How can a lean lab provide research resiliency?


Conformable Decoders

Conformable Decoders

The best things in life are never achieved easily. They require passion, compassion, vision, diligent and cooperative work, patience, endurance, and of course, effective management. The research conducted at the MIT Media Lab’s Conformable Decoders lab is very complicated, and the upkeep can be quite challenging. The motivation for becoming more organized stems from a desire to reduce inefficiencies and potential safety risks, among other variables.

Inefficiencies hurt the research team in many ways, from time spent on maintenance, to supplies running out (literally during the middle of an experiment!), to lost productivity when researchers can’t find the tools they need. Potential safety risks associated with highly complex research equipment and the use of numerous chemicals range from “pinch-points” all the way to those defined as “immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH).””

“In addition,” says group head Canan Dagdeviren, “our fast-paced group has many other critical variables to consider. We have more than a dozen researchers and personnel working in a cleanroom laboratory space of approximately 1000 sq. ft [93 sq. m] amidst lots of equipment, materials, and supplies. So, how do we balance these competing priorities in this complex research environment?”

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