Our Picks From 2016

We wanted to share with you some of the awesome science innovations and disruptors from the last year.

This is our list.


Our Favourite Open Science Initiative

OpenML:

Like so many science founders, Joaquin Vanschoren's OpenML was borne out of a dissatisfaction with how his research was disseminated - in his case Machine Learning algorithms and datasets. Joaquin and a team consisting of volunteers and graduate students such as Heidi Seibold, have taken it upon themselves to help make accessing data, and accessing the techniques that much easier. The guys at OpenML are keen to bring in researchers not typically familiar with contemporary Machine Learning approaches, and the reason is simple - they have the interesting datasets and questions. The platform is particularly attractive for this userbase by taking care of data pre-processing automatically upon upload and by facilitating collaboration between themselves and Machine Learning experts. Basically, Machine Learning for all, great stuff!

OpenML seeks to make Machine Learning data and tools easier to access and promote collaboration through the platform. Image Credit: OpenML.org

OpenML seeks to make Machine Learning data and tools easier to access and promote collaboration through the platform. Image Credit: OpenML.org


Fund We're Most Excited About

Seraphim Space:

Seraphim Capital proved it's claim to be sector agnostic by starting a brand new Space focussed fund. This £50M fund launched (pun definitely intended..) at the end of last year. It'll focus on both Space hardware and software companies while also looking at 'Space Adjacent' domains such as IoT, AI, Nano-Materials, and Robotics. James Bruegger, Portfolio Director at Seraphim Capital is a Science: Disrupt London Sessions alum too. We're really excited to see how their portfolio evolves and what they invest in, in the coming year. 


Science Communication

Nautilus:

Thoughtful, themed pieces covering an enormous array of scientific topics. Nautilus manages to be informative while avoiding being dull, and their design game is A1. We wholeheartedly recommend their newsletter too.


Citizen Science Done Right

BentoLab:

We may be a little biased but what Bethan Wolfenden and her Co-Founder Phillip have achieved is very impressive. They're attempting to put molecular biology in to the hands of the masses and following a highly successful Kickstarter campaign back in March, it's clear that there's real demand both from the traditional and citizen research community.  


Our Favourite Article

Nature Young Scientists Issue:

Ok, not an article but we just loved that this issue exists in the first place. The content tackles some really important areas of science, from a critique on metric-driven-science, to how the cards can be stacked against new lab group leaders when it comes to successful grant applications. We'd love to see more of a spotlight on young researchers, whether it's the early adoption of research tech, or simply as representatives of where science is going, there's a lot to learn from the experience of those starting out in Research.


What We’re Most Excited About From 2016:

MIT Engine:

This. Looks. Awesome (check out the video below). This accelerator-come-coworking space is bringing the together the right people and resources to make big change, develop and execute breakthrough ideas, while providing support through an established network of Boston-based business leads.


Our Favourite Event:

Hello Tomorrow:

2016 saw us attending our first Hello Tomorrow Summit (as Media Partners) and it didn't disappoint! Billed as the place to be to 'build the future', innovators in science and tech met for a great series of keynotes, panels, and pitches. The event culminated in the €100,000 cheque handed off to the 'Best Startup' - which went to Lilium Aviation. We met a bunch of great people and companies and can't wait for Hello Tomorrow 2017. You can read some things we wrote about while at Hello Tomorrow here, here and here.

Hello Tomorrow Global Summit 2016. Image Credit: Hello Tomorrow.

Hello Tomorrow Global Summit 2016. Image Credit: Hello Tomorrow.


Our Favourite Research Innovation

Protocols.io:

Not only is Co-Founder Lenny Teytelman in the running as the nicest person ever, but he's helping solve a key issue in scientific research - the dissemination and reproduction of effective scientific protocols. Protocols.io acts as a GitHub for scientific methods, with collaboration, credit, and reproducibility at its core. 


Our Disruptor of the Year

Consultant Surgeon, Co-Founder of Medical Realities, and friend of the show, Shafi Ahmed, is our pick as 2016's Disruptor of the Year. And it's been quite the year for him, with the first 360-degree, livestream surgery back in April under his belt, he then donned his Snapchat Spectacles to perform a hernia operation streamed to his followers. He even spoke at our Future Health Event and returned to record a podcast with us and his Co-Founder Steve Dann. Shafi is determined to shake up how surgery is taught and he's delivered the goods time and time again, . You can take a look at his talk at Singularity University's Exponential Medicine Conference here.

Shafi Ahmed, wore Snapchat Spectacles to perform a hernia operation. Image Credit: Chris Rogers, BMI Hospitals.

Shafi Ahmed, wore Snapchat Spectacles to perform a hernia operation. Image Credit: Chris Rogers, BMI Hospitals.

Shafi presented at our Future Health Event back in September. Image Credit: Science: Disrupt.

Shafi presented at our Future Health Event back in September. Image Credit: Science: Disrupt.