Focus on R&D Drives Demand for Laboratory Equipment, Supplies

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This Thomas Index Report is sponsored by Liberty Industries, a leading manufacturer and distributor of cleanroom and contamination control supplies and accessories.

In this week’s Thomas Index Report, we’re going to take a look at sourcing activity for Laboratory Equipment and Supplies by users of the platform. Our data shows that over the past 12 weeks, sourcing activity in this category is up 25% over its historical average.

It’s also up 24% year over year. Our data also shows that combined sourcing activity is up 22% year over year in the related categories of Laboratory Glassware, Laboratory Furniture, and Used Laboratory Equipment and Supplies.

Earlier this month, government officials broke ground on a huge multipurpose research facility at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. The $95 million, 100,000 square foot facility will include laboratories for research into materials sciences, quantum computing, and more.

Also this month, the D.O.D’s Defense Logistics Agency concluded the bidding process for a $312 million contract for laboratory equipment and supplies.

These are just two examples of huge government spending in this category – spending that promises to remain strong, as the White House’s 2020 budget provides $134 billion for federal research and development, including significant investments in R&D facilities and equipment.

Spending in this category by universities is also huge; for a frame of reference, Cornell University alone spends more than $25 million per year on laboratory equipment and supplies. The full spectrum of industries also rely on laboratories for product research, design, testing, and manufacture.

Keeping those labs running takes a significant investment, as laboratory equipment and supplies range from things like cleaning supplies, containers and protective wear, to high-tech instrumentation and measuring devices, to clean room filters, heating and cooling devices, and more.

Should the economy continue to grow, we expect sourcing in this category to grow as well, as businesses and manufacturers do the lab work they need to bring new products to market.

Moving on from Laboratory Equipment and Supplies, here’s a look at the top 10 industrial product and service categories being sourced on the platform over the past four weeks.

  1. CNC Machining
  2. Aluminum
  3. Printed Circuit Boards
  4. Steel
  5. Plastic Injection Molding Services
  6. Fasteners
  7. Automation Equipment
  8. Metal Fabrication
  9. Food Products
  10. Metal Stampings

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Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next week.

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