Innovations and Laboratory News, crowned winners across 14 categories, including Best Technology Innovation, Lab Technician of the Year and Sustainable Lab of the Year.

The ceremony, which took place on the first evening of Lab Innovations, saw more than 200 of the industry’s leading figures don their best black-tie outfits and enjoy an evening of celebration and networking.

This year marked the first time the Lab Awards has been held as a gala dinner, having previously been held on day one of Lab Innovations in the show’s VIP lounge.

The switch was made following the growing popularity and prestige of the awards to give the lab industry a greater opportunity to celebrate its achievements during the past year.

Maggie Philbin, OBE, the acclaimed television and radio presenter, hosted a glamorous ceremony that got under way with an amazing performance by the violinist duo Red Hot Strings, which included a captivating take on Game of Thrones’ opening theme.

Philbin also delivered the show’s keynote speech, titled: “The Innovators of the Future.”

“Innovation is about making life better, simpler and easier,” said Philbin during her opening remarks.

“People in this room provide solutions for the massive issues we face collectively, really making the difference through their work.”

This year’s expanded category list featured several new awards. Lab Technician of the Year, sponsored by Scientific Laboratory Supplies (SLS), was won by Laurie Lau of the University of Southampton.

Smart Lab of the Year, sponsored by Labforward, was won by AstraZeneca AskLab Insights Project, and Rising Star, sponsored by Vitl Life Science Solutions, a G&H Brand, was won by Emma Sanderson of SLS.

Other award wins included Beckman Coulter for Best Technology Innovation, which was sponsored by Porvair Sciences.

Geotechnics won Laboratory of the Year, which was sponsored by LS Scientific, and The Best Collaborative Project award, which was sponsored by UKRI and Innovate UK, was won by Invizius, in partnership with the NHS and EMS Healthcare.

The Best Automation & Data Innovation prize, sponsored by NoviaticLab, was won by Enbiosis AI-driven Microbiome Solutions.

Merah Medical‘s Sentinal won the Best Consumables Innovation award, Avantor VWR for Best Sustainable Product and Leybold won Best Organisation Culture.

AstraZeneca was a double winner on the night, taking home the Sustainable Lab of the Year award, sponsored by Grenova, in addition to its Smart Lab of the Year prize.

The awards also saw a returning winner in Anthias Consulting, who picked up the award for Supplier Excellence, which was sponsored by Johnsons Laboratory Logisitics.

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“The Lab Awards represents a key opportunity to celebrate the lab industry’s best and brightest and give the whole lab industry the recognition it deserves,” explained Simon Farnfield, event director for Lab Innovations.

“We know from feedback how highly the industry values the Lab Awards, which is reflected in this year’s submissions, and they were the best ones we have received to date."

"Upgrading the Lab Awards to a standalone black-tie event felt like a natural move that reflects the prestige of the awards in the industry and we can’t wait to do it again next year.”

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