The Finnish company SciAR has a primary position twice: as a first company to test digital product in the facility, as well as a first actor outside Sweden to use Testa Center.
SciAR creates software for Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) to take human errors out of the equation in life science laboratories. The team from SciAR company, founded by three biosciences students from University of Helsinki has already visited the Bio-process Innovation Hub, Testa Center in Uppsala several months ago, conveying possibility for future collaboration. Now, they are to test their minimum valuable product and two other pilots.
“Lotta Ljungqvist, the CEO of Testa Center, held a presentation at the start-up and tech event “SLUSH” in Helsinki. We were very interested to find out more, so we contacted the responsible person at Testa Center and we decided to visit it and talk about the details,” explains Felix Erkinheimo, one of the co-founders of SciAR.
An authentic bio-process laboratory setting
During the proposed Testa Center project, SciAR would like to verify their technology in an authentic bio-process laboratory setting. They will demonstrate that augmented reality can streamline the workflow and prevent unfortunate errors, as errors can be extremely costly in this type of work. The founders say that there is no facility as unique as Testa Center in Finland, neither in the other Nordic countries, that serves as a bridge between research, innovation and industry.
“We are very impressed. The facility is great, both that it is a cooperation between the industry, the science and the Swedish government and the idea that the Testa Center should be open for innovation. We’re also very impressed how much Microsoft has helped us by lending the HoloLens device for us and helping us with the development,” emphasizes Joel Noutere, CEO and co-founder of SciAR.
Combinations of AR- and MR- technologies
SciAR aims to tackle the persisting problems of unstandardized bio-scientific research by eliminating human errors. Combinations of AR- and MR- technologies, are the driving force behind the idea to make the results easier to compare and to take the human errors out of the equation. The software focuses on the person at the laboratory, helping the scientist to get best results, by minimizing the use of reagents and contributing to a better time management. The SciAR company aims to use this technology for fully automated data mining in the future.
Using markers and machine vision and IoT device to recognize the equipment and user actions will make the whole process faster, more reliable and much cheaper. According to the founders, the technology can be used for personalized medicine and faster development of new biopharmaceutical drugs. Their product is about to enter phase one of testing. The company has already developed their minimum viable product and the visit at Testa Center and additionally, two other pilots will tell which features will be developed next.
“We have an approach to work together with the potential client to fulfill their need,” finishes Kristian Alaviuhkola, one of the co-founders.
Image caption: The SciaAR Company founders demonstrate their concept using Microsoft HoloLens in Testa Center’s bio-process lab. Photo: Testa Center