S-Lab – time for consolidation and long-term planning

S-Lab logo
S-Lab, the programme that aims to create more sustainable laboratories, has grown rapidly and now needs to consolidate, and become less dependent on a few individuals, and HEFCE funding.

Many people want us to continue so we and the Institute of Science and Technology will be having a consultation process on the long-term role that we can play, and how this might be financed, on a non-profit basis.

As well as carrying on our existing workshop and dissemination activities, we also have three specific targets for the next year:

• Developing a set of Good Laboratory Design Principles which would be useful in their own right, and also be complemtary to BREEAM and RICS Ska Rating. See the Reports area of www.goodcampus.org for a first draft.

• A STORE (Sample Temperature Optimisation for Reliability and Environment) initiative to provide guidance and an assessment framework for cold storage practices in laboratories. This builds on a collaboration of VWR, Eppendorf and the University of Edinburgh (and especially the Roslin Institute) that is developing experimental data on integrity of samples at different storage temperatures, speed of temperature loss when power fails and other issues.

• Replicating the process of workshops, discussion and partnership that has preceded STORE with regard to cold storage in other areas of laboratory equipment. e.g. autoclaves, drying cabinets, ovens. This will be done in collaboration with an existing initiative involving HEFCE, procurement bodies and Cambridge and Warwick Universities.

Please contact s-lab@istonline.org.uk if you would like to be involved in any of these activities.

About S-Lab

The S-Lab programme aims to create more sustainable laboratories, and to raise sustainability awareness among lab-using staff and students. It was initially financed by the four UK higher education funding bodies (HEFCE, HEFCW, SFC and DELNI) but is now partially self-sustaining, with core support from the HEFCE Catalyst Fund.

There are many cases, briefing documents, reports and other materials on all aspects of laboratory design, operation and use available on www.goodcampus.org.

We have had over 4,000 people through our laboratory conferences and workshops, and our monthly newsletter goes to over 2,000 subscribers. Most presentations from our events are available via the Past Events section of www.goodcampus.org.

The 2014 S-Lab awards have now been shortlisted. Many of the shortlisted applications will present at the 2014 S-Lab Conference (which is being held in partnership with the IST) at Kings College London September 2-3. Further information about the conference can be found on the Effective Lab website.