Derek Jacoby

BioSpace is an offshoot of makerspace. I havve a massive interest in maintaining lab procedures, equipment, I'm doing a biosensors biotech startup out of a startup. Whereas biocurious is sorta anarchy where people bring projects, biospace has a benign dictator and that's me. So this provides governance. So governance models for hackerspace is always interesting to me. I think that makes a huge difference for the feel of the psace. We're trying to do the same things, we have classes, getting people into the space, it's a change in the attitude of how to set it up.

We have a PCR machine, gel boxes, gel electrophoresis, pipettes, microscopes, ln2 equipment, chemistry glassware. Two of the things I want to mention is homebuilt equipment. We do lots of electronics at biospace. This little spot in the center is an empty box where there will be a UV photopolymerization which is the Lemon Curry build. These are really stinky, these are all homebuilt projects. I want to sync up with people who want to build microfluidics platform.

So, homemade equipment is the first equipment trend. There are so many things that people are buying. There is electronics and biology stuff merging. There's a colorimeter project on kickstarter. The openpcr projecti s another example. We need another open source photospectrometer. We could do great things with making our own equipment. The second thing is that, is actually the used equipment talk.

We could get lots better with deals and equipment than we have been. Other than Vancouver Island, which is a small and rural area. When a biotech company goes down on Vancouver Island, it's just firesale plices. This company cloned christmas trees, they had 200 people just doing this all the time. These are 8-foot long HEPA filter flow hood. Vancouver Island could not absorb 90 flow hoods in a single auction so they came for $25 each. Boy, I wish I could have sent you guys all these fume hoods.

A lot of stuff comes from ebay, a lot of stuff or everything has come used. I would love to see this getting better at in our community. The disparity in reagent costs is ridiculous, order of magnitudes or something. There's the lacz promoter to make your agar plates with it.. I make $14 for 100 mg of that. Down here, same supplier might be $71, it's just amazing the pricing differences. We should figure out which ones have the best prices, which ones are open to selling to diybio people.

Echoing Ellen's comment about working together better, or skyping or something, at BioCurious I had a telepresence robot. At first it was called BioT, then Google cancelled the account because it's not a real name, and John Biota now on Google+, you can call up him on Google+, and you can talk with people who are standing there. We had our journal club presenter do it remotely, and the projector projected it up on the wall. The premium skype account can do a group skype chat, and I'd love to see these journal clubs and share speakers and projects and do more of this online collaboration with each other.

The last thing that I have to talk about is the importance of becoming an actual space. Getting through the legal issues and getting it more legitimate than a garage lab. In Canada, I had a rented house and my lab in my basement, I slipped on the ice, fell down the steps, had the ambulance called, and oh god am I going to jail because the ambulance will see it? Well, my girlfriend got home first and closed the garage door so they didn't see it. The thing I found when setting up biospace is that this is still a hard time. The story about Sunnyvale being receptive, the story of Genspace taking 2 years to find a space, the truth is that with the redtape is that being a little bit quiet about calling it a community lab. Biospace is just technically my biotech startup space, I asked insurance companies if they would insure me, well.. saying it's my biosensors biotech startups, and would you insure me, $300 and so on. Then there's nothing preventing me from letting people to come in, thruogh a strange little twist that I didn't plain. My accountant said I could get a tax reduction because I'm loaning my space to a non-profit, because it's treating it as a business... it's the path of least resistance, and make it official.

We can talk a lot about really cool technical stuff on Thursday and show you some cool stuff we're working on. Thanks.