The 2005 Science in Practice grant, worth £2000, was awarded at Ibla to Tom Walter fromthe Wellcome Trust's Oxford protein production facility
Winning the 2005 Science in Practice Grant at this year's Ibla at London's Olympia has certainly made research scientist Tom Walter very popular with his colleagues at the Wellcome Trust's Oxford protein production facility.
"I look forward to using the £2000 grant to purchase equipment from Ibla exhibitors for our research into miniaturising and automating experiments for protein crystallisation," said Walter.
Like many bench scientists, Walter visited Ibla with a specific remit to check out the very latest laboratory equipment and technology for life science research at this UK-based event.
"Ibla enables me to speak directly with the companies making similar products so that I can assess the cost differences and advantages of various pieces of equipment.
"I've certainly seen new products that I wouldn't otherwise have seen.
"It's also been great to hear what's in the product pipeline and to provide feedback directly to the equipment manufacturers.
"My colleagues and I find that Ibla is a very friendly event that is extremely useful for fact finding on the latest laboratory equipment.
"I'm certainly coming again next year as it's a highly informative and worthwhile day out of the laboratory," concluded Walter.
Visitors were not the only people to have a highly fruitful time at Ibla, says the organiser.
Many of the exhibitors, such as Richard Heath from Qiagen, found the show to be "great for meeting and building relationships with customers".
This comment is backed up by the fact that over half the exhibitors have already rebooked their stands for next year, the organiser reports.
In addition to being a key forum for introducing new products, Ibla has proved to be the ideal venue for networking and meeting old and new contacts alike.
Richard Laight from Absolute Vision commented, "This is our third time at Ibla and it has been the best for us yet.
"It is a very good exhibition as it enables us to do a lot of networking and we have generated some new opportunities with partners that we wouldn't have otherwise accomplished.
"Ibla has a very friendly feel and we are certainly planning a stand in 2006".
Matrix Technologies's Emma Ryan observed that the right type of people were meeting, mixing and mingling: "We have found Ibla to be a very useful show as it is exceptionally focused providing us with a steady flow of good quality leads.
"Customers who visited the stand were very interested in our products and not just the freebies".
Exhibition manager Gordon Kirk from IIR Exhibitions says he was delighted with how well the show was received: "Exhibitors praised the event and have already booked their places for next year".
Kirk personally awarded the Science in Practice Grant to Tom Walter.
"It's great to be able to support those people who do the hard work in life science".
Next year's Ibla will be held on 7-8 November 2006 at Olympia, London, UK.