No matter when or where you’ve met me, Patrick Britz, in the past … you probably know my motto: “Getting science done!” This is what has always mattered most to me. My career started in research and took me to industry — at Brain Products & Brain Vision LLC. In case you lost track of where I am and what I am up to now, here is a little background about me and my career at Brain Products as well as the rise of Brain Vision LLC, Brain Products’ exclusive distributor in North America.
When I first moved to North America in 2009 to work at Brain Vision LLC, I did not have much experience in industry. After finishing my Ph.D. work on combining EEG and fMRI, I worked at Brain Products’ Scientific Support for about a year. Building a company in the US was a completely new challenge for me, but I was ready to accept it and happy for the opportunity. Most importantly, I had a very clear vision of the philosophy Brain Vision LLC should be built upon.
Having been a researcher myself, I had a good idea of what a scientist wanted: to contribute to science and turn great ideas into high quality publications — preferably in Nature or Science. At the same time, I knew the main challenges a scientist faces: working in a highly competitive environment and searching for the best possible solution to meet their specific research needs.
So, if Brain Vision LLC wanted to help researchers to get their science done, we needed to provide more than just single pieces of equipment. We needed to provide complete solutions. I understood that and thus, Brain Vision LLC’s definition of a solution had to consist of:
- Trusted, qualified and unbiased consultation*
(to ensure that your research question and future plans are translated into the right equipment choices)
- Devices of high-quality, produced by reliable manufacturers
(there is just no substitute for good data)
- Equipment that seamlessly integrates/interfaces with each other
(particularly if the components of your lab setup come from different manufacturers)
- Proper customer training and reliable support
Of course, this vision could not be turned into reality single-handedly. One of the first things I focused on was building a team that shared and believed in these values and helped me to develop our company philosophy further. Over the next 5 years, this approach paid off, and thanks to our customers in North America, Brain Vision LLC grew tremendously in office space, turnover, trusted partners, vendors and in terms of staff (from 1 to 18).
In 2014, it was time for me to leave Brain Vision LLC and go back home to Germany, where I became the Marketing Director at Brain Products. I had learned a lot in the US and wanted to replicate Brain Vision LLC’s success strategies to other markets. My focus was mainly on strategic marketing. Together with my team, we developed various collaborations with other manufacturers and won some grants — including a Horizon 2020 MoBI innovation grant, which led to the MoBI Award. We also initiated other great projects, like the BCI+ framework and a more solutions-oriented marketing approach in general.
In mid-2018, I was offered the attractive opportunity to return to North America and take over this market once again. Although not planned, I happily accepted the offer, because I have always considered Brain Vision LLC to be my “baby.”
I have been back in North America since September 2018. I am very excited to work with my team again, meet my old customer friends — as if I was never gone — and continue the success story of Brain Vision LLC.
The world of science and the needs of our customers are rapidly evolving. Some things have changed while I was in Germany and we’ve been busy adapting to these changes by establishing new processes, tools, methods and a new company.
In 2016, we founded Brain Vision Solutions, based in Montreal, QC (Canada). You may call it a “spin-off” of Brain Vision LLC and, as it shares the same philosophy and values, it somehow is; however, our main intention was to have a dedicated contact point for Canadian researchers.
Here is another important improvement. Within the US, we assigned specific regions to our scientific consultants. This means, depending on where you are located, your main contact will always be the same consultant. The consultant knows the history of your research and the equipment you already have. Therefore, they can best advise in terms of which additional devices integrate best with the current setup in your lab and can provide competent first-level support in case you run into any issues. Don’t worry, if your consultant is travelling, there is always a back-up that will get back to you quickly and help you out.
What hasn’t changed is the philosophy of the “Brain Visions” (in the US and Canada): We help scientists “get science done” by providing complete solutions.
Understanding the needs of research in general and the needs of our customers in particular has always been a very important part of our success. Grants don’t come easily, but they do dictate research. The money that comes with them must be invested in high-quality solutions to keep your research projects working. Supporting you in this endeavor is why we at Brain Vision LLC and Brain Vision Solutions are here!
Our reputation is vital, and we believe that customers should be happy. So, please live up to our saying: “If you are happy, talk to your colleagues. If you should be unhappy, talk to us and we will make it right.”
I am looking forward to working with the community of neuroscientists in North America again, as well as meeting new and old friends (from research and industry) more frequently in person soon, e.g., at the Vision Sciences Society (VSS) in May, the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) in June or the Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR) in September. See you soon!