Inventor of the non-retractable syringe and ApiJect, Marc faced and broke down bureaucratic barriers to fight one of the most virulent contributors to the spread of AIDS. Sharing his story at a number of high calibre events, Marc's prolific work is truly revolutionary.
For decades Marc Koska OBE fought to stop the reuse of syringes. One of the most impressive and inspirational entrepreneurs in the world, Marc faced and broke down bureaucratic barriers to fight one of the most virulent contributors to the spread of AIDS, with his non-reusable syringe, which was endorsed by the World Health Organisation in 2015.
Marc had a realisation that he had to find a purpose and do something meaningful with his life. Absolving himself in the newspapers and watching the news, he became aware of the plight of millions of people in Africa who were carrying the AIDS virus. At 23, his lightbulb moment came when he read that the deadly practice of reusing syringes was spreading the virus like wildfire.
After much industry research, Marc thought - what if a syringe couldn’t be reused? It took Marc all of three minutes to design a syringe that breaks when it’s been used, but seventeen years to manufacture, patent and distribute the K1 Auto-Disable. Attempting to pull the plunger back up to reload the syringe causes it to break, rendering the syringe useless. Sounds like a no-brainer, yet investors, manufacturers and politicians were uncompromisingly averse to a simple idea designed to save millions of lives.
In 1996, he co-founded Star Syringe to license the technology to manufacturers around the world. Since 2001 more than 2.5 billion K1 syringes have been sold around the world, resulting in the prevention of an estimated 10m infections, and more than 8m lives have been saved. His genuine lack of financial motivation is inspirational, moving and an admirably unique quality rarely seen in a thriving entrepreneur. He has actively and successfully addressed an urgent human challenge with a successful policy changing effort.
Marc licenses manufacturers worldwide from his Ashdown Forest base. In 2006, he was awarded his OBE in the New Year’s Honour list for his ‘Contribution to Global Healthcare’.
He received the International Visual Communication Association Award; the International Business Award for Best Multi-National Company; the Tech Award; the Queen's Award for Enterprise for International Trade, and The Economist’s Social & Economic Innovation Award. He was also selected as a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 Awardee—of the 33 global awards granted, there are only 2 from the UK.
Marc has addressed countless high profile audiences, including the British Medical Association, British Healthcare Business Intelligence Association and the innovation summit. He has
spoken at the TED Global Conference, The Zeitgeist conference, TED MED, INK, the DLD conference, and the European Union Innovations summit.
Films about Marc’s work have been shown internationally, including at the Royal Albert Hall as part of Peace One Day. He featured on the film that accompanies The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee song – Stronger As One - first sung at the Commonwealth Observance Service on Commonwealth Day 12th March 2012 at Westminster Abbey, the official start of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.
His Life Saver public awareness campaigns inform and educate governments and healthcare providers about risks their countries face, and propose possible solutions. Marc’s campaign in India reached a staggering 508 million in one week. Using the media to deliver an all important message, Marc also managed to make history by his campaign breaking a world record for awareness.
With a story of sheer persistence, patience and resolve, Marc has battled through red-tape, incompetence and unwillingness to implement a product and a strategy that has compromised the spread of AIDS through Africa forever.
Marc's most recent invention is called ApiJect, a pre-filled soft syringe manufactured using Blow Fill Seal (BFS) technology.
A motivational and inspirational speaker, Marc has addressed countless high profile audiences, including the British Medical Association, British Healthcare Business Intelligence Association and the innovation summit. Pioneering change and saving lives, Marc is a truly exceptional keynote speaker and person.