Reinvented Resource Management Powers Innovation Cycles

An interview with Pierre Merea, Founder & CEO, Keralia
August 10, 2022

We are delighted to welcome Keralia to the Tetra Partner Network and to share a recent conversation with Pierre Merea, CEO. Before founding Keralia, Pierre spent his entire career in IT, helping customers leverage technology to solve their most pressing business needs. Several years ago, he shifted his focus to transforming Research and Innovation organizations, specifically to help scientists automate menial, non-valuable tasks with modern cloud technology. 

Please provide a brief overview of Keralia

Keralia is a French tech startup with a mission to help scientists focus on their research much more effectively by digitizing their resource utilization workflows in a self-serve model.  Our cloud platform, newLab™ is built to support the unique needs of scientists and is powered by ServiceNow®️, which has been adopted in many industries because its low-code technology easily enables customization. 

Our multidisciplinary team, combining scientists and software experts, is driven by passion, enthusiasm, and a real willingness to enable more efficient research by helping customers leverage cutting-edge cloud technology. Ultimately, we want to power faster innovation cycles to build a better future for our children and grandchildren. 

What customer needs or challenges does Keralia solve?

Scientists increasingly depend on shared technology and specialized services, like scientific instrumentation and technology platforms (imaging, HTS, NGS, HPLC, etc.). Historically, those resources have been developed and managed within separate silos, forcing scientists to work with different and poorly integrated systems when they need resources to run their assays and experiments. Lacking access to and visibility of available resources wastes money and, even more, delays crucial scientific breakthroughs and innovations.

Keralia is reinventing lab services so that customers can run central labs, core facilities, and shared infrastructures as a service.

We connect researchers with their experiments, resources, data, and teammates, anytime, anywhere.

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newLab simplifies all aspects of resource utilization and management in real time in one platform, eliminating silos and decreasing time to research

With newLab, we provide a single platform where biopharma R&D organizations can:

  • Centralize the management of their lab resources and shared scientific services
  • Create a scientist-centric portal where researchers can easily find the resources they need to do their work
  • Share knowledge and best practices to support the efficient and compliant use of resources
  • Empower scientists to schedule resources directly and almost immediately, rather than submitting a request and waiting for access
newLab provides easy-to-customize workflows that digitize and automate most tasks, letting scientists focus on their projects and enabling full traceability of their activities.

Examples of digital workflows enabled by newLab are instrument maintenance and utilization, on-demand imaging or cell media preparation services, requests for analytical services, access to research computing services, and access to external services like CROs or marketplaces.

What benefits do customers derive from your platform?

Our solution adds tremendous value for both lab managers and scientists by:

  • Consolidating resource management, creating efficiencies in the utilization of scientific assets, and providing an end-to-end line of sight into all laboratory resources connected to  the R&D infrastructure, including lab IT equipment and software.
  • Eliminating bottlenecks and time-consuming activities to maximize resource management and utilization, leading to improved productivity in labs and accelerated outcomes
  • Setting up and automating entire workflows extremely quickly. For example, within minutes, a scientist can choose a specific media from an online catalog, input special media requirements, and automatically move that information into a lab notebook which can send an alert that the preparation has been completed so that the actual research workflow can begin. 
We enable central labs and core facilities to run as a service and create for scientists a modern user experience matching the consumer-grade internet services we’re all used to in our personal lives.

What is really unique and valuable about newLab is that we enable central labs and core facilities to run as a service and create for scientists a modern user experience matching the consumer-grade internet services we’re all used to in our personal lives. 

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Scientists can use newLab on their phones to find available resources or check inventory

Please tell us more about newLab Store. 

newLab Store is a next-generation solution for the management of research resources and shared services. newLab is built around a scientist-centric portal, one single digital place where scientists can access, in a few clicks, all resources at their disposal. For instance, they can search newLab knowledge base with a Google-like search bar to find a suitable protocol for an assay. As protocols are linked to the required instruments, they can schedule instruments directly from the protocol. The idea is to make it easier for them so that they don’t waste time.

newLab is built around a scientist-centric portal, one single digital place where scientists can access, in a few clicks, all resources at their disposal.  

Obviously, newLab Store is fully customizable so that customers can define and organize their own catalogs. It comes with out-of-the-box workflows, like request management or billing if services are cross-charged to users, so that customers can easily adapt to their particular needs.

newLab Store provides customizable catalogs of customers’ instrument fleets by analytic technology, which can be used to book instruments.  

How do scientists access your platform and through what type of interface?

Users of our platform just need a browser and an internet connection from their computer or tablet. Some features, like inventory control, are available on smartphones with a mobile app.

 

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Performing routine tasks such as booking an instrument take just seconds with newLab’s visual interface

How quickly can your solution be implemented?

It all depends on the customer size and project’s scope. And newLab is a modular solution by design, allowing phased and agile implementations.

To answer your question, if I look at the projects we’ve done, I’ll say that a typical implementation takes between 2 and 6 months.

But if you want to start just with online reservation for a fleet of microscopes, say, this can be very  quick and up-and-running in a few days!

How easy is it to adopt and customize ServiceNow functionality within newLab?

We’re doing our best to design intuitive workspaces so that adoption is easy. ServiceNow helps us here, with tools like guided tours that can be setup to help new or occasional users navigate newLab’s main features, or flow designer which is a no-code, drag-and-drop interface for users to customize workflows or create their own custom workflows from pre-built components in a controlled way. I like to say it’s like assembling Lego bricks!

Large pharmas can easily integrate the newLab portal into their corporate ServiceNow portal to create a one-stop-shopping experience for their R&D users. 

Another interesting point is that running on the ServiceNow platform makes newLab easily interfaceable with other ServiceNow applications. For example, most big pharma companies run their IT services on ServiceNow. Large pharmas can easily integrate the newLab portal into their corporate ServiceNow portal to create a one-stop-shopping experience for their R&D users. 

What type of reporting functionality does newLab provide?

We have several dashboards provided out-of-the box that can be customized by end-users, no development needed here. For more sophisticated analytics, we’ve built an integration with Jupyter Notebook that will be part of our next release, scheduled for October.

How can being a part of the Tetra Partner Network benefit your customers?

Let me say first that I’m thrilled to join Tetra Partner Network. I believe our customers need and want open platforms to support their R&D lifecycle and accelerate outcomes. Building an integration with the Tetra Scientific Data Cloud(™) will offer our customers extended connectivity and data access to build seamless workflows spanning their R&D ecosystem. 

Please read our press announcement to learn more about the TetraScience and Keralia partnership