PITTCON Excellence in Instrumentation Award

PITTCON Excellence in Instrumentation Award


MALDI COLONYST®, unique robot from BioVendor Instruments has been awarded the Golden Price at Today Excellence Award for Best Innovation at Pittcon 2017 in Chicago.
April 2017, Brno, Czech Republic

A Czech robotic system for laboratories presented at a prestigious conference on analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy has been cited for best innovation in the category of instrumentation. The award, which enjoys similar prestige in these fields as Red Dot does in the world of design, was given to representatives of BioVendor Instruments at PITTCON 2017 in Chicago. MALDI COLONYST® is a unique, commercially available laboratory robot that can automatically transfer microbial colonies from a Petri dish to a MALDI plate with targets and then apply an agent. It therefore helps reduce human error, increases the accuracy of identifying the origin of infections, and so prevents the risk of misdiagnosis in the treatment of patients.

Quickly and accurately determining the source of an infection is indispensable for proper patient treatment. Modern microbiological laboratories are equipped with instruments that meet these demands, but the preparation of samples for analysis still depends on the manual work of laboratory technicians. This human factor represents the largest potential risk in the entire treatment process, and this goes double for preparing and evaluating samples in medical diagnostics, where the treatment process begins. Robotic equipment is not subject to fatigue or stress and is therefore able to continuously offer a reliable performance.

The MALDI COLONYST® equipment from BioVendor Instruments is an intelligent robotic system for preparing samples to determine the source of infections. In addition to considerably reducing manual labor and the cost of consumable in laboratories, this machine offers greater accuracy in identifying the source of infections and a lower rate of error. The routine operation of this equipment will allow laboratories to increase their identification score by up to 15% and save thousands of crowns every month on consumables. It is the first equipment of this type made available to analytical laboratories. Other attempts to construct a similar robot are still in the development phase.

“This award proves that Czech companies focused on their own research and development are able to give the world results that surpass current global companies that have been on the market for a much longer time,” says Jan Karásek, the executive director of the company. It was no easy journey reaching the final product.

“To ensure such a complex instrument had a chance to succeed, it was necessary to combine the expertise and talent of people from a range of disciplines. Brno and the whole of South Moravia is a place where all this has been possible for many years now thanks to the convergence of the academic and private sector at JIC (South Moravian Innovation Center), which supports local research centers and companies in collaborating on and developing breakthrough products,” says Viktor Růžička, the owner of BioVendor.

Also involved in the development of this equipment was a team of scientists from the Biomedical Center at Charles University Medical School, the Medical School in Pilsen under the leadership of Associate Professor Jaroslav Hrabák, and a team of graduate and doctoral students from the School of Information Technology and School of Electrical Engineering and Communications at the Technical University of Brno, who participated in developing all the mechanics, electronics, control systems and algorithms for image processing and analysis, which are vital for the overall automation of the process.

This award for MALDI COLONYST® also reflects great appreciation for more than two years of cooperation on developing this equipment between BioVendor Instruments and Charles University. “We use this equipment for our own research and will soon be putting it into routine clinical operation,” says Associate Professor Jaroslav Hrabák from Charles University.


Dr. Jan Karásek, +420 720 935 829,
Hana Dvořáčková, +420 537 038 393,

Other materials

PITTCON, website MALDI COLONYST®, website MALDI COLONYST®, promotional video MALDI COLONYST®, photos for the media

Pittcon Conference

The Pittcon Conference (Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy) is the most visited event in the world related to analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy. The conference includes handing out a number of prestigious Excellence Awards to individuals and companies in the field of research and development for their outstanding achievements in the fields of analytical chemistry. The product MALDI COLONYST® was awarded Gold for Excellence in Instrumentation. The history of this prestigious conference dates back to the 1950s.

BioVendor Instruments Inc.,

BioVendor Instruments is involved in the research and development of instrumentation in laboratory automation, the optimization of laboratory processes and medical diagnostics. Lately, it has been mostly engaged with microbiology, serology and immunoassays. The company was founded in 2014 as a subsidiary and internal startup of BioVendor – Laboratory Medicine Inc., which is a major international distributor of a wide range of in vitro diagnostics and specialized clinical products.

JIC (South Moravian Innovation Center)

JIC (South Moravian Innovation Center) supports people in the creation and development of companies that change the world. Every year its services are used by close to a hundred companies, whether in the initial idea stage, a fast-growing startup or established technology companies. Start-up companies that have gone through JIC programs have already created more than 1,400 new jobs and hundreds of other jobs in related services. In the over 13 years of its existence, JIC has initiated nearly 360 collaborations between scientists and companies. With these and other activities, JIC is helping to increase the competitiveness of South Moravia and building it into one of the most innovative regions in Europe.


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