SLAS Strategic Plan
In 2009-2010, the merger of SBS and ALA into one united membership organization was the first step in a process expected to yield greater reach, impact and success for the complementary (and now combined) missions of both organizations.
The membership of the newly created SLAS now comprises academic, industrial and government scientists, engineers and informatics professionals, and science and technology focused product development, marketing and sale specialists — all of whom share a common interest in advancing their understanding and expertise in laboratory technology and science. Helping them do this requires that SLAS remain strong and relevant as an organization. Remaining strong and relevant requires sound planning that's grounded in both the demands of the membership and the realities of ever-changing global business and research environments.
Understanding member priorities and recognizing appropriate opportunities to realistically pursue and develop the organization in alignment with evolving global business strategies and technology advancements is the basis of this strategic plan.
This strategic plan will lead the SLAS Board of Directors and professional team as they work hand-in-hand with section and committee leaders and members-at-large to spur actionable new initiatives (i.e. programs, products, services and events). These new ideas, in turn, will be considered via a methodically managed and dynamically driven annual budget development process.
The Society's purpose is to advance laboratory science and technology through education and scientific research, and to serve as a public forum for the exchange of information related to laboratory science and technology.
The Society's mission is to be a global organization providing forums for education and information exchange to encourage the study and the advancement of the science and practice of laboratory automation and screening.
Our Strategic Priorities
The priorities defined by this plan establish realistic direction to guide the SLAS leadership and professional team as they pursue opportunities, consider investments and make decisions on behalf of the SLAS membership in the context of an evolving global market. This strategic framework is not intended to limit or restrict ideas or initiatives, but rather focus limited resources in ways that will best serve the membership and the organization.
Plan additional laboratory technology and scientific segments and disciplines for the Society to address over the next three to five years. Our goal is to be a multi-disciplinary organization serving academia, industry, government organizations, private institutes and technology providers across geographic borders.
SLAS currently has and will uncompromisingly continue to develop a strong presence in the drug discovery segment, including the disciplines of drug discovery testing (library management, screening, assay development, data management, automation, etc.), system integration and miniaturization technologies.
SLAS has a moderate to small presence in the (listed alphabetically) clinical diagnostics, consumer products, drug development, food and agriculture, forensics and security, and energy and petrochemical segments, and in the disciplines of bioanalytical testing, biological sampling techniques, pharmacological testing, informatics, molecular diagnostics, process analytical technology, and scientific imaging technology.
Proposed Scope Expansion:
The creation of SLAS, combining the intellectual, organizational and financial strengths of the two previous scientific societies, presents tangible opportunities to first understand, and then expand, into targeted segments and disciplines aligned with our Purpose and Mission.
Taking advantage of the new profile of SLAS, the Society will advance a stronger and more comprehensive footprint in areas that are natural extensions of the current organizational blend of science and technology. These include (in alphabetical order)…
- Clinical diagnostics, particularly the segments that are closely related to biopharmaceutical research and discovery testing, such as molecular diagnostics, biological sampling technologies, and bioanalytical testing and miniaturization.
- Drug development testing technology, including pharmacological testing (in-vivo, in-vitro, biomarkers, etc.), bioanalytical testing for PK characterization (drugs, metabolites in biological samples), biological sampling techniques (microdialysis, MALDI, blood spot, etc.) and imaging technology.
- Food and agriculture research and discovery, including screening, biological sampling, bioanalytical testing, informatics, and automation system integration.
- Scientific informatics, a unifying discipline across all segments and industries, specifically including scientific data and information management and the study of the relationship of data and information to the scientific process.
Identify, develop and implement a comprehensive portfolio of educational offerings and a variety of modes of information sharing and means of engagement between private and public sector scientists, engineers, and technologists.
With the combined assets and strengths of both scientific societies, SLAS launches into its first year with a sound infrastructure, leading-edge virtual business model, and greater financial steadiness — all of which enable proactive worldwide initiatives centered on connecting content to our community.
