Insights from industry

Advancing Laboratory Collaboration - Connexus®

insights from industryMarc Vitorino
Emmanuel Archer
Thorsten Thiel

Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration and objectives behind Connexus, Bruker BioSpin’s innovative platform connecting NMR scientists and laboratories?

Connexus was inspired by the vision of contributing to the advancement of scientific discovery by connecting advanced laboratories with scientists and researchers who require specialized and advanced analytical measurements that may not be available at their home institution or company.

Connexus is all about making it easy for researchers to gain access to state-of-the-art equipment and additional expertise without having to incur their own infrastructure and staff costs.

Image Credit: Bruker Biospin

What role does Connexus play in Bruker BioSpin’s broader strategy as a digital solution provider in today’s evolving scientific landscape?

Bruker BioSpin is widely recognized as a leader in analytical magnetic resonance instrumentation and tools. To complement our offerings to the customers, we continue to develop our digital capabilities to support the rapidly changing needs of the scientific community.

In the post-COVID era, there is a trend towards larger scientific teams making shared use of research infrastructure. There are many advantages to this shared model: enhanced collaboration, cost-effectiveness, better utilization of equipment, and more.
Connexus facilitates access to research infrastructure for institutions or companies with limited internal demand, enabling them to benefit from this shared infrastructure and thus contributes to scientific and research consulting networks.

Connexus is an important building block of Bruker BioSpin’s strategy for digital innovations and the Services and Aftermarket portfolio. In addition to being a service offering and an enabling platform for this strategy, Connexus® will also serve as the family name for all our connected and digital offerings such as remote diagnostics, remote service and consulting solutions and predictive maintenance, underlining our vision of a strong digital ecosystem of Connected Services.

Connexus® represents a key step in our vision of a digitally conscious provider of comprehensive solutions that go beyond instruments and a trusted business partner for our customers and the markets we serve.

Download the Connexus flyer

Can you introduce Connexus and some of its key features?

Connexus is an online NMR-sharing platform currently available in 30 European countries. It connects nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) scientists in need of analytical services and data evaluation expertise with NMR laboratories equipped with the necessary infrastructure, equipment solutions and personal resources. It currently supports NMR and TD-NMR spectrometers; however, we are looking to expand to other instrumentation techniques in the future.

Service providers that utilize Connexus can offer additional services, such as high-priority sample measurement, sample preparation, and spectrum interpretation, as well as connect instruments at multiple sites for additional flexibility.
Connexus is the first commercially available platform of its kind, offering a convenient and connected end-to-end workflow, from client requests to sample transport, results upload, and payment processing. Service providers and clients benefit from intra-platform interactions and seamless transactions.
 
The platform can be accessed from any browser without the need for time-consuming installations or updates. All communications and data are fully encrypted in the secure and user-friendly cloud-based software.

The payment options currently available are bank transfer/debit card and credit card.

What benefits can Connexus members expect?

With Connexus, clients from industry and academia can benefit from access to high-performance scientific instruments and recent technological innovations, such as magnetic fields and probes, without incurring the cost of investing in big instrumentation.

Often, NMR sample preparation is flexibly outsourced together with the analytical request, resulting in higher throughput measurements and streamlined research processes.

Participating laboratories or service providers can optimize their instrument uptime, thereby lowering the total cost of ownership of an instrument. The income stream earned by providing services through Connexus can be used for improvements in their laboratories or for upgrading their instruments.

Ultimately, joining Connexus will help expand scientists’ networks. This will facilitate the formation of new collaborations and provide individuals with access to cutting-edge research and additional expertise, contributing to the advancement of scientific discovery.

connexus, labImage Credit: Bruker Biospin

How does Connexus ensure the security of data and transactions, and what measures are in place to protect users’ privacy?

Data security and data protection on Connexus meet all standards. Connexus is fully GDPR compliant.

The platform utilizes encryptions for all data and payment details. It integrates a trusted external provider, Stripe, for payment solution certification. Stripe has been audited as PCI DSS-certified (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1.

Connexus adheres to all global security standards when processing your data including payments.

Could you provide a concise overview of how Connexus connects NMR scientists and laboratories and why it is unique in the industry?

The premise of Connexus is simple. Instrumentation providers list their instruments and services on the online platform as service providers, and potential users can search for the service provider that best suits their needs. For example, via distance, price, analysis type, and more.

While sometimes departments have their internal platform access for shared instruments, Connexus makes it easy to set up such networks on a national or international scale.

Rather than building a dedicated national infrastructure for facilities, Connexus means any laboratory or any instrument can be opened up to the wider scientific community with minimal fuss.

Registering as a member of Connexus is completely free of charge. As a service provider, you can join the platform and set up your account, instruments, and services for free.

Connexus charges service providers a transaction-based fee only. This means that, as a service provider, you only pay a fee if you have provided a service to a client. The amount of this fee is based on the commercial value of the service provided.

