Five Minutes with Sharon Palmer - Connected Devices Lead for BV Nexus by Binary Vision - Lab Innovations UK

Five Minutes with Sharon Palmer – Connected Devices Lead for BV Nexus by Binary Vision

This week we are sharing five minutes with Sharon Palmer, who currently works as a connected device lead for BV Nexus by Binary Vision.

Ready, set, Share!

Can you give us an insight into your career path and how you ended up working in the lab industry?

My very first job after university was in the laboratory instruments business. A world, that as a girl growing up in a coastal town, I did not even know existed. I studied Computer-Aided Chemistry and won a scholarship that resulted in me spending a year working in and then returning to PerkinElmer.

Initially, I was an applications scientist with their spectroscopy group learning analytical science while using my programming skills to, amongst other things, develop applications for testing how effective bottles are at keeping in carbon dioxide, how oil can be used oil can report the condition of engines and to test for lubricant content on yarn. It was an exciting time as the PCs became more powerful, allowing instruments and processing to be completed much easier, the internet became mainstream, and technological developments were allowing the size and performance of laboratory instruments to decrease.

As such I was involved in a huge range of product introductions and set my sights on becoming more involved with end customers and meeting their evolving needs with innovative new products. After a while at business college, I began my career in product management and held a number of roles with increasing financial and strategic responsibility.

More recently I have been looking at customer value, solutions, and barriers for the laboratory suppliers to modernize their connections with customers.  I am a strong advocate that those that utilize the full power of digital connectivity to transform how they interact with customers will drive sustainable growth through greater innovation, new services, and customer intimacy.

What is something that keeps you motivated within the industry or what influences your decisions on how you work?

The passion of my co-workers, combined with their deep expertise of their technology and scientific arenas. Everyone involved in bringing a piece of laboratory equipment to market, every engineer, scientist, developer, and researcher I have worked with, has the very best experience and technical knowledge, and that is built into every instrument designed and built.

I’ve always enjoyed letting these experts do the talking – often the features and ideas they bring may be technically challenging to initially understand but often have untapped customer value and help drive product innovation. This intercept between understanding the customer intimately but uncovering new technical innovation is my favourite place.

Where do you see either you or the future of the lab industry going?

I do believe that the laboratory instruments business will continue with its detection innovation, instruments that deliver the same if not better sensitivity at lower cost or size.  Combining this with sampling innovation and automation will enable customers to deliver more results, faster and with increased reliability. Longer term, however, I think the real disruption will come around how customers interact with lab suppliers and purchase equipment.  Equipment may be provided on a guaranteed uptime or pay-per-sample basis where the responsibility for the reliability, health and quality of results are with the supplier and buddled with support packages to assist customers through their laboratory challenges.  The laboratory suppliers have the deep technical expertise for the analytical challenges and the capability to keep instruments working reliably day in and out – why wouldn’t a customer ask a supplier to do more of what they are already good at?

Very insightful, thank you for your five minutes, Sharon Palmer!


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Lab Innovations has fast become the UK’s must-attend event for the entire laboratory industry. Supported by some of the UK’s top science institutions, it is a key event for powering the business of science. The show floor is bursting with innovations from more than 160 leading scientific suppliers and manufacturers showcasing the latest laboratory developments and equipment. Exhibitors present the most cutting-edge technology applicable to a plethora of industries including life sciences, pharmaceuticals, academia, healthcare, chemical, food & drink, cleanroom and more.

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