Shipping containers are a ubiquitous commodity. Our design competition rules encouraged entrants to consider shipping containers as a template because our belief was that once we had shown this was possible that self-build uptake in every major city in TB high-burden countries could follow.
We are aware of one other group building container TB laboratories - in this case BSL 3 level laboratories in the Zamstar project in Zambia - but otherwise the uptake of the concept has been disappointing.
For us there are no intellectual property or market competition issues at play here (which is why we direct you to Zamlab above for BSL 3 facilities, and share our drawings freely) - our vision is for wider dissemination of laboratory capacity by whoever can deliver it. Our primary driver is impact not profit.
From our experience with MODS, in which we presented a very low-cost, non-commercial, do-it-yourself, high performance TB and MDRTB diagnostic to the TB community which failed to gain traction for lack of a marketing strategy (it remains the cheapest, most rapid and accurate phenotypic MDRTB diagnostic available), we learned that demonstration alone of high quality can be insufficient to change practice.
We have come to realise that the way we can most effectively push this container lab concept forward is by formally establishing a commercial mechanism to help groups get their hands on container labs quickly - in short, using our know-how to build and implement labs for others.
Pricing is competitive and profit margins are managed to maintain a viable business along "social benefit enterprise" principles.