The same is true for clients. As a client, you can join the platform and research the available service providers for free. Connexus only charges its clients a transaction-based fee, which means that a client only pays a fee if they have outsourced a service to a service provider. This fee is also based on the economic value of the service provided.

As mentioned, Connexus is unique in offering a fully integrated platform that enables clients and laboratories to collaborate across national borders and conduct seamless transactions by taking care of communication, logistics and payments.

How easy is it for customers to set up their Connexus account?

The set-up process is straightforward, regardless of whether you are a client or service provider. As a client, you simply need to register with Connexus to begin placing your orders. As a service provider, you register with Connexus, set up your billing and payment details, and add an instrument and a service. You are then ready to receive orders.

connexus, scientific expertise

Image Credit: Bruker Biospin

Can you share any success stories from Connexus users highlighting how the platform has positively impacted their work?

Connexus, NovalixNovAliX, one of the earliest subscribers to Connexus as a service provider, finds that the platform significantly enhanced its visibility to clients seeking specific NMR instrument time in an ISO 9001-certified environment. It also benefits from offering access to ultra-high field NMR systems through the platform.

NovAliX is very pleased that Bruker manages all of the paperwork, data management, and even sample shipping. The team feels it is an excellent way to make new connections.

 

Image Credit: NovAliX

What key strategies are employed to create awareness and drive the adoption of Connexus among potential clients and service providers?

In addition to providing and further innovating the Connexus platform, we continually invest in creating demand and engagement to benefit all our members.

We engage in numerous activities to drive Connexus awareness and adoption. This includes frequently posting on social media, promoting the platform on bruker.com, sending emails to registered clients and service providers, and featuring selected service providers on our social media and Connexus landing page.

Could you walk us through the various support resources available to potential and existing Connexus users and how they can access critical information and assistance?

At Bruker Biospin, we pride ourselves on our customer-focused approach, and as part of Connexus, we provide full support for any user inquiries and needs.

We encourage our clients and service providers to visit the Connexus website, which includes a frequently asked questions section, short videos that summarize how Connexus works, downloadable navigation guides, the Connexus flyer, and a link to book a free demo of the Connexus platform with a Connexus expert. Customers can contact us directly via the contact form on the Connexus website.

Could you reiterate how Connexus aligns with Bruker BioSpin’s overarching strategy as a digital solution provider in the connected services ecosystem?

Connexus was intentionally designed to give our customers better and flexible access to cutting-edge research and consulting services at a fraction of the cost. Whatever your NMR analysis or instrumentation needs, Bruker BioSpin has an affordable and efficient solution through Connexus and its qualified network of laboratories.

Connexus thus contributes to our vision of a digitally conscious provider of comprehensive solutions that go beyond instruments and a trusted business partner for our customers and the markets we serve.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Bruker BioSpin.

For more information on this source, please visit Bruker BioSpin Magnetic Resonance Technologies and Bruker BioSpin Connexus.

Download the Connexus flyer

About the Speakers

Marc Vitorino, PhD


Marc Vitorino is a structural biologist by training who chose early in his career to join the industry and the field of early drug discovery.

After completing his Ph.D. in France, he moved to Cambridge as a research associate in the biophysics group of Dr. Glyn Williams at Astex Therapeutics, where he specialized in applying the technique of liquid-state NMR spectroscopy to identify new fragments that could potentially lead to new approved drugs on the market.

At NovAliX, as head of the NMR platform within the biophysics group of Dr. Renaud Morales, Marc is mainly interested in applying the technique of liquid-state NMR spectroscopy with fragment libraries to study different therapeutical target proteins, identify new binding molecules and characterize the interaction between the fragment and the protein of interest. To help customers initiate their early drug discovery programs, he works on developing methods to make the liquid-state NMR technique more applicable.

Emmanuel Archer, MBA, Dipl.-Ing

Emmanuel Archer is Head of Business Development in the Services & Lifecycle Support Division at Bruker BioSpin. In this role, he is responsible for Digital & Connected Services, such as Connexus and the Bruker-wide eCommerce business.

Prior to joining Bruker, he fulfilled various senior appointments at a global level in the IT and Semiconductor industries, spanning business unit leadership, indirect business and sales development management, key account management, category and product management, product marketing and application engineering.

Emmanuel holds an MBA from the Universities of Augsburg, Germany and Pittsburgh, USA, and an Electrical Engineering degree from the Augsburg University of Applied Sciences.

Thorsten Thiel, PhD


Thorsten Thiel is the president of the Bruker BioSpin Services and Lifecycle Support business. After completing his Ph.D. in Freiburg, Germany and Zurich in the area of neuroimaging and brain metabolism, he had several positions at Bruker BioSpin and Bruker Corporation in Applications, Product Management, Marketing, Commercial Excellence and now the Services business.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

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