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Knowing the Risks

This month’s cover story takes an in depth look at the impact of the first-inventor-to-file system that kicked in on March 16, 2013 under the America Invents Act.

by Pamela Ahlberg
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In addition to explaining the evolution of the new patent system, author Key Kidder lets R&D managers know what it might mean for them. “AIA puts R&D managers squarely on the spot. They must evaluate an innovation’s commercial potential much earlier in the process with a larger group of stakeholders and maintain greater secrecy. Collaborations become dicey. Employee turnover can jeopardize IP. Managers, they say, must learn to think strategically to achieve market success.” One more thing to add to your plate.

Forewarned is forearmed.

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In addition to rethinking your strategy for dealing with patent laws, lab managers also need to understand the fundamentals of risk management. “There are many types or domains of risk in labs, including organizational and enterprise, health and safety, clinical and analytical, and environmental risks, to name a few,” say authors Michael and Nanny Bosch in this month’s Leadership & Staffing article. Turn to page 26 for some clear direction on how to create an effective and sustainable risk management program in your lab.

If you’ve been part of a big data implementation project, you already know the enormity of the task. If you haven’t, but think you might be in the future, turn to page 32. “Laboratory managers helming such a project don’t necessarily require the expertise to directly implement a big data project, but it is advisable that they have a general understanding of the process to be able to set realistic goals and timetables,” which is exactly what author John Joyce provides in this month’s article, “Launching a Big Data Project.”

INSIGHTS articles in March include an examination of the latest analytical tools employed in today’s sports doping laboratories (page 44), and technologies being used to develop promising new cancer treatments from antibody-drug conjugates (page 56). If your lab is involved in either of these areas of research, there is much to be gained from both articles.

As for other laboratory technologies, Product Focus articles this month look at GC systems, imaging systems for biology, microwave digesters, and lab stirrers. Survey Says reports cover HPLC systems, automated liquid handers, glassware washers, and glove boxes. And for the very latest in new product introductions across all categories, be sure to check out this month’s Technology News section. Best,

Pamela Ahlberg