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2002 Global Laboratory Product Usage Study: Detailed & Regional Analysis52 pages, 54 graphs and tables, more than 6,000 statistical values
Published: October 30, 2002
Life science laboratory workers are the target customers for bioresearch product manufacturers and distributors. In July 2002, we conducted a survey involving more than 32,000 Nature subscribers working in 171 countries and received 3,965 replies from respondents in just over half of these. The majority (92.69%) are actively working or soon planning to work with laboratory products. We estimate that the total population of life scientists is 356,600 worldwide, of whom 281,250 are working in the laboratory and we assume that Nature subscribers are no different from life scientists in general.
This study is the latest in a series of reports covering the past decade and measuring usage rates and planned growth rates for a wide variety of scientitic products and techniques. The new report is the most ambitious project to date, covering more than 300 scientific products and nearly 4,000 respondents. The report contains more than 6,000 key statistical values that benchmark this industry.
Respondents were spread throughout academia, in hospitals and medical schools, as well as in industry and government laboratories and private research foundations. Most often, they are working in the fields of molecular biology, cell biology, and biotechnology, as well as specialties such as bioinformatics, cancer research, proteomics, genetic disease, immunology, and microbiology. As a group, these life scientists most frequently mentioned using amplification (63.76%), cell culture (61.14%), Western blots (56.48%), gene expression (50.88%), cDNA (50.48%), light microscopy (50.45%), cloning (49.46%), and sequencing (43.18%).
Researchers work in laboratory groups which have a mean of approximately 12 total researchers supported by the laboratory budgets. As a group, they are estimated to handle instrumentation budgets of $17.8 thousand per researcher, with an additional estimated $15.8 thousand per researcher to spend on chemicals and biologicals annually. For the first time, we asked respondents to provide their budgets for custom laboratory services ($13.0 thousand per researcher) and for scientific software ($4.7 thousand per researcher).
Among the entire population of life science laboratory workers, the most commonly used chemicals and biologicals among an expanded list of 68 categories of products include: buffers (84.27%), biochemicals (73.98%), electro-phoresis reagents (71.92%), molecular biology reagents (67.28%), DNA markers & standards (65.83%), DNA/RNA purification materials (61.07%), restriction enzymes (57.67%), amplification-related products (56.31%), cell culture media & sera (53.88%), and DNA linkers markers and primers (53.69%).
The most commonly used instruments and apparatus from an expanded list of 68 products among respondents working in the laboratory include: high speed centrifuges (82.93%), incubators (80.79%), laboratory balances (76.94%), water purification equipment (68.10%), optical microscopes (65.77%), pH/specific ion meters (65.15%), thermal cyclers (58.62%), blotting devices (58.09%), UV-vis spectrophotometers (53.08%), and cell culture apparatus (51.92%).
This year, respondents were asked about a total of 112 new categories of custom laboratory services grouped in sections containing animal-related services, biotechnology-related services, cell culture-related services, immunology-related services, molecular biology-related services, protein chemistry-related services, and miscellaneous services. The most widely reported services included: DNA sequencing (29.49%), DNA preparation (24.72%), oligonucleotide synthesis & modification (24.62%), primer & probe design (21.44%), 1-D and 2-D electrophoresis (19.94%), Western blotting (19.66%), sequence analysis (18.54%), instrument calibration & repair (17.13%), and RNA isolation (15.73%).
Respondents were also asked for the first time to indicate their usage and planned adoption for 58 categories of scientific software. The most widely reported categories of software include: graphic & charting software (69.56%), analytical & statistical software (61.48%), data analysis & presentation software (53.96%), bibliographic software (52.46%), illustration software (49.11%), image analysis software (46.68%), DNA sequence analysis software (40.44%), and bioinformatics software (32.93%). In addition, respondents were asked to describe the operating systems being used by their laboratories computers.
Comparing results with our previous 2000 Global Laboratory Product Usage Survey report, we see that the category of chemicals & biologicals showing the most growth since the earlier report were prepared electrophoresis gels (a gain of +11.03% going from 27.90% in 2000 to 38.93% this year). The category of instrumentation and apparatus showing the most growth since 2000 was incubators (a gain of +12.22% going from 68.57% in 2000 to 80.79% this year).
Respondents also indicated which products they planned to begin using within the next 18 months. Among all life science laboratory workers, the fastest growing chemical/biological product is commercial microarrays (+14.76%).
The fastest growing instrument category is confocal microscopes (+14.39%) for a second year running.
The fastest growing category of custom laboratory services is qualitative PCR services (+9.64%).
Finally, the fastest growing category of scientific software is bioinformatics (+12.13%).
The report contains budget data and product usage and growth data both on a global basis as well as itemized in each of four major geographic regions including North America, Western Europe, Asia & the Far East, and the rest of the world. Varying penetration rates of new and established techniques can easily be followed and should assist clients to pinpoint their marketing strategies.
This report is essential reading for any company selling capital equipment, laboratory instruments, chemicals, biologicals, custom services, or scientific software.
Further detailed and custom analyses of this vast database are also available. Contact PhorTech International at +1 650 594 0785 for details.