MED-Lab, a new interactive medical themed exhibition area at W5, takes visitors of all ages on an extraordinary and fun journey of discovery into the human body.

The only exhibition of its kind in Ireland, it offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the amazing systems that keep our bodies alive and, by using advanced imaging technologies, see inside the body.

MED-Lab gives us the ability to explore our bodies and enables visitors to get hands on with some intriguing interactive exhibits, learning how the scientists at Almac Group discover and develop medicines and diagnostic tests for patients globally.

This exciting new attraction has been developed by W5 in consultation with local audiences and is funded by the Inspiring Science Fund – a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Wellcome. Additional support was awarded by the Almac Group.

The Inspiring Science Fund is a £30 million capital scheme to support science centres across the UK, helping them rethink what they do and what they offer to the public.

Eric Porter, Chair of the Odyssey Trust said: “Enhancing education and scientific knowledge, MED-Lab is an innovative and intriguing investigation into our most prized possession – our body! We are delighted to unveil the first of eight new innovative zones in W5, which we know will be hugely popular with our visitors.”

Alan Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of the Almac Group said: “It is a real privilege to be partners in such an exciting project. As a business employing over 5,000 individuals globally, our success depends on the talent and skills of our most important asset, our people, it is therefore crucial that we continue to invest in the next generation. Almac is dedicated to advancing knowledge and interest in STEM subjects and sharing our rich history and work carried out in the medicine development lifecycle for patients globally. We hope that through MED-Lab combined and with our long term STEM Outreach strategy thousands of young people will be inspired to seek out careers and realise the potential opportunities that exist across Almac.”

MED-Lab aims to enhance STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) knowledge and understanding among the next generation of budding scientists through interactive learning.  It is now open to W5 visitors inviting them on an interactive and fun learning journey through the human body, with some amazing reveals such as a human bone can be four times stronger than concrete and that there are more than 100,000 Kilometres of blood vessels in the human body.

The new exhibition completed phase one of a refurbishment which will maintain W5’s position as a world class science and discovery centre attracting tourists and people of all ages from Northern Ireland and beyond. In addition to the £1m investment provided by Almac Group, W5’s new Health and Life Sciences partner as part of a 10 year agreement, there is a £4.5m capital investment package for W5 refurbishment during 2019-2020. £3m funding was awarded through the Inspiring Science Fund and a further £1.5m invested by the Odyssey Trust.

To find out more about MED-Lab and W5 visit

Pictured: Kitty Reid and Robert Lyle have fun with the giant Operation game at W5.

Nadia Duncan

Author: Nadia Duncan


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