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Lab automation market to reach USD11.31B by 2031

The lab automation market is projected to reach $11.31 billion by 2031, at a CAGR of 7.3% from 2024 to 2031.

Lab automation refers to the use of automated systems, instruments, and software to streamline and optimize various laboratory processes and tasks. It involves the deployment of automated systems and technologies that are intended to enhance efficiency and accuracy in laboratory processes.

The increasing pharmaceutical and biotech R&D expenditure, growing demand for automated labs and instruments, increasing prevalence of chronic and infectious diseases, and government initiatives supporting life sciences R&D are the factors driving the growth of the lab automation market. Factors such as growth in genomics and proteomics, increasing focus on food safety and quality, increasing awareness and adoption of personalized medicines, and emerging economies are a few opportunities that would help grow the market in the future.

However, the high costs of advanced lab automation equipment and funding and infrastructure limitations in developing countries are restraining the market’s growth. Additionally, equipment maintenance and repair and data security and privacy concerns are major challenges for the market growth.

Adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in laboratory automation
In recent years, laboratories have increased their focus on automating workflows to boost efficiency and accelerate research. Manual processes are highly prone to human error. Laboratory automation ensures high precision and prevents human-introduced errors. Some lab automation workstations are equipped with robotic arms and sophisticated software, which ensures high precision and consistent dispensing of liquids.

There have been several technological advancements in the field of laboratory automation, one of which is the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). The reliance of laboratories on AI and ML is increasing rapidly due to a shortage of skilled professionals in laboratories. AI and ML help automate workflows, prioritize samples, differentiate between conditions, verify results, and perform quality checks. In May 2023, A. Menarini Diagnostics Ltd. (U.K.) announced the launch of Prime MDx, a fully automated molecular diagnostics platform. This sample-to-result platform allows users to process a variety of sample types through real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). This platform can run up to 5 different assays per sample with a capacity of 240 samples per day using AI-driven software.

Adopting AI can significantly increase the efficiency of laboratories. Clear Labs, Inc. (U.S.), a private genomic testing company, offers a fully automated next-generation sequencing platform for clinical diagnostics. The company offers Clear Dx and Clear Safety Automated Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) instruments. These instruments use sequencing, robotics, and cloud-based analytics to detect various types of infections and conditions. Clear Dx was initially used to screen salmonella and listeria in food products but was redirected to detect pathogens and microorganisms during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The global lab automation market is segmented by Product [systems {automated liquid handling systems, automated nucleic acid purification systems, automated ELISA systems, automated microplate readers, automated storage and retrieval systems, and other lab automation systems}, and software{laboratory information management software (LIMS), electronic lab notebook (ELN), workstation/equipment automation software, and scientific data management systems (SDMS)}], Application (drug discovery, clinical diagnostics, genomics, and proteomics research, and other applications), End User (pharmaceutical & biotechnology companies, hospitals & diagnostic laboratories, research & academic institutes, and other end users) and Geography. The study also evaluates industry competitors and analyzes their market share at global and regional levels.

Based on product, in 2024, the systems segment is expected to account for the largest share of 71.5% of the lab automation market. The factors attributed to the large market share of this segment include improved speed, efficiency, low labor cost, simultaneous variable testing, rising pharmaceutical R&D expenditure, and the advantages of automated liquid handling systems while reducing errors. Systems are automated instruments that are integrated with advanced technologies that enable new and improved processes, primarily eliminating repetitive tasks. Some of the systems included in this segment are automated liquid handling systems, automated ELISA systems, automated nucleic purification systems, and automated microplate readers, among others. Recently, laboratories have been facing increasing pressure to improve the quality, efficiency, and throughput, which can be solved using lab automation. Some of the instruments, such as automated liquid handling systems, can test several samples, either the same or different, at the same time, efficiently decreasing sample workload on laboratories and allowing sample variable testing, hence contributing to the large share of the market.

Based on application, in 2024, the drug discovery segment is expected to account for the large market share of 35.5% of the lab automation market. The large share of the segment is attributed to factors such as an increased focus on drug development, improved accuracy, efficiency, and throughput of the drug delivery process, the ability to screen a large number of compounds, and government initiatives supporting drug discovery and development. The government initiatives aim to enhance the effectiveness of drug discovery and development processes by using advanced technologies and automation. For instance, in March 2023, the Governor of New York State announced the establishment of a USD 50 million pilot for the “Lab of the Future”, which was supported by USD 25 million through the Empire State Development Grant. This initiative was started to incorporate automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning in the preclinical drug discovery process to make it faster, data-driven, and cost-effective, hence contributing to the large share of the market.

Based on end user, in 2024, the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies segment is expected to account for the large share of 41% of the lab automation market. Increasing pharmaceutical R&D expenditure, rising demand for new drug discovery and development, growing focus on increasing overall productivity, and initiatives by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to expand their research capabilities by opening new research centers contribute to the large market share of this segment. The expansion of companies through new research laboratories and centers will increase the production and development of drugs and decrease sample workload. For instance, in January 2023, Insilico medicine (U.S.), an AI-driven drug discovery company, launched their 6th generation Intelligent Robotics Drug Discovery Laboratory. This is a fully automated AI-powered robotics lab that performs several processes, such as target discovery, compound screening, precision medicine development, and translational research.

Geographically, in 2024, North America is expected to account for the largest share of 40.8% of the lab automation market, followed by Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa. The North America lab automation is estimated to be worth USD 2.8 billion in 2024.

However, the Asia-Pacific lab automation market is slated to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The high market growth in Asia-Pacific is attributed to improving healthcare infrastructure, increasing disposable income, expanding pharmaceutical & biotechnology industry, and increasing pharmaceutical research and government funding. Improvement in healthcare infrastructure, especially in developing countries, leads to reduced costs, improved accuracy, and faster diagnosis. This, coupled with the use of automated instruments, can substantially increase the growth of the market.

The report also includes an extensive assessment of the key strategic developments of leading market participants in the industry over the years (2021–2024). The global lab automation market has witnessed product launches, product enhancements, partnerships, collaborations, agreements, and expansions in the last couple of years. Meticulous Research®

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