Hindsight 2020: Reflecting on the past year and the year to come

Dispersa Team February 15, 2021

The past year has been challenging for many, but has also offered an opportunity to reflect. Read reflections from members of the Dispersa team.

These unprecedented times felt like we were navigating through uncharted waters, not knowing what to expect or when we will come out of this. We took it week by week as a team — thinking outside the box and figuring out how to minimize any delays in our development. Our goal was to not only survive but manage to thrive despite the setbacks of the pandemic.

Since the pandemic started, we have seen an important evolution in the global economy with increased focus on sustainability. As this global crisis continued to develop, consumer demand for products such as disinfectants, hand soaps and cleaning agents had amplified significantly. At the heart of all these products are surfactants – which are the active agents responsible for breaking down the outer lipid bilayer of COVID-19 virus particles. As Dispersa, this meant that our biosurfactants could contribute to the on-going pandemic with natural solutions.

By working hard together and leveraging our agility as a startup, we strengthened our efforts towards the cleaning products sector to capture the momentum to which this period had given rise. Despite the initial setbacks that the pandemic had presented itself with, I am extremely grateful to have an incredible team who adjusted to this new normal and continue to work hard on our vision. We look forward to the growth that 2021 holds!

– Nivatha Balendra

Après cette année particulière, il faut garder en tête que la pandémie actuelle est certes un souci majeur dans nos vies mais que malheureusement la planète rencontre aussi de grands changements en termes de climat et de pollution. C’est pourquoi notre travail avec les biosurfactants est d’autant plus important puisque ceux ci peuvent jouer un rôle dans un grand nombre d’applications, en santé via leur pouvoir antimicrobien et antiviral, mais également dans les produits de nettoyage grâce à leur propriétés émulsifiantes et nettoyantes.  Abordons cette nouvelle année dans le respect de l’environnement et trouvons des solutions aux problèmes actuels grâce à nos bactéries!

– Sarah Martinez

While 2020 was full of unprecedented challenges, we at Dispersa devoted all our efforts to support each other and pursue our vision with more flexibility and creativity and now, we are so proud of meeting our mission for creating novel insights in production and application of our products.
Also during this year, we had the chance to extend our team and I’m thrilled for working besides such a highly motivated team. We look forward to growing Dispersa together!

– Hajar Jamshidian

A year ago, I would have never thought that giving a props and a hug to my friends will be something that will be missed. This year made me realized that a lot of simple things in our life are often took for granted. Luckily winter came to an end and summer gracefully came along but nothing was the same. Soccer fields were filled but rarely people wanted to play a match as we often choose to isolate ourselves. By the end of the summer I was more than happy to know that my internship with Dispersa will actually take place since the pandemic left that possibility as a question mark. I am more than grateful for the opportunity I received and the joy of having met these wonderful people who I work with. I admire the work that we do as a team and how we promote green chemistry as our core principle. I look forward for new challenges and moments of happiness in 2021 wishing that we will very soon get back to a more “normal” life.

– Mathusan Sureshkumar

In some ways, the past year has been a blessing – an opportunity to identify what is most important to us, reprioritize our lives, and improve our resilience in the face of adversity. This global stress test has also brought many ongoing societal and environmental issues into public focus, with impacts that will continue well after we are free from COVID-19. I am optimistic that this past year has resulted in increased drive and momentum towards addressing these challenges, and am glad that we are able to contribute to movement through our work at Dispersa.

– Eisha Ahmed

Although 2020 wasn’t the most orthodox year, it has certainly made me realize how truly important and just how quick life is in general. That is why in 2021 I hope to make an immediate difference and impact in all of my future endeavours as I am still fortunate to do so.

– Anthony Gentile

2020 was quite a year, however I was happy to end it on a high note by finishing my degree and joining Dispersa. 2021 will bring a new set of challenges that I am looking forward to taking on with my colleagues, friends and family.

– Shay Prajapat

Over the past couple months of working at Dispersa I can truly say how happy I am to work with such a motivated, helpful, and hardworking team. Nothing is easy in the midst of a pandemic, but knowing that each day I get to work towards advancing the biotech field is very rewarding.  During this pandemic, I believe that the general population realized the importance of biotechnology and green chemistry. Going forward, I hope that this momentum will continue and people will develop a deeper appreciation for the field.  In the new year, I am excited and motivated to see Dispersa’s scale-up of production and the continued innovation of our products.

– Emma Boase