Dear Friends, Colleagues and Stakeholders,
Kung Hei Fat Choy and Happy New Year of the Pig! May your year be filled with possibilities, success, cheer and love.
Excitement is Growing at NISI
We are making great progress in our product development. By the end of this year, we will have successfully completed human testing in Hong Kong of our soon-to-be announced endoscopy product, NISInspire. With our manufacturing facility due to be completed next year, this medical innovation will be commercially available in Hong Kong in 2020 and the Chinese market in 2021.
Last year, a series of successful pre-clinical trials using our robotic surgical system NISImagine were conducted with clinical trials to start in a few years’ time. We announced a new collaboration with the University of Cambridge to pioneer artificial intelligence for robotic surgical applications, which will be a paradigm shift to transform surgical procedures, allowing more complex surgeries to be performed and making them more precise and safe. In recognition of our in-house innovation, quality and excellence, we were also included in the GC Powerlist: Hong Kong Teams 2018.
Go NISI and Believe
We are kick-starting the Chinese New Year with our new slogan: “Go NISI and Believe”. We believe that our patented technologies will be the new gold standards in the field of non-invasive surgery in the medical device market. Our user-driven design leverages the experience and insights of respected surgeons to address the deficiencies of current surgical techniques. We have passionate and pragmatic leaders who genuinely believe that we can make a significant and meaningful change to the future of surgery, and we have a dynamic team with diverse backgrounds who will push the limits of technology to transform the current practice of surgery. We will continue to improve and refine these technologies in our quest to become global leaders in surgical robotics. Our dream is to revolutionize modern surgery by making non-invasive surgical procedures a commonplace reality. We envision a world where we can heal without causing harm.
NISI celebrates its 7th anniversary in 2019 and each year we build a bigger and stronger team. 2018 was another fruitful year with the number of employees in our Hong Kong and Dongguan offices exceeding 100 for the first time as part of our business expansion. We also saw the opening and operation of our cleanroom facilities in Dongguan, marking our second office location in Songshan Lake.
NISI is all about people. At the heart of this company is a great group of people – Team NISI – that is creating an incredible legacy for individuals, families and surgeons. We take pride in our NISI ‘family’, and are confident that every member will continue to grow with NISI for many years to come.
Social Responsibility & Corporate Governance
From the beginning, our four core values of Innovation, Commitment, Passion and Unity have formed the basis of our corporate culture. We also want to be recognised as a caring company. Last year we introduced a Corporate Code of Conduct, which enshrines our commitment to uphold the highest ethical standards in all our corporate activities, as well as a Workplace Behaviour Policy to promote a positive workplace environment with a strong culture of diversity, equal employment, inclusion and anti-discrimination for all employees. As a result, a Code of Conduct Committee and an Equal Opportunity and Diversity Committee were set up to oversee implementation of our respective policies in these areas, to provide opportunities to raise understanding and to address issues. NISI also became one of the first companies to sign on to the Hong Kong Equal Opportunities Commission’s new Racial Diversity and Inclusion Charter for Employers.
We also formed an Executive Committee of the Board, which manages day-to-day matters and operations of NISI. This Executive Committee comprises all the founding Directors and is also responsible for NISI’s next round of financing. We are conducting positive ongoing discussions with a number of strongly interested parties and expect to close this round of financing in the second quarter of 2019.
Driven by our commitment and passion to revolutionize modern surgery by making non-invasive surgical procedures an affordable reality for all patients, we are making amazing progress in pioneering robotic natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) and other non-invasive surgical technologies.
Last year we achieved another medical ‘first’. NISI, together with the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Department of Surgery of the University of Hong Kong, conducted a series of successful trans-rectal pelvic and gynaecological procedures using the NISImagine prototype in live pigs. This news was announced in August 2018 at a press conference held in Cyberport, where we were honoured to have Secretary Nicholas Yang from the Innovation and Technology Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region deliver the opening speech. Our Chairman and CTO Prof. Chung-Kwong Yeung also spoke about how our NISImagine system will revolutionize surgery and, in particular, how NOTES will make scarless surgery a dream come true for surgeons and patients – delivering less painful surgical procedures and improving quality of life for many.
We were also delighted to have Prof. David Cardwell, who is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Strategy and Planning at the University of Cambridge and our Advisory Board Member, join us to sign a collaboration to start another extraordinary journey, working on artificial intelligence in medical robotics. Artificial intelligence has upended the tech world in recent years and now seems poised to find important uses in many industries. Deep learning, a technique that uses very large neural networks to find patterns in data, has proven to be very powerful and is rapidly finding applications in medical research and healthcare. Prof. Cardwell and his team, including Prof. Roberto Cipolla who is a Professor of Information Engineering and a world-renowned expert in computer vision, machine learning and robotics, will no doubt lead us to some new, exciting and rewarding ventures.
Our work has also attracted the attention and support of government funding. NISI was approved for another maximum funding of HKD10 million under the Enterprise Support Scheme from the Innovation and Technology Fund of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to continue the development of NISInspire. While these innovations are exciting for all of us, we also have other products in the pipeline which we can’t wait to share with you.
2019 will be an enormously challenging and, we hope, very rewarding year for Team NISI as we start clinical trials and progress our R&D, manufacturing and go-to-market strategies.
We have plans to develop our brand DNA by addressing these questions: What do we represent as a company? Where are we going? How are we different? Of course, technology and innovation in the medical field are part of this. But we are so much more and that is what has been reflected to us when we discuss our company with surgeons, patients, administrators, governments, suppliers and investors. They see us as driven by a powerful purpose – to bring pioneering medical technology to everyone.
Accessibility, Innovation and People are what energises people about who we are as a company. The new year will bring many tests for all of us. With the great team that we have put together over the last seven years, and which we will continue to build this year, we are very strongly positioned to flourish. It is our dedication, passion, openness and imagination that will lead us to achieve our goals and to make a real difference.
We are working on a lot more, so watch this space. Go NISI and Believe!
David T. Wong
Founder, Managing Director & CEO