OUTLOOK ON INSTRUMENTATION
After the shipping container arrives, Seeding
Labs requests unpacking photos and stays in
regular contact with the labs, looping them in on
additional grant opportunities, offering technical
support and connecting them with colleagues in
the U.S. or elsewhere in the world.
The success of the Instrumental Access pro-
gram would not be possible without the gener-
osity of its donors. For example, Seeding Labs
recently honored Merck with a Global Catalyst
Award for their “unmatched contributions and
their commitment to expanding their global im-
pact.” The pharma giant has donated more equip-
ment by value than any other company to date.
Another key donor is Kansas City-based
Labconco Corporation, Seeding Labs’ biggest
equipment manufacturing donor by a margin of
over 20 percent. It’s the manufacturing part,
Lillianfeld, says, that can make a big difference.
“We truly care about quality, so we love
it when equipment comes directly from the
manufacturer,” Lillianfeld said. “Plus, the items
Labconco makes are the building blocks of the
labs we service—hoods, freeze dryers, water
purifiers—so they’re hard to get, and necessary.”
The Instrumental Access program is its lifeblood, but Seeding Labs has its philanthropic
eyes on other endeavors, too, like building its
Ambassador program and curating videos and
participants for its budding Remote Learning Platform, which it named “TeleScience.”
Bottom line: Everything the organization does
is to either make the world of science a much
smaller place or a much larger place, depending on how you look at it.
“I’ve heard many scientists say, ‘I wish there
was something I could do to make a difference.
I feel like it’s all so esoteric,’” Lillianfeld said.
“But I disagree. I can introduce you to many
scientists who are sweating it out to make
that impact. It’s possible. Making a difference,
I think, is a baseline for scientists. They look at
the world and say, ‘I can learn more about that.
I can make it better.’ We just get them the tools
they need to do it.”
Jessica Burdg, Contributing Science Writer
A shipment of donated and carefully curated laboratory equipment arrives at its new
home at the University of Embu in Embu, Kenya. Photo: Seeding Labs