On Sunday you may have seen that ONI made it into The Sunday Times’ Top 10 Disruptors to watch. It’s a big deal for the team here - our hard work has paid off. But most of all we’re very proud to be rubbing shoulders with the other companies that made it.
It’s funny to be called a disruptor for doing something you love but when you read about the Top 10 companies there really is no other word for it.
Every company included is using technology to change the world for the better and it’s inspiring to see. Like us they have set out to address big problems that face society. From Bulb liberalizing the energy market, through Nested fixing housing chains, to Monese making it easier to set up a bank account overseas.
But given our existing partnerships, it’s the ones fighting cancer that caught our imagination the most. Evox Therapeutics was recognized for pioneering a change in how drugs are delivered to cancer patients and people with genetic disease. It’s developed technology that administers the drugs directly into a patient’s brain or central nervous system. It’s extraordinary to witness what they are doing and the hope it delivers.
Owlstone Medical’s diagnostic breathalyzer is also causing a stir, helping to detect cancer far earlier and much more cheaply than before. The ideas behind the companies seem so simple, yet they will have taken years to develop and take to market. But what’s exciting is that they are born from a single-minded ambition to fix a problem.
Every day we are reminded how important this focus is when we work with our partners across life sciences and beyond. It takes real dedication to bring about such pioneering change and requires some unconventional thinking to make a break through.
People often ask what’s made ONI the success it is today. It’s easy to pin it all on the technology but in truth it’s our people. It’s the qualities of dedication, and single mindedness to change how and why things are done that’s been our secret. And I bet this is true for the other companies included in the Top 10.
We wouldn’t have created a microscope that brings super-resolution to a whole new community scientists, accelerating the process of discovery, if we weren’t all fixated on a single vision.
Everyone in the team believes in what we are doing. They can see how much impact our products will have in the science community and the research scientists can therefore undertake.
There’s also no limit to our thinking and no reason to believe that we couldn’t get a microscope to Mars. If we believe it, we will make it happen. By using the latest technology and taking a different approach to solving problems we are on our way to cracking big challenges like this.
It’s why I think the next few years will be exciting for society. Turn things on their head and you can solve climate change, fight cancer and fix social exclusion. We just need to be a little braver and a little bolder in our thinking.
These disruptors are proving it works and being included in the list confirms that it’s right that we all continue to aim high. Collectively, we can create a better world - even the sky is no longer the limit.
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