EIC grants to drive Swiss innovation projects forward

Following the new cut-off, seven Swiss startups have confirmed the receipt of grants under the European Innovation Council (EIC) programme. The startups each obtained above two million Euros to facilitate their projects.

 

 

The Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator (previously known as SME Instrument) supports top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with bright ideas and the ambition to scale up internationally. The programme focuses on market-creating innovations that shape new markets and generate jobs, growth and higher standards of living. From 5 June 2019, the EIC Accelerator offers blended finance in the form of an optional investment in equity in addition to the grant. Successful companies have also access to a range of business coaching and acceleration services.

For the March 2020 cut-off, the European Commission received approximately 4,000 applications for EIC Accelerator Pilot programme out of which 70 were selected for funding. The following Swiss startups have already concluded the contract.

Resistell AG – received a €2.5M grant to advance the development of its world’s fastest phenotypic antibiotic susceptibility test (AST) which is based on measurement of vibrations of living bacteria using nanomechanical sensors. The cutting-edge technology reduces the AST time-to-result from several hours or days to less than two hours, and patients can be treated with the optimal dosage from day one.

EH Group Engineering – obtained €1.48m to boost the development of its innovative fuel cell technology and bring it to mass commercialisation. Addressing the cost factor associated with commercialising fuel cell technology, EH Group aims to influence the market by achieving significant cost reductions and hence more rapid industrialisation of hydrogen-based technology. The product is applicable in commercial buildings, data centres among others.

LIGENTEC – is developing NEBULA, a new R&D project aiming to provide the foundations for a common future-proof transceiver technology platform with ultra-high bandwidth capabilities offered by a CMOS compatible toolkit. The project is tailored towards meeting performance, cost and energy metrics in both inter-DCI coherent and intra-DCI ASIC co-packaged optics.

Swissdecode – was awarded 2.5 million Euro grant for the development of an automated, on-site food testing device that will allow food companies to quickly detect and react faster to irregularities such as food adulteration or contamination.

Postrigo – is developing ultra-compact Positron Emission Tomography (PET) systems for the brain for early detection of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The system will be accessible to a broad population. The company received a grant of EUR 2.2 million.

From the past cut-off in 2019, two more startups have also confirmed the receipt of EU Horizon2020 funds.

CREAL3D – is developing a patented light-field technology that generates truly 3D hologram-like images, thereby solving the eyestrain and pain problems of current headsets. Likewise, technology increases the immersion of users and allowing conflictless mixing of virtual and real worlds. The startup obtained €2.3 for the project.

MINESPIDER GMBH – Founded in 2018, Minespider is an open blockchain protocol and DApp for creating digital certificates to track minerals along global supply chains. The company received €2.3 million from the program.

(RAN)

EMBION’s product launch paves the way to antibiotic-free farming

EMBION Technologies, the provider of plant-based bioactives for the nutrition of the future, has launched its first product PREMBION on the market. The patented solution has complex prebiotic properties for animal nutrition that were created with EMBION’s novel platform technology. Market introduction tests are currently underway with leading global corporations in the food, feed and drinks sectors.

 

 

Founded as an EPFL spinoff, EMBION Technologies accelerates nutrition innovation toward increased functionality and greater affordability. The startup provides access to a proprietary platform technology aimed at revolutionizing biomass upcycling and reduce waste via biocatalytic processing. While the global bioactive ingredients market is confronted with long development phases and inconsistent results, which entail hidden operational costs, Embion’s technology platform reduces the time from discovery to commercial production by up to 80%.

The technology platform has been first applied in the development of novel bioactives for human and animal health and nutrition, resulting in the patented solution, PREMBION manufactured from brewers’ spent grains. PREMBION is a soluble bioactive compound with a unique composition of natural health benefits. The launch of the solution paves the way to antibiotic-free farming.

“Unique fingerprint products, such as our first patented product PREMBION, are the future of the high potential prebiotic ingredients market for microbiome modulation, providing solutions for the growing demand in antibiotic-free farming against antimicrobial resistance. EMBION’s rapid prototyping platform technology catalyzes innovation that is essential for building this market,” says Georgios Savoglidis, co-founder and CEO of EMBION.

Savoglidis and his team conducted laboratory tests on 20 feedstocks, which have generated 80 new complex bioactives that are ready for immediate commercialization.

“This was a long shot, but the technology is thoroughly built from the ground up to overcome bottlenecks and has the potential to be transformative, starting with nutrition,” summarizes Professor Paul J. Dyson, advisory board member of EMBION Technologies. and Professor of Chemistry at EPFL. Dyson supervised the technology invention from its origin as a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF-NPR66).

