When we heard last year about Jemma Redmond’s efforts in bioprinting, we were impressed with the spirit and ingenuity she embodied, throwing herself and all her energy and efforts into forming Ouro_botics, where she served as a tireless CEO inspiring her team’s work. The Irish entrepreneur was known as a force, held in high esteem by her colleagues as well as her family. She passed away unexpectedly last week on Tuesday, August 16th, and her funeral was held the following Friday in Tallaght, South Dublin.
Reports of her passing have been spreading since last week, along with an outpouring of sympathetic messages from the bioprinting community the world over, including this tweet from bioprinting company Organovo:
The loss of a visionary leader like Jemma Redmond, at the young age of 38 and on the brink of additional contributions to bioprinting that could have significant impact on modern medicine, sends waves through an ultimately close-knit community. In addition to her friends and family, the team at Ouro_botics certainly feels the loss most acutely.
“She was a fantastic, inspiring and remarkable woman and an inspiration,” company co-director Dr. Tony Herbert said to the Irish Independent. “Jemma was making such progress on what is really ground-breaking technology. She had a fantastic sense of humour and fun and was universally liked and respected. Jemma’s loss has left a major hole in our capabilities. She was the technical leader and it was a major blow to the company.”
Ouro_botics has been in the midst of a successful season under the late Ms. Redmond’s leadership, including winning prizes at the SVOD Europe competition and being included in the Adopt a Startup program from Google. The company’s 10-material bioprinter is the first of its kind, and had been poised to continue to see development and progress under Redmond’s strong leadership.Those who knew Redmond personally as well as professionally have been generous with their sympathies in this time, including the company’s backers. Venture partner Bill Liao of SOSV, an Ouro_botics backer, expressed sympathies via Twitter, commenting:
“Deeply saddened here at SOSV Jemma was a leading light in the Cork tech Scene. Her loss is truly a tragedy.”
Liao further noted:
“I believe that there will be a coroners report as it was an unexpected death and that may take as many as six weeks.”
SOSV had previously featured Jemma Redmond’s work in an interview feature as a strong female company founder. She will long be remembered for her spirit, energy, fierce intelligence, and myriad contributions to the bioprinting community.
As much as we love looking at the work contributed to 3D technologies, we will always hold in the highest regard those behind the work. While automated technologies can serve to reduce the need for human involvement directly on production lines, and bioprinting advances may one day reduce or even eliminate the need for human tissue and organ donors, the human impact in the high-tech world can never be overstated. It is the ingenuity of individuals that ultimately contributes every great advance in any field. We mourn with the community the too-soon loss of a great mind and, more importantly, a by all accounts truly great individual. Our thoughts go out at this difficult time to those who knew and loved Jemma Redmond.
Below is a video of the late Ms Redmond enthusing about the work done at Ouro_botics: