31/05/2016 07:20 BST | Updated 28/05/2017 06:12 BST

Protect Our Scientists With Software

We owe our scientists two things: we should help them maximize the amount of time they can devote to discovery, and keep them safe while they do it.

We owe our scientists two things: we should help them maximize the amount of time they can devote to discovery, and keep them safe while they do it.

The potential for serious injury is present in many scientists' daily lives, and although laboratory safety is there to protect them, it can also hamper them. Laboratory safety requires a certain amount of participation in and documentation of safety activities (i.e. training and inspections), which drains the time of both the organization and the scientists that work in it.

But if scientists are using federal money to work with things like infectious bacteria, hazardous chemicals, and radioactive materials, you can bet that the government has a vested interest in making sure that T's are crossed and I's are dotted. Even if the lab is working with less exotic hazards like dust and high-voltage electricity, there is a need for accountability when it comes to safety. What's more, government funding is ubiquitous throughout scientific research; stringent safety guidelines intended primarily for large organizations could easily have a sweeping effect on research across the country.

Currently, laboratory research is in a special, fragile place: in most cases, organizations still have the privilege of being able to self-regulate their research activities and their laboratory safety. This self-regulation keeps scientists flexible instead of bogging them down with arbitrary rules. The fragility comes from the oft-dramatic nature of laboratory accidents, like explosions or dangerous infections. When laboratories get into the news for the wrong reasons, someone in government very well may decide that it's time to intervene. More often than not, these interventions come in the form of regulations, exhaustive paperwork, long waiting times for approvals, and fees required at nearly every turn.

Unfortunately, the checkpoints set up by government-imposed bureaucracy have a compounded effect: laboratory research is already a slow process with exacting standards for the quality of results and unavoidably long turnaround times on experiments. Increased government bureaucracy on top of the administrative burden that's already in place would hobble the pace of research - and that means even slower times from scientific discovery to real-world implementation.

Scientists dedicate their lives to improving human lives. From creating better biodegradable plastics to developing life-altering medical therapies, and everything outside and in between, we have scientists to thank. In our increasingly globalized world, the impact of scientific discoveries is magnified. The benefits of detecting emerging epidemics like Zika and creating accessible renewable energy resources now reach far outside of our national borders.

Here's the hard truth of the matter: laboratory safety has become a part of the same bureaucracy that stops scientists from working efficiently, and if laboratory safety becomes yet another chore, it will always be pushed to the backburner in favor of more pressing tasks. This is how laboratory safety ceases to protect our scientists, and when our scientists aren't safe, the government steps in and the bureaucracy gets worse.

It's time to break this cycle, and we can do it with BioRAFT.

At its core, BioRAFT is a software solution designed by researchers, for researchers, with the goal of making research a sustainable process. We strive to save scientists valuable time while equipping them with the tools they need to keep themselves safe.

Our team has decades of experience in scientific research and laboratory safety, so we're intimately familiar with the challenges that scientists face. When software is hard to use, nobody uses it, so BioRAFT makes it convenient for scientists to get in, do the safety and compliance tasks they need to do, and get back to the research they love with as little headache as possible.

Our company is more than a piece of software; we have a professional services team that is dedicated to making implementation as smooth and efficient as possible, because our customers' success is our success.

When an organization partners with BioRAFT, it's not just investing in its researchers, it's investing in itself. BioRAFT gives organizations the capability to manage the time-intensive tasks of laboratory safety without compromising quality. Scientists can focus on doing what they love with fewer hurdles, and organizations can rest assured that laboratory safety is receiving the attention it deserves.

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