It’s one thing to develop an exciting technology, it’s another to work out where a particular type of technology fits in industry. Take the Razor Phone for example (which popped up when I Googled 'technologies that never made it in industry', amongst things like cat translators and square egg boilers). In this case, some bright spark cooked up an idea that merged razors - to shave with - and the mobile phone. Genius. The tech people would've toiled away until voila, it apparently hit retail stores in 2009. Let’s rewind. Did anyone actually work out if this was solving an important customer challenge before they went on their merry tech development way? I think not! It's safe to say, this was an innovation failure.
I want to draw the long bow between the intentions behind this "cutting edge" phone and eDNA science and technology. You see, behind eDNA is a passionate bunch of scientists, eagerly and diligently developing the possibilities of eDNA, contributing to the scientific world as well as helping some early adopter clients. Some really cool stuff is possible, including developing real-time in-field eDNA tests where we can stand on a river bank and immediately know what lives in here. But, like any science or technology trying to help the world, it runs the risk of sharing a grave with the Razor Phone if customers and industry needs are not thoroughly understood.
So, just a couple of weeks ago we attempted to learn more about our industry and customers - honing in on waterway management in Victoria. We took the plunge (which looked murky and posed a drowning risk) and hosted a ‘science meets industry catch up - talking all things eDNA in waterways’. Would people come? Would it be valuable? Would we learn? We invited people we knew, and some we didn’t, and ended up with a bunch of 10 excellent guests who came to share and learn.
Before delving into the ins and outs of eDNA we ran a mini workshop to uncover 'what are your waterway monitoring challenges?'. By understanding where the biggest and most common challenges are, we will be best placed to shape eDNA technologies and services to help. And we continue to learn, particularly from in-depth one on one conversations.
If you feel like you missed out, the good news is we want to share!
Several questions about eDNA were asked and answered on the day - see the Q&A in the news article below.
Want to share your waterway monitoring / management challenges - great! Or perhaps you want to be notified of upcoming science meets industry catchups and webinars - please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
To connect and talk more please drop me a line at email@example.com or tweet @helsbarclay.