(Press release/RAN)

10 Millionen für frisches Babyfood

Yamo hat eine Finanzierungsrunde über 10,1 Millionen Euro abgeschlossen. Das Unternehmen entwickelt und produziert frische und natürliche Lebensmittel für Babys und Kleinkinder. Mit den frischen Mitteln wird yamo neue Produktinnovationen auf den Markt bringen, Listungen mit europäischen Retailern umsetzen sowie das Direktkundengeschäft ausbauen.

 

 

Schon heute werden yamos Produkte von Coop in der ganzen Schweiz geführt. In Deutschland wird yamos Konzept in ausgewählten Edeka- und Rewe-Filialen getestet. Hinzu kommt der Direktvertrieb über den Online-Shop. Die Finanzierungsrunde soll dem Wachstum nun noch weiteren Schub geben. Investiert haben Five Season Ventures mit Sitz in Frankreich, der Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund, Ringier Digital Ventures, Müller Ventures, btov Partners, Polytech Ventures, BackBone Ventures, investiere und Fundament. Die Gesamtfinanzierung von yamo steigt damit auf 12 Millionen Euro. 

Niccolo Manzoni, Managing Partner bei Five Seasons Ventures, kommentiert: “Wir haben den Babynahrungssektor für zwei Jahre sehr genau analysiert und sind uns sicher, dass yamo die richtige Positionierung, das passende Angebot und die ideale Marke hat, um in dieser Kategorie führend zu sein. Bei Five Seasons investieren wir in zukünftige Marktführer, und wir freuen uns, Tobias, Luca, Jose und den Rest des yamo-Teams zu unterstützen.”

Traditionell wird Baby- und Kleinkindernahrung, die in Supermärkten erhältlich ist, mit hoher Hitze sterilisiert, was für eine lange Haltbarkeit sorgt, aber auch viele hitzeempfindliche Vitamine wie Vitamin C zerstört und natürliche Farben und den Geschmack verändert. yamo verwendet die Hochdruckpasteurisierung (HPP), die Bakterien innerhalb von Minuten abtötet und natürliche Nährstoffe, hitzelabile Vitamine und den Geschmack bewahrt. yamos Produkte halten im Kühlschrank zwischen acht und zwölf Wochen.

Yamo revolutioniert nicht nur das Angebot an Produkten, die Eltern für ihre Kinder kaufen können, sondern auch die Art und Weise, wie Kindernahrung verkauft wird. Da es sich um frische Produkte handelt, haben yamo und der Schweizer Retailer Coop in einem Pilotprojekt, Kühlschränke in die Trockenregale der Babynahrung platziert. Aufgrund des Erfolgs der Testphase, installierte Coop in 30 seiner Geschäften Kühlschränke im Babynahrungsregal und ermöglichten es, yamo auch über Coop online zu verkaufen.

Olivier Schwegler, Purchasing Product Manager Baby Coop: “Bereits früh haben wir bei Coop erkannt, dass frische Babynahrung von yamo eine neue Ära im Bereich Babynahrung einläuten kann. Gemeinsam mit yamo übernehmen wir damit die Pionierrolle in der Babynahrung. Wir sind sehr zufrieden mit der Zusammenarbeit, welche wir in Zukunft weiter ausbauen wollen.”

Die Produkte können in Supermärkten gekauft werden, sind aber auch in einem Abo direkt online bei yamo erhältlich. Eltern füllen ein kurzes Quiz aus und yamo erstellt basierend auf den Bedürfnissen der Eltern und den Angaben zum Kind die Produktempfehlung für den Menüplan der Kinder.

Yamos neuste Produktinnovation ist Europas erste Joghurt-Alternative aus Hafermilch für Kinder. Die Produkte mit kreativen Namen wie Mariah Cherry oder Chocodile Dundee eignen sich für Babys und ältere Kinder gleichermassen und sind mit natürlichen Eisen- und Vitaminquellen angereichert. Grund für yamos Vorpreschen in den pflanzenbasierten Nahrungsmarkt ist ein klarer Konsumenten-Trend hin zu nachhaltigen Nahrungsmittel-Alternativen auf Pflanzenbasis.

Nach dem Erfolg des eigenen Online-Shops und den Retail-Listungen in der DACH-Region wird das frische Geld dazu genutzt, neue Produkt-Innovationen auf den Markt zu bringen sowie nach Frankreich zu expandieren.

Application to Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) Challenge

About the Challenge

In the midst of the COVID-19 challenge we all face major uncertainty. We anticipate a deep recession and we anticipate that 1bn people will fall back into a position of nutrition insecurity at a time when the already-stretched global food supply will come under increasing pressure. We must focus on the need to make affordable and nutritious food available, but at the same time we cannot ignore the burning platform that is the need for action to mitigate climate change.

