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15 new health innovations in the InnoStars Awards semi-finals

31st May 2021

Innovative glasses for people with eye-disorders, an in-vitro diagnostic tool, or an emotion management smart assistant, have been shortlisted among the semi-finalists of the InnoStars Awards, EIT Health programme for early stage start-ups from Central, Eastern and Southern European regions.    

Pandemic stimulated the record number of new ideas submitted to InnoStars Awards. In this year’s edition the number of teams eager to solve some of the most pressing healthcare challenges, improve wellbeing and comfort of patients increased by 47% year over year. Among the 15 shortlisted teams: three come from Romania, two from Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Hungary as well as one from Greece, Poland, Estonia, and Lithuania. InnoStars Awards is one of EIT Health’s most competitive accelerator programmes, which is aimed at early-stage start-ups with prototype or Minimum Viable Product. The semi-finalists will receive €25 000 smart money for business training and mentoring support from world-class experts. The ten best performing teams will be able to get into the finals, pitch to the international jury panel and win up to €25 000 to launch their product or service on the market.

“Every edition of InnoStars Awards entices cutting-edge medtech, biotech or digital health solutions that try to respond to some of the most pressing healthcare challenges as well as improving the quality of life of patients. This year we observe it on even larger scale. Pandemic has stimulated new ideas popping up and motivated innovators to do the next step. The key to success very often is to equip the ambitious teams with the business skills, access to network and support them in building international recognition. This is exactly what we do” – underlined Tamas Bekasi, RIS Business Creation Manager at EIT Health InnoStars. “For the last five years InnoStars Awards has moved dozens of teams from the prototype stage to the market level. The best teams got external funding, VCs interest and managed to scale out” – added Tamas Bekasi.

List of InnoStars Awards semi-finalists 2021:

  • Navhetec (Italy) offers an innovative solution by developing a new way to isolate and concentrate plant bio-functional compounds with healthy properties. Their products are purified plant vesicles, small lipoprotein structures existing in plant juice that “naturally” collect and concentrate several bio-functional elements. The vesicle concentrate has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and, thanks to their technology, can be available in different forms for applications as a nutraceutical, for functional foods and beverages, and in cosmetics. Plant vesicles can be added to products already in the market and regularly consumed, thus providing a healthy diet without changing consumers’ habits;
  • AidPlex (Greece) developed a solution, ScolioSense, which aims to tackle the problem of scoliosis by offering a patent-pending patient management system, consisting of a smart wearable device for real-time monitoring of patients’ adherence to treatment, a gamified mobile app for patients, and a web app for clinicians;
  • Nanoker (Spain) developed advanced technical dental implants, nanocomposite ceramic, disruptive, root-form and versatile monoblock implants. Newly developed ceramic nanocomposites and nanostructured bioactive ceramic glass materials finally allow effective and superior substitution of widespread titanium based dental implants that aggravate peri-implant disease affecting not only oral health and implant survival, but patients’ overall health;
  • JEMTech (Italy) designed a videocardiograph for the non-invasive 3D assessment of the heart. This clinical device is based on a single 3D camera and an AI software that allow to quantitatively assess the mechanical function of the heart in real-time;
  • PolTiss (Poland) developed a solution, PhotoBioCure, an alternative to surgical repair of hernias, which is one of the most performed operations in the world. The start-up designed injectable patches which form customized implants in situ in vivo, which can positively impact patients’ comfort during treatment, among others;
  • RuPharma (Portugal) is a project that is a spin-off of Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa (FCUL). The team aims to develop new anticancer drugs for highly metastatic cancers. The solution is protected by an international patent already;
  • AIMED (Romania) designed a solution, LEDD – Lung Ecography Differential Diagnosis, which aims to introduce a new, non-invasive, low cost, accessible, fast alternative answer for lung cancer and pulmonary fibrosis differential diagnostic based on transthoracic ultrasound image processing and artificial intelligence algorithms, which can also be used in follow-up and for biopsy guidance;
  • Rethink Medical (Spain) developed T-Control, the first and only catheter with a built-in fluid controlling system, that improves quality of life of patients, prevents infections and help in leading active lifestyle;
  • Navolab Diagnostics (Hungary) developed a solution, Theresa Kit, an in-vitro diagnostic tool for quantifying patients’ inherent risk for observing therapeutic resistance driven by the activity of multidrug transporter (MDR) proteins;
  • Endobios (Portugal) designed E-Chem®, a solution that discovers health-benefiting value chains in undervalued commercialized bioproducts or nonmonetized biowaste from algae, microbes, or plants. It raises the value of bioproducts and provides new solutions to end customers seeking over-the-counter therapeutics that prevent disease and improve health, mostly as nutraceuticals, immunostimulants, microbiome health, antiaging, skin health or wellbeing products;
  • Deed (Italy) developed a solution, get™Aura, a wrist wearable device that enables pionieristic functions to limit certain widespread pathologies. The product could allow a higher level of prevention, health monitoring, with usage of biometric strong authentication method based on ECG;
  • Liverinn (Lithuania) is developing an AI-based solution for automated liver diagnostics that could be done in seconds. The technology aims to eliminate blood vessels and liver formations by making measurements of functional liver volume even more precise;
  • Neurosalience (Estonia) develops a tool for early detection of dementia from MRI scans. The tool aims to decrease patient-related costs and improve the quality of life of patients;
  • Tully (Romania) developed an Emotion Management Smart Assistant, which helps people with complex conditions live better by improving the way they recognize, manage and deal with their emotions. The vision is to ultimately create a full range automated psychological support for sensory integration disorders, from specific (ADHD, Bipolar disorder, Autism) to general conditions, like anxiety or depression;
  • APPERCELL (Hungary) developed a solution that aims to revolutionize biomedical research and drug development by commercialising a high-throughput microelectrode array system with automated data analysis platform, which enables faster, safer and more efficient drug discovery, while minimising the need for live animal experiments.

The winners, besides the financial awards, will have access to the support and potential investor connections available from EIT Health’s Investor Network and EIT Health’s Living Labs and Test Beds network. Beside the listed teams, EIT Health will provide mentoring support for further 20 runner-up start-ups with €4 000 value. More about InnoStars Awards: https://eithealth.eu/project/innostars-awards/

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