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Global lab automation market: $4.2 billion industry by 2017

Press Release   •   Jun 18, 2013 17:07 BST

Laboratory automation is defined as the use of technology to streamline or substitute manual manipulation of equipment and processes. Laboratory automation offers technologies and engineering backing for state-of-the-art work flows in research, quality assurance, and diagnostics labs. Lab automation techniques are broadly finding applications in a majority of lab procedures - from simple capping and decapping of sample bottles to high throughput screening of test samples.

The global market was valued at $3.1 billion in 2012 and is poised to reach $4.2 billion by 2017 at a CAGR of 6.4%. The growth of the market is driven by miniaturization of the process, leading to reduction in overall costs, higher reproducibility and accuracy, increasing investments in biotechnology, large lab personnel demand and supply gap, and reduction in sample contamination risk. It is expected that the market will offer opportunities for lab automation solutions manufacturers with the introduction and adoption of upcoming technologies such as digital dispensing, semantic technology and merger of Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technology with the systems. However, factors such as indefinite data interchange standards, economic slowdown, and lack of technology planning are hindering the growth of the market. To deal with the varying demand, vendors of lab automation equipment offer a range of products and services. However, configuring components that permits maximum flexibility is a challenge.

North America will continue to lead the lab automation market over the next five years, in spite of stringent FDA regulations and pre-marketing approvals. This is due to the increasing adoption of lab automation systems by research labs, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, clinical diagnostics, clinical research institutes, and contract research organizations. Factors such as implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) 2010 and economy stimulus programs such as increase in fund allocation to The National Institute of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) are also leading to growth, specifically in the lab informatics market. North America is closely followed by Europe in terms of market share, and vendors and manufacturers will be seen turning towards the region for regulatory reliefs. Asian markets are expected to grow at the highest CAGR owing to increasing healthcare investments and growing demand for standardization and accreditation.

The major players in the lab automation market are Tecan Group, Ltd. (Switzerland), PerkinElmer, Inc. (U.S.), Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. (U.S.), Danaher (U.S.), Agilent Technologies (U.S.), and Hamilton Robotics (U.S.).

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