Opvia's Story

There should be a single system for the entire product lifecycle: Opvia is a no-code platform connecting teams, data and documentation from development through to production and quality.

How did we get here?

Odds are you already know this: we need a new generation of products - from foods and materials that can be produced sustainably at scale to medicines that aren't just one-size-fits-all.

What you might not know is that the way we develop and manufacture products hasn't changed in a hundred years. Visit a facility making any of the most manufactured goods in the world (ammonia, steel or concrete) and you'll only see advances in safety and efficiency. More surprisingly, the way new products get to market also hasn't changed: the product lifecycle is still gated into disconnected stages of 1-3 years, which are managed by independent teams.

This results in a 5+ year feedback loop from early development through to production and quality. It takes several iterations to make anything work well, and as such it takes decades for products to reach the people who need them.

Digitalization could accelerate learning by 100x

What once had to be physical can now be digital. Vast quantities of data stream from every device, and thanks to the cloud we have the power to utilise it all.

If the whole product lifecycle was connected, it would be possible to reduce multi-year feedback loops down to weeks, or even days. There are three steps to this:

  1. Connected data: end manual entry into siloed spreadsheets, or even paper. Everything should be connected and traceable - from docs to data.
  2. 2.
  3. Automation: save time and prevent errors from occurring by automating repeated steps - from data collection to processing or reporting.
  4. 3.
  5. Optimisation: use the data to understand and predict behaviour - via analysis or simulation, using ML or mechanistic models.

But digitalization hasn't happened yet ... why?

Well, we had the very same question. So, over the course of 12 months we interviewed scientists, engineers, technicians, quality managers and CXOs at 300+ companies. We distilled our findings down to three key issues which explain why true digital transformation is still extremely rare:

  1. ”It would take a lot of time and effort to setup; it will only slow us down”: it takes months or even years to digitalize, and by then things will have changed
  2. 2.
  3. ”It's not designed for us; we're doing something new: off-the-shelf software is fixed, and cannot provide the interfaces some teams need
  4. 3.
  5. "The [x] team are on a different system": the benefits are lost if each stage is isolated, and teams and data aren't connected

We need one flexible and extensible system for the entire product lifecycle

This is where Opvia comes in: it's one system for the entire product lifecycle - from development through to production and quality. To solve the issues blocking digitalization, it had to be:

  • Flexible: Opvia is easy to adopt, and can be customized to work in the way each team needs it to. With Opvia, every team and their data can be connected on the same system within weeks.

  • Extensible: rather than being stuck with an off-the-shelf solution, or waiting months for software developers to make changes, teams can make improvements themselves in minutes.

Opvia: a no-code platform connecting teams, data and documentation

Extensibility and flexibility are achieved by providing a no-code platform - one system where every team can build the solutions that they need, and stay connected to adjacent teams.

There are four building blocks that provide our customers with a single system, a digital backbone, on which they can build to connect teams, data and documentation across the entire product lifecycle:

  • Relational databases: See exactly what stage every entity is at. Easily compare different batches or runs. Connect data from development through to quality.
  • Documents that can submit data: Data are connected to a fully-traceable history of actions. See which version generated the record, who ran it, and who signed off.
  • Automations: Easily embed models, visuals or automations within your processes. They are versioned and connected to the data and documentation for full traceability.
  • End-to-end version control: Roll-back and see exactly how changes to your process affected product parameters or quality. Iteratively improve your process.

Where are we now, and what's next?

Opvia is the digital backbone of some of the fastest growing companies in the world - from startups to scale-ups and beyond. Initially we partnered with cellular agriculture companies because they are singularly focussed on scale-up challenges, need to move fast, and the young teams were familiar with the no-code paradigm.

As we’ve grown, so has our focus: we've now expanded beyond the life-sciences to work with trailblazers two new sectors Food & Beverage and Devices. The appeal remains the same - a company can start digitising on day one, ultimately connecting all of their data and documentation into one system; their own product graph ontop of which they can rapidly build and share their digital innovations.

And this is just the beginning, our mission is to not only accelerate the development of technologies that matter, but to make them available to everyone. To make this happen we have huge plans to grow Opvia into the defacto system used to share innovation across the entire product graph.

And, now!

If you've made it this far - thank you for reading and getting involved. A special thanks goes to our partners, who've been a key part of our journey. You can find some of their stories here.

If you want to learn more about Opvia, you can get in touch with our team here. If you're interested in joining our team —yes, we're hiring— our open roles are here.