In a widely acclaimed new book called How Innovation Works, the author Matt Ridley champions perspiration over inspiration, arguing that innovation is normally the product of collaboration and competition involving many people over many years, rather than a ‘eureka’ moment from one genius inventor. And, while he doesn’t directly mention the MGPS1000 in the book, AG instruments’ ground-breaking gas analyser perfectly exemplifies his point.
Reflecting on the book, Ridley explains, ‘I try to draw a distinction between invention and innovation. It’s not a distinction that is cast in iron, but I think this is the best way to think about it.
‘Invention is the coming up with a prototype of a new device or a new social practice innovation.
‘Innovation is the business of turning a new device into something practical, affordable and reliable that people will want to use and acquire. It’s the process of driving down the price; it’s the process of driving up the reliability and the efficiency of the device; and it’s the process of persuading other people to adopt it, too.’
This very neatly sums up the outlook of Warwick-based AG Instruments, whose website emphasises the importance of knowing ‘the difference between making a product that performs a function and one that offers a great experience.’
Their ground-breaking MGPS1000 was, in keeping with Ridley’s hypothesis, the result of years of collaborative effort from experts in gas analysis and product development. The effort was led by managing director Hany Agaiby but it would not have been possible without a strong, expert team committed to challenging each other and themselves. Crucially, it also relied on input and feedback from customers.
The MGPS1000 was carefully designed for MGPS (Medical Gas Pipeline Systems) testing professionals. It was based on AG Instruments’ trade-marked Technology Made to Measure concept and uses the best available sensing technologies.
The key features of the product are as follows:
- It measures O2, N2O, Water Vapour, CO2, CO, SO2, NO, NO2, gas pressure and vacuum.
- It has an integrated Oil, Polytest and Particulates Test.
- It connects to any terminal units or NIST with gas pressure up to 13 Bar.
- Optional measurement of ambient level of hazardous gases for COSHH purposes.
- Optional Anaesthetic gases leak detection.
- The most comprehensive, efficient and convenient MGPS testing solution available in the world.
For Ridley, innovative products like this have always required teamwork:
‘It’s not a case that there was a Golden Age when individuals invented things and nowadays it’s teams that do it. It was always teams, in the sense of collaborators. They weren’t necessarily working for the same institution.
‘Our habit of giving the Nobel Prize or that patent to one individual has tended to pull out the great man of history and put him on a pedestal where he doesn’t necessarily deserve to be. He’s very important, but he’s putting the last stone in the arch and other people built the rest of the arch.’
It is testament to Hany Agaiby that he too has always credited his team for the MGPS1000’s success. As The Leaders Council never tires of pointing out, a great leader is only ever as strong as the team they are able to build.