Thank you for visiting. The purpose of this site is to provide some personal history regarding my work in contact lenses leading to the development of the AWARD and Daysoft Limited business. But, firstly, I should explain that I am not an optician, I am a graduate engineer specialising in manufacturing management. After 20 years including experience of working in electronics and domestic appliances with ThornEMI as a divisional director, I was offered a job in an entirely different line of work; medical devices, in particular contact lenses.
CooperVision Inc, a California headquartered vision-care company approached me in 1984 offering me a Vice President Manufacturing position. Its major market was the US but its highly advanced manufacturing units were in Hampshire, England, where I, on accepting the job became based. However, in late 1988 I decided to resign. My position then was Vice President of Global Operations. It was very ‘comfortable’ but convincing the company to embrace new technologies was becoming nearly impossible mainly due to FDA regulatory strictures affecting medical devices and the profits being made selling lens cleaning solutions … the concept of throwing a lens away was not welcomed, better to ‘clean’ them … a soft contact lens retailed at £50 and was expected to last for 12 months with daily ‘cleaning’ likely to cost another £50. I had other ‘unwelcome’ ideas so resigned in ‘good order’ to start my own business. The funding package of several £millions by 3i was withdrawn abruptly in an ‘apparent breach of contract’. We ‘settled’, and I started developing contact lenses processes in a small room in my back garden, funded personally.
AWARD plc was my first contact-lens start-up business. With another ex-CooperVision engineer (Bill Seden) I led the invention, development and scale-up commercialization of lenses made by our radically new manufacturing process called ‘integrated cast-moulding’. This cut the cost of making a soft contact lens by over 90%, bringing the retail cost down from £50 to 50p and creating an entirely new modality of contact lens wear; daily-disposability. The AWARD ‘premier’ lens was the world’s first daily disposable lens. Bausch & Lomb, a ‘big-4’ contact lens company, having failed to ‘crack’ the technology, asked for their ‘own-brand’ but instead we offered to sell them AWARD! They willingly accepted provided I agreed not to sell or supply any contact lens in competition for 5 years. (B&L paid $33 million for the business and $15 million for the intellectual property).
Daysoft Limited was my second start-up company and launched in April 2001 … five years exactly since selling AWARD. The daysoft® lens incorporates a new daily-disposable lens design, made by a new manufacturing technology and marketed in a new way using new technology; the internet via www.daysoft.com
This business model has proved to be so disruptive that vested interests in the optical ‘establishment’ have sought to restrict (kill) it. However, here we are many years later, still the only lens producer in the world supplying direct. We have now sold over 500 million lenses to wearers around the world providing unique convenience, affordable prices and great eye-care benefits.
The future – INPAC® Technology This is a totally new, patented, Daysoft developed manufacturing technology. It’s being rolled-out in 2019. This reduces the amount of plastic packaging material by up to 50% compared to the other manufacturers. By making the lens entirely in-the-pac, we reduce the production handling steps needed, cutting costs and allowing us to keep our unbeatable price point of just £5.99 for 32 contact lenses.
If you are already a daysoft® wearer may we again thank you but, if not, we hope you will give us a try and to read over 14,000 wearers reviews just click here.
Ronald S Hamilton CBE, Executive Chairman, Daysoft Limited