20 Years of Innovation - The Hobson Prior Journey

Celebrating 20 years of empowering innovators 

2022 marks Hobson Prior's 20-year anniversary and to celebrate, we are looking back at some of the industry-changing innovations across life sciences, as well as a few nostalgic memories.

Our team has grown considerably in the last 20 years and we've expanded from our original small office in Tunbridge Wells in Kent, United Kingdom, into a leading provider of life sciences recruitment solutions at a global level. 

The industry is always evolving, with exciting innovations across the medical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology spaces. Hobson Prior has been empowering individuals alongside these ground-breaking advancements and we are excited to see the growth in potential over the next 20 years and beyond.


The year it all began, the first official Hobson Prior office opened in 2002, based in the Garden of England, Kent. As an indicator of how long Hobson Prior has been in the business, that was the same year as the first Spiderman film starring Tobey Maguire. We have seen 3 new reboots of the arachnid hero hit cinemas since then! The new millennium was filled with hope and innovation and even saw the first human cyborg, with Kevin Warwick implanting a chip into his nervous system. 


Our first birthday was the same year that Concorde made its final flight from JFK airport to London Heathrow and the same year that Wi-fi was hitting headlines as an exciting new system that may be gaining momentum. It is hard to imagine our lives without it now! It was also the same year that Starbucks launched the infamous pumpkin spiced latte. 2003 also saw innovation hitting the life sciences industry with the completion of the Human Genome Project – a 13-year-long effort to map out a complete set of genes of a human being – data that has helped many genetic studies since.


Hobson Prior’s time in the life sciences business goes back to before Twitter and Facebook even existed, with the former launching in 2006 and the latter in 2004. We have been recruiting life sciences professionals through many of the industry’s big announcements, including the FDA and EMA approvals of a vaccine for HPV. 2006 is also marked by the shocking moment that still causes rifts to scientists this day: Pluto’s reclassification as a dwarf planet.


Seven years lucky, 2009 was all about achievements and reward. The same year that element 112 was added to the periodic table, and Usain Bolt crushed his own time to set the current men’s 100m sprint world record, Hobson Prior hit headlines too. We were incredibly proud to be awarded fastest growing business in the county by MegaGrowth50, acknowledging the hard work of the Hobson Prior team in establishing themselves as life science recruitment specialists.


2012 was a huge year for the development of biotechnology as the development of the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 opened numerous opportunities and potential solutions for various genetic-based diseases. And whilst our teams helped companies build their scientific research teams, London was a hot topic of conversation. Hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, Hobson Prior also joined ICS (Now known as Acacium Group) and opened our first office in England’s capital city. 


2015 was a big year for the wearable technology and biometrics sector as the Apple Watch launched along with Apple HealthKit., It was also an exciting year for drug development as the first new antibiotic in 30 years was discovered, hoping to tackle the growing concern of drug-resistance. It was also the same year as the infamous dress debate – blue and black vs white and gold. Another big development in colour saw Hobson Prior adopt purple as our core brand palette!


So much can happen in the space of a year, let alone 20. 2016 saw amazing developments in technology and devices. The FDA approved the use of the first-ever artificial pancreas, revolutionising medical technology. It was also the same year that Amazon launched its first delivery by drone and Elon Musk’s reusable rocket returned to Earth in mostly one piece. The medical technology industry has grown rapidly in the last few years and Hobson Prior have been following its developments and supporting businesses throughout.


Global opportunity was a core theme of 2019, extending beyond into space. Nasa shared the first ever captured images of a black hole, a huge development within the scientific community. It was also the same year that young climate activist Greta Thunberg travelled across the ocean to deliver her iconic speech at the UN conference Hobson Prior’s global impact grew too, with the launch of our offices in Cape Town, South Africa and Basel, Switzerland, further cementing our support for the international life sciences community.


The last three years have been a mixed bag of global difficulties, innovative reactions and various successes within the life sciences community. With the global pandemic impacting sectors across the industry, the life sciences communities were pivotal in the development of solutions for many of the new challenges, including the launch of the Covid-19 mRNA vaccine, which has helped improve support and funding of genetic-based vaccinations. As part of the Acacium Group, we were able to support Covid vaccination projects within the UK. Within the lockdown, we were able to support various life sciences companies to continue their research, launching a new office in Dublin, Ireland to serve the evolving industry. 

Throughout our 20 years of growth, we are thrilled to be able to see so many exciting developments within the life sciences industry. From early developments of new biotechnology discoveries that are now revolutionising healthcare to the improved research into exciting new innovations like AI and 3-D printing, Hobson Prior is proud to have been able to empower the professionals and projects that keep the life sciences industry innovating.

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