The term innovation is thrown around more often than Peyton Manning’s name during Fantasy Football season. But if any industry can truly capture the essence of innovation, it is the biotech industry. Innovation is inherent in what we do – from curing or treating illnesses that were once considered a death sentence to feeding a growing population to helping to reduce our dependence on foreign oil through the production of biofuels. But what is innovation, and how can we inspire other industries to be more innovative? We asked a few of our top CEOs to share their perspective – what they told us will surprise and inspire you. Check it out.
Doug Doerfler, President and Chief Executive Officer, MaxCyte
Q: Can you share an example of innovation?
A: Electricity, microscope – these are true innovations. In biotech, changing cancer to a manageable disease and being able to effectively treat HIV patients is innovation. Innovation changes people’s expectations. It’s not just invention, it’s about creating a need for something that didn’t exist before.
Q: What inspires you to be innovative?
A: Solving very big problems in order to try to build technology that allows usto treat cancer patients safely and effectively with new technology to apply to high value applications in drug discovery and development, and ultimately, commercialization.
Q: What drives innovation in the industry?
A: In biotech, it’s about patient health. It’s about moving away from fossil fuels. It’s about helping to ensure the safety and inventory of our food supply. Those are the big reasons why people in our industry do what we do.
Q: Who is your innovation idol?
A: The inventor of the microscope – it was an amazing innovation and something that we had never seen before; there was nothing else like it at the time. The first person to harness fire. Thomas Edison and the light bulb. It is not just inventive, it is truly innovative. Jimi Hendrix was incredibly innovative. He did things that no one else had thought of before; he showed us a different way of seeing things.
Douglas Doerfler has over 30 years experience in the discovery, development and international financing and commercialization of biotechnology products and companies. He joined MaxCyte as its founding President and CEO in June 1999. Access Mr. Doerfler’s full bio here.