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Introducing Riffyn Nexus

Timothy Gardner
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Riffyn’s cloud-based software is different from the systems that have come before. It is a process-centric data system. It articulates scientific work and data around explicit maps, or “blueprints,” of research workflows, production processes, bioassays and analytical methods. All the key ingredients of data use flow directly from these blueprints – flexible experimental designs, material tracking, data capture, data context, data linking, and data analytics. The result is deeply usable data at all times, in real-time.

Riffyn’s software was born of our core belief – that three elements can transform our productivity in science: process, quality, and digitization. That belief was forged in the cauldron of scientific struggle and subsequent success.

It started in 2008, six years before Riffyn was born, when the founders of Riffyn were working to develop and scale genetically engineered yeast to 200,000L fermenters. That effort nearly failed. Then we tried something different; we implemented total quality practices in R&D – same practices that are ubiquitous in manufacturing today.

Quality practices saved us. Then they transformed us. Errors dropped; decisions held up under scrutiny; “regression to the mean” faded into myth. Screening hit rates accelerated more than 2X. Scale-up times shortened from 15 months to 3 months. Millions of dollars were saved. Unprecedented strain and process performance was achieved.

Reflecting upon these outcomes, we asked ourselves what was the singularly most essential element of that success? We had extraordinary people, fine robots, and strong spirit. Yet those things are true of nearly every scientific organization. The magic, we concluded, was the unique digital backbone that allowed us to link people, process, quality, and data across the product development lifecycle.

From this realization was born Riffyn. We aimed to create an off-the-shelf software system that could be rapidly deployed to any scientific R&D organization – endowing it with the same power of process, quality, and digitization that led to our own prior success.

What we created is our cloud-based Process Data System, formerly called Riffyn SDE. It has since grown to fulfill our grand vision to be a hub of people, process, and data working together to build the future of science. And as it did so, our original name just seemed to fall short of the power and potential of this vision.

Names are more than titles – they encompass, in a single word, the essence of something. The essence of Riffyn is connectivity anchored by a principled core of process and quality. Together it is the foundation for better and faster science.

Welcome to Riffyn Nexus.

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Timothy Gardner

Tim Gardner is the Founder and the CEO of Riffyn. He was previously Vice President of Research & Development at Amyris, where he led the engineering of yeast strain and processes technology for large-scale bio-manufacturing of renewable chemicals. Tim has been recognized for his pioneering work in Synthetic Biology by Scientific American, the New Scientist, Nature, Technology Review, and the New York Times. He also served as an advisor to the European Union Scientific Committees and the Boston University Engineering Alumni Advisory Board. Tim enjoys hockey, running, mountain biking, and being beaten by his sons in almost everything.

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