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University-Industry Engagement Advisor

U of Warwick start-up provides inexpensive, accessible research tools to biologists

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: November 7th, 2018

A University of Warwick start-up aims to make bioscience research more affordable for schools, professionals and training scientists.

Humane Technologies is commercializing the MicrobeMeter, an open source device that allows users to continuously analyze the cultivation and growth of microbes at a significantly reduced cost compared to similar devices.

“Biology is an area of science that is not as greatly understood as, say, chemistry or physics, yet it is crucial to everyday life,” says University of Warwick professor and Humane Technologies co-founder Orkun Soyer.

“There is a barrier restricting experimentation and discovery within this field, and that is the cost of scientific research,” says Soyer. “The technology used by biologists is expensive and hasn’t really moved with the times, so we are offering a product here that is cheaper and more modern.”

Humane Technologies plans to design a range of affordable devices that are all open source, meaning that users can alter the software and hardware easily for their own individual purposes.

“There is huge potential for Humane Technologies items to be at the heart of massive discoveries for years to come,” says co-founder Kalesh Sasidharan, also a researcher at the University of Warwick. “As communities of students and scientists use our equipment for their own purpose, we will be able to grow our collective understanding of biology and improve the world around us.”

The start-up is based at the University of Warwick Science Park, where Soyer and Sasidharan have had crucial access to marketing advice, business workshops and financial guidance.

“We are pleased to be assisting Humane Technologies, who I believe have the potential to positively impact the world of microbiology,” says Dirk Schafer, business mentor at the University of Warwick Science Park. “Do-it-yourself biohacking is one of the emerging technology trends to watch in the years to come, and Orkun and Kalesh are hoping to play a big role in that by opening up the market, making it more accessible and influencing the next generation of scientists.”

Source: UKSPA

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