2020 will certainly be a year to remember for decades to come. Even as we enter that last month of the year, the country is still grappling with a global pandemic as death tolls in the U.S. continue escalating. The last 12 months have been filled with challenge and heartache, but through all the pain and difficulty, I can see a bit of hope.

As the CEO of a biotech company focused on developing medical devices, our teams pivoted early on to assist any way possible amid the height of the pandemic by building rapid COVID-19 test kits, test readers and developing potential therapeutics – and we weren’t alone. Entire organizations in the healthcare and scientific community banded together in order to find viable treatments and vaccines as soon as possible in order to destroy a virus that has killed hundreds of thousands of people across the globe. Below are a few reasons why my team and I will emerge from this pandemic hopeful, and you should too.

Increased Innovation

The recent difficulties brought forth a wave of innovation touching nearly every sector of the economy that we haven’t seen – or had to see – in years. Lab techs, researchers, hospital personnel, business owners, medical professionals, furloughed workers – everyone has had to think on their feet. From researchers working tirelessly to discover how the virus is transmitted, to how diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics can be developed, to restaurants and businesses adapting to contact-less operations to cope with the new challenges – we’ve witnessed our communities innovating to survive.

Remarkable Teamwork

ThermoGenesis was one of the companies working on COVID-19 antibody tests, pushing our teams to roll out a rapid test format that could help reopen the economy and get people back to work. And, while many companies were competing to do the same, the world was watching the industry work together and share best practices for the health of humanity. And, we saw this at every level. Many businesses that struggled to keep their doors open continued to look for ways to keep workers employed by exploring new business opportunities and adapting new business operations and practices. The pandemic helped people to regroup and reprioritize, pinpointing what was truly important in times of need – community – which teamwork is critical to maintaining.

Stronger Than Before

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed weaknesses in every system, highlighting areas that require improvement across nearly every industry. For example, cleanliness in business establishments and facilities, or the need for remote working and building out an online presence. While these new challenges were not met before, it has forced organizations to rapidly improve, strengthening and preparing them for long term success.

The pandemic has forever changed the landscape of business and life for everyone. It has been the ultimate learning experience, forcing us to accelerate innovation, work together and strengthen our weaknesses. As we have just seen the latest launch of the vaccines, we’re now starting to see a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. I plan to emerge from the pandemic filled with hope and proud of the greatness I’ve witnessed over the last 12 months.