The Laboratory Automation Unit evaluates novel instruments and techniques, implementing automated workflows. Our studies aim at i) systematic replacement of manual diagnostics by automation, e.g. using automated zone reading for standardization of disk diffusion drug susceptibility testing, ii) new applications for existing techniques, e.g. the adaptation of the MGIT 960 instrument for quantitative drug susceptibility testing, iii) implementation of upcoming techniques, e.g. improvement of reference databases for MALDI-TOF based microorganism identification; and iv) development of innovative automated techniques, e.g. rapid disk diffusion AST. The unit works in co-operation with industrial partners, e.g. Bruker Daltonik, Copan Italia, Becton Dickinson, to transfer academic evaluations and studies into applications that can be used to improve diagnostics. The projects form a link between applied research, diagnostic industry and the clinical laboratory.