Fail-safe FutureLab


Mike Jones

If there’s at least one certainty within the biotherapeutics industry, it’s that technology changes. Nowhere is that truism more apt than in our research laboratories. Science innovation in the lab requires the support of technological advances, and those advances are constantly and rapidly evolving.

Enter FutureLab, a MedImmune scientist-led concept space designed and developed to focus specifically on the real-world deployment and testing of new ideas and technologies.

When we began planning for this project last year, our goal was threefold: to create an enjoyable physical space; to optimize that space for testing of new technologies; and to cultivate the kinds of external collaborations that would continue to move our science forward.

Today, we have a demonstration space that has been designed with that enjoyability factor in mind, including modular layouts for easy and intuitive mobility, open collaboration areas, ergonomic furniture, and an overall look and feel that inspires.

And, we have an innovation hub where we’ve begun testing the newest ideas and technologies on the market—from augmented reality products to eye-tracking software to 3D printing that allows us to build prototypes internally.

We’ve also initiated important external collaborations with MIT Media Labs, and technology vendors that include Biotek, Microsoft, Osterhout Design Group, LabMinds, and others that give us the opportunity to do pre-market testing and prototyping.

One of the most important aspects of this initiative is that there are no “bad tests” or failures. What we’ve created is a space to push our limits, to use and become familiar with these technology platforms, to see how far they can take us, as well as to influence subsequent iterations of their development.

We are providing an exploratory testing ground to discover novel technologies while promoting a collaborative environment that is compelling for scientists. We’ve always led the industry by following the science; now, we’re also driving the technologies that will support that science and lead to more innovation, faster and with more precision than ever.