HONG KONG, Sept. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — MGI, a company committed to building core tools and technology to lead life science, today announced the official opening of αLab in the Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks (“HKSTP”), the city’s largest R&D base and one of the most important incubators. Integrating artificial intelligence R&D, application transformation and incubation platform, the brand-new laboratory aims to empower the development of the life sciences industry in Hong Kong and the rest of the world through strengthened global collaboration.
The first smart laboratory with improved operational efficiency
αLab, the first phase of MGI lab in HKSTP, incorporates smart lab, MGI’s digital platform capable of self-learning, self-perception, self-decision-making and self-execution, for high-quality laboratory management and environmental monitoring from samples to data.
Equipped with individual systems for information management, environmental monitoring and robot transfer, as well as MGI’s ZTRON Pro data platform, smart lab delivers ultimate lab compliance, modularization, automation, standardization, informatization, and intelligentization. This marks the first application of smart lab in Hong Kong, which sets to address pain points such as inefficiency and overcomplexity due to manual operation. More and more lab technicians would be freed from repetitive and tedious labour and can instead devote more time and energy to higher-value work.
Founded in 2016, MGI provides real-time, panoramic, life course digital equipment and system packages for precision medicine and healthcare, agriculture and other relevant industries. The company offers a range of self-developed platforms including MGISP-100, MGISP-960 and MGISP-Smart 8 sample preparation systems, spanning sample extraction and library preparation of high, medium and low throughputs.
In addition, MGI is one of the few companies in the world that can independently develop and mass-produce low-, medium- and high-throughput clinical gene sequencers from GB to TB. The new αLab houses multiple DNBSEQ-E25, DNBSEQ-G99, DNBSEQ-G400 and DNBSEQ-T7 sequencers*, covering a product portfolio from low- to ultra-high sequencing throughput across application scenarios.
“The opening of αLab will spur the development of the life sciences ecosystem, not only in Hong Kong, but worldwide,” said Duncan Yu, President of MGI. “In the near future, the second phase of MGI lab in HKSTP, DCS Lab, will empower and advance three fields in frontier science – namely population genomics, single-cell omics and spatiotemporal omics – with MGI’s state-of-the-art tools and technology, unleashing infinite possibilities for the life science industry.”
The DCS Lab Initiative is MGI’s first program targeting international laboratories with focus on frontier science that aims to facilitate large-scale leading multi-omics laboratories and promote life sciences development. As part of the initiative, the initial resources will be utilised to support 10 DCS labs across the world. The DCS Lab in HKSTP will introduce MGI’s DNBelab C-TaiM 4 single-cell platform for droplet generation, DNBeLab C4 pocket single-cell lab, DNBSEQ-T20×2 ultra-high-throughput sequencer*and other products to further advance scientific research.
“We are delighted to have MGI, an outstanding company in the field of gene sequencing, join us as part of HKSTP,” said Dr Grace Lau, Head of Institute for Translational Research, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation. “The new αLab incorporates diverse technologies – including data analytics, machine learning, AI and more – into leading-edge sequencing research, driving advances in precision medicine and bringing in more opportunities for life sciences development.”
MGI’s first laboratory integrating AI and bio-intelligence
The new αLab will also be home to MGI’s first AI laboratory in Hong Kong which serves as the company’s research and development centre focusing on cutting-edge AI technology and industry applications. AI R&D, data analysis and machine learning model development will be utilized to enhance the use of AI in MGI’s range of products and services. It includes data processing and analysis modules, machine learning modules, natural language processing modules, computer vision modules and more.
At the same time, the AI laboratory is expected to boost product intelligence, such as automation, standardization and predictive analysis. It will challenge traditional business models and improve the overall efficiency of the industry by accelerating data-driven decision-making. Through data analysis and pattern recognition, the AI laboratory will help address long-standing problems in the industry.
MGI continues to dedicate efforts in AI research and development: in July this year, the MGI R&D team released an algorithm called “EvoPlay” in Nature Machine Intelligence, an online-only journal published by Nature. The algorithm draws on the self-play method to mutate protein sequences. By combining different function or structure prediction simulators, it trains an intelligent agent in the same way as it does an autonomous driving agent to complete protein evolution with specified function enhancements. The engineering, design and modification of proteins is the underlying basis of gene sequencers, and this algorithm plays an important role in promoting efficient protein design.
Commitment to serving the world
As a global life science technology company, MGI has business presence in more than 90 countries and regions across six continents, serving a cumulative total of more than 2,400 users globally as of June 2023. In addition, MGI has set up scientific research and production bases, training and after-sales service centres in various countries and regions around the world.
The establishment of αLab will enable MGI to continue leveraging its capabilities and strengths in the development and manufacturing of high-end life science tools and technologies. In the future, MGI will continue to develop greater understanding of the needs and pain points of midstream and downstream partners, while prioritizing technological innovation and global cooperation, to provide more advanced and smarter platforms for the industry.
*For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures (except as specifically noted).
MGI Tech Co. Ltd. (or its subsidiaries, together referred to MGI), headquartered in Shenzhen, is committed to building core tools and technology to lead life science through intelligent innovation. Based on its proprietary technology, MGI focuses on research & development, production and sales of sequencing instruments, reagents, and related products to support life science research, agriculture, precision medicine and healthcare. MGI is a leading producer of clinical high-throughput gene sequencers**, and its multi-omics platforms include genetic sequencing**, medical imaging, and laboratory automation. MGI’s mission is to develop and promote advanced life science tools for future healthcare. For more information, please visit the MGI website or connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube.