30 years of Nonlinear Dynamics

30 years logo

Nonlinear Dynamics celebrates 30 years of being in business this year end.  We thought it would be interesting to take a trip down Memory Lane and see what was happening around the world while founder, Will Dracup, was starting his embryonic company.

1989 was an interesting time to be around, especially in Eastern European countries.  There was huge hope and optimism in the air as these countries opted for democracy.  Here are just some of the Global events that took place in December 1989:

  • USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev meets Pope John Paul II at the Vatican
  • V. P. Singh sworn in as the 8th Prime Minister of India
  • Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and US President George H. W. Bush, declare the Cold War over
  • France TGV train reaches world record speed of 482.4 kph
  • President Gustav Husak of Czechoslovakia, resigns
  • “The Simpsons” created by Matt Groening, premieres on Fox TV as a full animated series with the episode, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”
  • After 23 years in power, Romania ousts Nicolae Ceausescu
  • Japanese scientist achieves -271.8°C, coldest temperature ever recorded
  • Alexander Dubček elected Chairman of the Federal Assembly (Parliament) of Czechslovakia
  • Václav Havel is selected to be president of Czechoslovakia by the Federal Assembly shortly after the Velvet Revolution
  • Wayne Gretzky and Martina Navratilova, named athletes of decade by the Associated Press

After setting the scene of what was going on in 1989, we then decided to talk to Will about his motivations and ambitions when starting his company.  Here’s what he told us:

“I’d been working as an employee for a scientific company when two scientists inspired me that the time was right to set up a 2D gel analysis company.  Back then my main aim was to make enough money so I could take summers off work and spend time by the river.”  It didn’t quite work out that way, Will and his colleague, Dr David Bramwell have established a pioneering research company, Biosignatures, whose ultimate aim is to be able to analyse a single sample of blood and provide an early diagnosis for as many as 20 or 30 life changing diseases.

At our ASMS breakfast seminar this year, Nonlinear’s Jonathan McSayles, gave a brief history of Nonlinear Dynamics that we’d like to share with you. It shows the growth of the products and how we adapted to the changing market to continue to serve our customers.

Landmarks of the early years of Nonlinear

Nonlinear Dynamics was established in 1989 and launched the first product in 1991 which was Phoretix 2D gel analysis software. Two years later in 1993, a second product for 1D Gel analysis was released. Not long after, came the Phoretix Array and TotalLab software products.

In 2000 there came a major leap for Nonlinear – opening an office in the US and the following year launching the first Progenesis product for 2D gel analysis.  After the success of Progenesis Discovery we continued development with the launch of Progenesis SameSpots in 2005.

At that time, we also signed a co-marketing agreement with Waters Corporation, and this set the stage for Nonlinear to diversify.

Landmarks of the later years of Nonlinear, now a Waters Company

In the mid 2000’s the 2D gel market changed, but we were already on the path to move our development into the emerging label-free mass spec market. 

Progenesis MALDI was launched in 2008 followed by Progenesis LC-MS, and many of our customers had moved from 2D based techniques to mass spec-based analysis. We moved into the metabolomics field in 2011 with the launch of Progenesis CoMet.

In 2012 another significant milestone was made with the Co-development agreement with Waters Corporation. The Waters Corporation branded LC-MS product TransOmics Informatics was born. The success of that partnership and product development led to the acquisition of Nonlinear by Waters in 2013, followed by the fully integrated products we have today – Progenesis QI and Progenesis QI for proteomics.

We hope you have enjoyed the brief history of Nonlinear Dynamics.  Before we close out the year, we’d like to wish you Season’s Greetings and a very successful New Year.  Stay tuned for our first blog post in 2020 to see how Progenesis can help you achieve success in your research. As always, if you would like to download or learn more about the software then don’t hesitate to get in touch. We will be more than happy to help you.