Orvion – 5 years anniversary


Today, 1st March 2018, it is Orvion’s 5th anniversary. What a great milestone. A good moment to look back and to look forward.

When I started with Orvion on 1st March 2013 it was fun and exciting, but at the same time I doubted myself: am I being courageous or am I being reckless? After 5 years the time has come to make up the balance…

In the meantime Orvion has proven herself and her right to exist: we are positioned to discover and achieve many things. Already in 2015, with 3 employees, we broke-even. In 2017 our revenue increased 250% and we booked a nive profit. Now we have a team of seven professionals that are ready to help our clients with modern-day challenges. How can we let nature clean our dirty water and soils? How can we learn to handle our resources more sustainably? Hoe can we use DNA techniques to enable access to clean drinking water, even for the world’s poorest?

One of the most important strategic choices we made was, as first environmental lab, to start working with the newest available Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technique: Nanopore sequencing. NGS wasn’t just a great challenge, but has brought us a lot. We can now elucidate complex microbial population within one day. We stand at the beginning of many applications for NGS of which we can only foresee a few. Soon you might be able to perform such DNA-analyses with your own smartphone. To check whether your drinking water is indeed clean, what the microbial quality of you favourite swimming spot is, whether there any endangered species in your pond or whether your salmon sandwich is safe to eat. But also: whether u have received an effective antibiotic for your infection and whether your father is actually for biological father. To name but a few examples.

I often have the feeling that we’re like the explorers of old, like Abel Tasman or James Cook. They visited the unknown parts of our globe. We’re the first to look at unknown microbial population: in water treatment sludge, in contaminated groundwater, in ditches and drinking water. It is up to us to characterise these populations with which we share the planet and to understand them better. With the same drive and precision as the explorers did.

Looking back on it all I realise that the step to start Orvion wasn’t reckless and not courageous: I was mainly curious, about myself (can I do this: start and build a company?) and about the opportunities: what can we discover with DNA techniques and how can we apply these in practise?

Set the bar high for yourself and for the team and regard the world with wonderment: you can start a company based on that. Stand open for opportunities and work together with clients and colleagues: that’s all. Anybody can do it.

Today I would like to thank everybody that made this possible: our faithful first clients, fantastic colleagues Aleida, Frithjof, Paul, Thommy, Annelise and Federica, interns, companies that surround is, family and friends. Thank you all very much!

On our anniversary we present an innovative product to determine the potential for natural attenuation in aquifers: Orvion Genetic Plume Profiling. In June this year we will celebrate with our clients and relations. So keep an eye on your inbox!

Have a nice day and a great future,

Marc van Bemmel

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