Access to standard lab equipment is a serious limitation to scientific education, research and capacity building in many parts of the world. To combat this problem, Tekla Labs aims to empower scientists and engineers to construct their own quality lab equipment from locally available supplies using detailed and reliable protocols. While many real-world examples of doit-yourself (DIY) equipment already exist, quality assurance and comprehensive instructions on how to build education and research grade lab equipment are lacking. To address this, Tekla Labs is creating an interactive online library of tested “How-To” blueprints. All equipment instructions will be freely available under an unrestricted creative commons license to allow users throughout the world to use and add to Tekla Labs. The interactive online forum will allow researchers to ask questions and make requests, share their own improvements and alternative solutions, and connect to other labs worldwide.
(Note: This project originally won in the Big Ideas “Social Entrepreneurship” category.)