Dear Friends, Colleagues and Stakeholders,
My eight years as the founding CEO of NISI have been a truly wonderful experience. Not only because I am constantly surrounded by exceptional and passionate colleagues, all of us devoting extensive time and making sacrifices for our dream, but because of what we have achieved together. It has been a challenge, but we have learned to come together as a team and we are realizing our vision of changing the world for the better. As we develop groundbreaking technologies that will revolutionize the medical device market and embrace change in our workplace, we are transforming NISI into a clinical phase company that will make a positive impact on the lives of many. I am proud to say that the results speak for themselves and these truly exceptional achievements belong to all of you. Congratulations!
2019 was an exciting and fruitful year with many important announcements and achievements. So far, NISI’s work has attracted a total of HK$58 million government funding for the support of our technological developments through the Innovative Technology Fund and Enterprise Support Scheme of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Innovative Technology Commission. I believe we are one of the first medical device companies in Hong Kong to secure such a vast sum from the government, which recognizes the importance of the work we are doing.
As we get closer to the start of product manufacturing, we have recently engaged two new senior staff members: Director of Product Engineering Sheldon Shen (ex-Medtronic) and Director of Sales & Marketing Tony Pascoe (ex-Olympus). Their expertise will be invaluable as we move towards manufacturing and commercialization of our products. We have also strengthened our Advisory Board with the addition of Cambridge University Professor Roberto Cipolla, a world-renowned expert in computer vision, machine learning and robotics, and Peking Union Medical College Hospital Professor Aiming Yang, a leading gastroenterologist and our clinical partner in China.
We were delighted at the beginning of 2019 to be accredited with ISO 13485 certification for design and manufacture of medical devices. Another major milestone to end 2019 was the completion of our first human feasibility study at Queen Mary Hospital with our clinical partner from the University of Hong Kong for the testing of a new robotic endoscopic device.
In August 2019, we adopted a new slogan, Go NISI and Embrace Change. This embodies the mindset of unwavering entrepreneurial spirit at NISI, allowing our people to unite, inspire one another and embrace the change we can achieve together. This slogan will continue into 2020 as it will remain vitally important that NISI stays competitive, innovative and relevant in the commercial world. Progress is impossible without change, which has motivated us to change one of our core values to ‘Energy’, giving the new acronym EPIC for our core values – Energy, Passion, Innovation and Commitment. The term epic is used to describe great achievements or events. At NISI, the belief that we are creating something great helps drive us forward. It is only when we can embrace changes and welcome new challenges that we are able to excel and reach our goals. Our EPIC core values symbolize just that and, in many ways, the future of surgical robotic technology.
NISI has a big agenda for the coming year.
In 2020, we will move into the next stage of multi-center clinical trials for our robotic endoscopic device with eminent clinical collaborators in leading Chinese hospitals. This will allow us to take the next step forward on the regulatory pathway to product commercialization. Every step of this journey will be a very exciting and rewarding one that will require a great deal of work and commitment from Team NISI.
We also have another exciting product in the pipeline that ties in uniquely with our robotic endoscopy platform. We are currently verifying the design proof-of-concept prototype and will provide further information in the future.
Given the new policy and measures in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) that were announced by the Central Government in November 2019, Hong Kong registered common medical devices will be permitted to be used in designated Hong Kong-owned healthcare institutions in the region. While implementation details are yet to be finalized, we believe this would allow us to commercialize and promote product awareness in the GBA region before obtaining the official NMPA approval.
Finally, 2020 will see in the Year of the Rat, the start of a new cycle in the Chinese zodiac. It will also mark a new era of leadership at NISI. With our technology we want to change the world. Change brings challenges but also brings opportunities and it is essential for growth, progress and improvement. That is why we ask you all to embrace change. We are well on the way to the launch of our products. Let us advance toward that goal with enthusiasm, compassion and courage.
Happy New Year of the Rat and………Go NISI and Embrace Change!
David T. Wong
Founder & Chairman of the Executive Committee