These two challenges can move forward hand-in-hand. The ability to extract value from food supply chains in an energy efficient manner can support the economics for consumers, manufacturers and their supply base (including farmers) whilst reducing the CO2 footprint of the entire food value chain. Startups can play a unique role in bringing new disruptive ideas to the table. Corporations can play a critical role in scaling these ideas bringing benefits to society quickly.

A group of leading global food manufacturers and producers- Nestlé, Bühler, GEA, Givaudan, Barry Callebaut, Südzucker, Amcor – have partnered with MassChallenge to find and collaborate with startups or organisations, who have proven solutions or technologies, in the following areas:

  1. Food processing solutions (technology, software, control) that minimizes waste and the use of energy, water and chemicals.
  2. Technology solutions to reduce the CO2 footprint of food production, distribution & disposal.
  3. Value creation/upcycling of food processing side streams
  4. Sustainable (plastic-free) bottling and food packaging

The Sustainable Food Systems Challenge is a project to find 6 startups or organisations, and match them to MassChallenge’s corporate partners, so that the startup & partner can collaborate to scale the startup’s idea, and contribute to feed the planet sustainably.

More info here:

https://apply.masschallenge.org/mcch-sustainable-food-systems-challenge-2020

Press review: La Liberté February 28th 2020

The Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley actively supports the creation of a National Centre of Competence Research (NCCR) in the field of food. Sustainable and high-quality food.

A research project has been launched by more than 70 specialists supported by a parliamentary interpellation I submitted last year (19.4306). A Task Force will be set up early April.

Switzerland will thereby confirm its leadership in Future fo Food. The Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley is working on it.

A lire dans la Liberté du 28 février:
https://www.laliberte.ch/news/suisse/la-food-valley-mijote-555624

Future Food Initiative

EPFL and ETH Zurich are looking for talented and motivated young researchers ready to address the main challenges of the food system. Deadline: 31 March 2020.

For more information you can download the Future Food brochure here

Press Release – Davos, January 23, 2020

Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley : a unique innovation ecosystem

The Swiss Canton of Vaud, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), the Swiss Hospitality Management School in Lausanne (EHL Group) and Nestlé have joined forces to develop and promote a food and nutrition innovation ecosystem. The initiative was launched on 23 January 2020 at the World Economic Forum in Davos under « Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley ». The aim is to address the key challenges of sustainable and high-quality food by attracting talent, start-ups and investments to Switzerland. An association is being set up in order to bring together the stakeholders of the ecosystem and lead the initiative, supported by the Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin, in charge of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.

 

Press Release – Davos, January 23, 2020

 

The production of sustainable and high-quality food and nutrition is vital. The world is facing major challenges ranging from agricultural production, nutrition, to waste management and recycling. Switzerland can play a key role in addressing these challenges: it is home to a unique food and nutrition innovation ecosystem, which comprises of high-quality gastronomy and agriculture, an unparalleled density of world-class companies and scientific institutions, and a large number of start-ups in the fields of food, nutrition, life sciences and robotics. Thanks to intensive collaboration between the local stakeholders, first-class innovation platforms have emerged in Switzerland.

 

The Swiss Canton of Vaud, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), the Swiss Hospitality Management School in Lausanne (EHL Group) and Nestlé have joined forces to create the « Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley », and make Switzerland a world reference for innovation in food and nutrition. The aim is to attract talent, start-ups and investors, while connecting the existing ecosystem, contributing to their visibility, and to develop sustainable solutions for quality food and nutrition.

 

To achieve these objectives, and strengthen our ecosystem,  the « Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley » organizes events in Switzerland and abroad and takes part in international shows under the brand «Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley ». The campaign was launched with Presence Switzerland at the last Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It will continue as part of the #SwissTech campaign, run jointly by Presence Switzerland, Switzerland Global Entreprise (S-GE), Innosuisse, Swissnex and digitalswitzerland. An international symposium dedicated to the future of food will be held in Lausanne on 25 and 26 September 2020.

 

The « Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley » addresses the key challenges of the future of food and nutrition from a sustainability perspective, using cutting-edge science and technology – from agriculture to waste, from innovative products to healthy and sustainable diets. The initiative will focus on various areas, such as nutrition, life sciences, alternative proteins, packaging science, waste management and precision agriculture.

 

The four founding members of the « Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley » will create an association by spring 2020 in order to engage all key players of the ecosystem – cantons, companies, start-ups, universities and associations. The membership terms and  statutes are currently being finalized and will be presented at the association’s constitutive assembly.  The « Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley » is being launched with the support of Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin, Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.

 

Contact: Fathi Derder, info@sfnv.ch

Martin Vetterli (president EPFL), Paul Bulcke (Chairman Nestlé) and Franck Giovannin (Chef Hotel de Ville, Crissier).