On March 24, Seeding Labs, an organization that aims to equip all scientists with the tools, training, and connections they need to be on the cutting edge of global discovery, hosted “Positively Instrumental,” a celebration of the 16 exceptional university departments selected for its 2016 Instrumental Access program, as well as the Seeding Labs’ community of supporters.
The event, which was held at the MIT Museum in Cambridge, MA, also honored five outstanding corporate donors whose contributions of equipment donations, funding, and volunteer time provided crucial support to Instrumental Access and Seeding Labs in 2015.
This year’s Instrumental Access program received 67 applicants from 25 developing countries around the world. Through the competitive application process, Seeding Labs identified these 16 awardees as having the most potential to use equipment to advance cutting-edge research, expand training opportunities for students, and build the infrastructure that’s critical to a thriving scientific community.
2016 Instrumental Access Awards
The 2016 Instrumental Access recipients represent the most talented global scientists in the developing world who will leverage donated equipment for a positive impact in their regions and beyond:
From Latin America and the Caribbean:
- Universidad Iberoamericana Department of Research in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
- Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología Department of Biomedical Engineering in Lima, Peru
- Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia Center for Global Health in Tumes, Peru
- University of Technology School of Pharmacy in Kingston, Jamaica
From East and Central Africa:
- Garden City University College Department of Medical Laboratory Technology in Kumasi, Ghana
- Redeemer’s University Department of Chemical Sciences in Ede, Nigeria
- Université des Montagnes Department of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine in Bangangté, Cameroon
- University of Ghana Department of Biomedical Engineering in Accra, Ghana
- University of Health and Allied Sciences Department of Biomedical Sciences in Ho, Ghana
- University of Ibadan Department of Radiation Oncology in Ibadan, Nigeria
From West and Southern Africa:
- Embu University College Department of Biological Sciences in Embu, Kenya
- Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources Department of Biotechnology in Lilongwe, Malawi
- Machakos University College Department of Physical and Biological Sciences in Machakos, Kenya
- Open University of Tanzania Department of Life Sciences in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
- University of KwaZulu-Natal Department of Pharmacy in Durban, South Africa
- University of Zambia Department of Pharmacy in Lusaka, Zambia
Outstanding Donor Awards
In addition to the Instrumental Access awardees, Seeding Labs recognized five outstanding corporate donors at Positively Instrumental.
Corporate Engagement Awards
- Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which operates as MilliporeSigma in the United States and Canada, was presented a Corporate Engagement Award recognizing its continued and expanding investment in Seeding Labs’ success in 2015, including the volunteer efforts of its entire Operations Leadership Development Team, which lent its expertise to Seeding Labs.
- DSM Nutritional Products of Lexington, Mass., was also recognized with a Corporate Engagement Award for site-wide 100% staff engagement; DSM staff held a volunteer day and helped pack a shipment destined for Hawassa University in Ethiopia.
Most Valuable Donation 2015
- Eisai Inc. from Andover, Mass., was recognized for making the Most Valuable Donation received by Seeding Labs in 2015, which also happened to be their first donation. It placed them in the Yttrium level of donors to Seeding Labs and included more than 200 pieces of essential lab equipment and supplies.
Most Donations 2015
- Sanofi Genzyme was recognized for contributing the Most Donations in 2015 with five donations received from five different groups—a new Seeding Labs record for most donations received from a company in a single year.
Most Instrumental 2015
- Merck was honored with Seeding Labs’ Most Instrumental Award for making the most cumulative lifetime donations to Seeding Labs. Since 2010, Merck has donated more than 1,200 pieces of lab equipment that have benefited Instrumental Access universities in seven countries. They are the first company to reach Seeding Labs’ highest equipment donor level Fermium, which denotes equipment donations worth $1M+ fair market value.
These life sciences and manufacturing corporations have provided critical support to advancing Seeding Labs’ efforts while demonstrating their commitment to corporate social responsibility as a means of catalyzing global science.
“Positively Instrumental was a tremendous opportunity to thank our corporate partners who helped us achieve our best year for equipment donations in Seeding Labs’ history. We were also thrilled to introduce the dedicated global scientists who will use the donated equipment to make meaningful scientific advances,” said Seeding Labs Founder and CEO Nina Dudnik, PhD.
“Despite the successes we celebrated, the widespread interest in Instrumental Access signals that the need is great for researchers in developing countries. We must continue to invest in these talented individuals to support scientific breakthroughs at a local level that can have global impact,” she adds.
Dudnik spoke at the event, along with 2016 Instrumental Access recipient Kingdom Kwapata, PhD, lecturer in the Department of Biotechnology at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Malawi [view Dr. Kwapata’s remarks]. Annica Wayman, PhD, Division Chief for the Research Partnerships for Development Team in the US Global Development Lab at USAID (funder of Seeding Labs) also spoke. The event was emceed by Ari Daniel Shapiro, PhD, science reporter and multimedia producer for NOVA and public radio.