HRB INSIGHTS – R&D Optimization & Automation

Hudson River Biotechnology is an innovation-oriented company, with many brilliant scientists in the team. So how do we create an environment where our scientists can perform necessary project tasks, enjoy their work, AND have the time and energy to innovate? Our Innovation & Automation managers, Kitty Huijben & Judit Hunyadkürti wrote down what we’re doing at HRB to make this happen

We’ve upscaled through people, now we’re upscaling through automation

In the last year, HRB has grown from just seven people to almost sixty, most of them in R&D. Of course, this huge upscaling in people has allowed us to expand our R&D capabilities massively. But solely hiring people is not the complete answer (not in the least because we’re slowly spilling out of our office building).

We need to simultaneously remove laborious time-consuming tasks, increase the efficiency, quality, and speed of our protocols, and further scale up our capabilities. So how do we do this?

We believe automation and teamwork is the answer.

The Hamilton robot pushes our R&D processes to a whole new level

As part of our automation progress, we’re happy to share we acquired an automated liquid handler from Hamilton to take laborious tasks off our scientist’s hands. The acquisition of the automation robot means fixed protocols (initially for DNA extraction), dosing and scaling of samples and high-throughput screening of plant tissue culture. And that is only the start of what we’re planning to use it for.

The Hamilton will benefit our R&D processes in speed, quality through reduction of human handling, and the ability to set up much larger projects than currently possible.

"Innovation & upscaling are always a group-effort"

Other automation steps elevate our R&D functionality & sustainability

Not only have we acquired the Hamilton, we’re also upgrading other technologies. We’ve added an automated microscope to our space so that we can better view and register material, we’ve upgraded the light sources in our climate cells to be more adaptable and sustainable and are currently exploring new automation technology to speed up our regeneration process. 

HRB’s lab: high-tech & high-skilled

We’re thrilled by the upgrades we’ve already established and continue to delve into what else is possible. We will continue to ask ourselves what we can optimize in our lab so that the focus remains on innovation and support of our people. This doesn’t just mean more lab equipment; it also means more team members and more teamwork. Innovation and upscaling are always a group-effort!


Our new lab opens in May, and we’re excited to share what this will mean for our R&D in a future update!