Uncountable, a San Francisco-based startup, provides integrated electronic lab notebook and laboratory information management software to the global chemicals and materials industry with an aim of helping R&D teams cut development time, reduce testing iterations, and find innovative new products faster.
Only a small percentage of R&D teams are currently using advanced data analytics, says Jason Hirshman, Uncountable’s co-founder. Many are still tracking their work on Excel sheets saved on personal hard drives, he says.
“We see a lot of the same problems,” says Hirshman. “Unless you are able to do analysis with structured data you are not going to be able to leverage R &D.”
Common causes of wasted resources and missed data opportunities can be found in industries ranging from rubbers and polymers producers to personal care companies, he says. Nearly identical experiments are sometimes conducted in different parts of an organization by chemists who can’t find data on a similar project he or she did last year or because a chemist can’t easily access data and sometimes can’t interpret the data from another chemist in the same lab. And, often a team of chemists has no way to check which experiments are already being run in a different lab within the same organization. Adding to these problems is that when scientists retire or move on, they often leave little structured data from their years of research for the next generation to build on.
While competitors offer software that helps digitize lab notebook information they don’t offer the ability to analyze data or build visualizations, says Hirshman. Uncountable’s AI-powered web platform “ allows companies to easily see experiments that have been done in the past and do analysis across the experiments and learn from past data,” he says. “This is what the future of R &D is going to look like.”
Customers include German chemical and consumer goods company Henkel, Tesa, a German manufacturer of adhesive tapes for industry, Carbon, a U.S.-based digital manufacturing platform and Solidia, a U.S.-based cement and concrete technology company that uses CO₂ to create building, construction and industrial products.
You can access more of The Innovator’s Startup Of The Week articles here.