SLAS will resolutely continue to strengthen its presence in North America and Europe, and will develop a greater overall global presence. Specifically, SLAS will increase its presence in the Asia/Pacific region, taking advantage of its newly combined portfolio of outreach programs and partnerships (See Strategic Priority #3). This effort will be carefully planned, targeted, and supported by market research and the organization’s wealth of experienced global business leaders.
SLAS will emphasize developing and deploying more educational opportunities for its stakeholders. This will include an annual conference and exhibition, broader in scope and participation than previous annual conferences, and additional focused-topic symposia guided by the SLAS global educational strategy. SLAS will promote an expanded virtual presence to the entire global community via web-based courses, wiki educational content, the SLAS website, e-newsletters and peer-reviewed scientific journals and publications.
To extend the SLAS global community, the organization will continue to study and evolve the concepts of "member" and "community" and the benefits SLAS brings to both. The overarching goal is to promote and expand SLAS involvement and membership.
Develop focused partnerships between SLAS members and the international scientific community to establish and propagate the means for ongoing engagement and promote cross-fertilization for direct-access to more benefits, services, content and information.
As a merged scientific society with a much larger and diverse membership spanning multiple segments, disciplines and geographic boundaries, SLAS will create and implement opportunities, systems and infrastructure to generate, support and sustain personal member dialogue, networking, collaborating and mentoring.
Engage the International Community
As a merged scientific society with greater universal reach, impact and recognition, SLAS will explore and secure productive partnerships and collaborations with industry, academia and governments, and aligned scientific societies streamlining and speeding access to relevant content and information.
Recognize and Promote Expertise
As a catalyst for innovation and excellence, and to be recognized worldwide as a scientific society with subject-area expertise, SLAS will expand awards programs, media activities, and funding mechanisms for standards development, scientific research, training and development.
Establish and cultivate an enterprising, sustainable organization and infrastructure with the capacity to deliver mission-centric programs and services to a global constituency.
Focus on the ongoing development of the identity, role and relationships of the SLAS Sections, continually aspiring to find creative and unique opportunities to refine existing sections as well as establish new sections in concert with the organization’s evolving global constituency.
Optimize the organization’s virtual business strategy, streamlining operational costs and increasing administrative efficiencies. SLAS will employ a de-centralized practical organizational infrastructure that is effective and efficient in systems, process, technology and financial resources and ensures a sound financial foundation for organizational maintenance, growth and longevity.
SLAS also will craft and implement a development strategy for volunteers and professionals, and address succession planning for reliable organizational continuity.
Vision and Aims
Our vision is to be the preeminent international community advancing scientific research and discovery through laboratory technology, and accomplish this as stated in this strategic plan by:
- Defining and Expanding the SLAS Scope
- Connecting the Global Community to SLAS Content
- Cultivating Partnerships for Enhanced Member Opportunities, and
- Developing a World-Class Organization
And thus, in advancing our vision, we aim to:
- Continue to grow a strong presence in the drug discovery
- Further understand, seek tangible opportunities, and expand into targeted areas including clinical diagnostics, drug discovery development, food and agriculture, and scientific informatics
- Strengthen our presence in North America and Europe, and increase our presence in the Asia/Pacific region
- Develop and deploy more and relevant educational opportunities
- Study and evolve the concepts of "member" and "community"
- Create and implement offerings, systems and infrastructure to generate, support and sustain personal member dialogue, networking, collaborating and mentoring
- Explore and secure productive partnerships and collaborations with industry, academia and governments, and aligned scientific societies
- Expand awards programs, media activities, and funding mechanisms for standards development, scientific research, training and development
- Find creative and unique opportunities to refine existing sections as well as establish new sections, and
- Optimize the organization's virtual business strategy, streamlining operational costs and increasing administrative efficiencies
For the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening to be a vibrant and relevant organization in a changing global environment, we must continue to invest-in and evolve our portfolio of services, our members, and our professional team. By publishing this inaugural strategic plan, we hope to inspire and energize you, gain your support, and motivate you to be a dynamic volunteer in this organization’s future. Once again, over the coming year we will look to personally connect with you, listen to your ideas and concerns, and refine this plan. Working together, we will chart a deliberate course for our new and diverse organization and shape a sound future for our membership and global community.