Our new LIMS: A Move for UMBI to be the First Paper-less Research Institute

As someone famous once said, ‘change is the only constant’. Change is not made for the sake of change but to innovate and bring better value to the organisation. UMBI has been systemising many of its activities and processes since its formation in 2003 but the approval of the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) under the RMK10 budget has given us the opportunity to further digitise our processes in the laboratories and most important of all to move towards integration and also paper-less (or even paperless).

The concept is simple. Although the conventional LIMS usually focuses mainly on laboratory processes and management of data generated from the various equipment, the LIMS which we have put up for the vendor to implement included related modules (asset and inventory management system, document management system, project management system, reporting and dashboard system, quality management system, etc) which will make the LIMS even better and comprehensive.

For a start the computing power at UMBI will be enhanced via a high performance computing infrastructure and processing software. The latest Intel Xeon Phi processor will be incorporated in the set-up. For the LIMS, data generated from almost all the equipment in the various laboratories will be fed into an upgraded centralised database with better accessibility and security features as well as higher computational analytical capability.

UMBI will do away with the traditional paper-based lab books. This will be replaced by electronic lab books which can be accessed and assessed in real time by the supervisors. There is also a built-in project management module to facilitate the implementation of each research projects with ready experimental methods and templates.

External users can assess the LIMS via a guest registration module. Researchers and others outside UMBI can used the guest portal to book and buy services including laboratory tests, use of equipment, consultation as well as use of our laboratory spaces.

We hope that this LIMS will be a game changer and also a system which others may emulate and follow. Paper-less in UMBI? It looks very likely that this will be a reality by end of 2017.