Billy Boyle and fellow researchers abandoned their PhDs to develop a revolutionary sensor to detect a wide range of chemicals. Following good sales in the defence industry, the technology is being re-directed to save 100,000 lives through early cancer detection. Billy will tell us the Owlstone story so far and his ambitions for the future.
In 2004 the plan was to develop a business idea for a dime-sized device that could be programmed to detect a wide range of chemical agents. The agents may be present in extremely small quantities, but the team was successful in making products that have sold well to partners in the detection industry, whether in defence or food and beverages.
Today, Owlstone aims to save 100,000 lives and $1.5bn in health care costs.
Using leading-edge micro- and nano- fabrication techniques, Owlstone has created a complete chemical detection system that is one hundred times smaller and one thousand times cheaper than existing technologies. There are numerous applications - across industries from security and defence to automotive and healthcare. The company has won widespread commercial and academic recognition for its work and the new office on the Science Park was opened last month by Tony Blair. Today Owlstone Medical is applying the technology to the greatest health challenges, devising a simple breath test indicating cancer, inflammatory and infectious disease.
About Billy Boyle: Since co-founding Owlstone, Billy has been overseeing the development and implementation of the detection technology with nanotechnology foundry partners. He is also active in business development, demonstrating how the Owlstone technology can used to realise a paradigm shift in detection applications and deployment scenarios. Billy is heavily involved in the creation and realisation of new technologies and IP. Prior to forming Owlstone Billy was a Research Associate in the Microsystems and Nanotech group at Cambridge University. In an academic / industry consortium he designed and developed silicon-opto hybrid devices for next generation telecoms systems.
Billy is an engaging and knowledgeable speaker and this talk should appeal to academics and post-docs, start-ups and scale-ups, to established businesses and anyone interested in science, technology and business strategy or the Cambridge Phenomenon.
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