25th November 2022
In a showcase of the finest healthcare innovations in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, over 30 promising early-stage start-ups took to the stage on 24 November for the EIT Health InnoStars Awards Grand Final.
For the 6th edition of the Grand Final, EIT Health InnoStars presented a broader portfolio of start-ups, from RIS Innovation Call teams that are at the beginning of their journey, as well as from Attract to Invest teams that are fully operational with a portfolio of clients. The 32 teams that took the stage all had the chance to compete for a special Public Award, and Media Award.
The jury selected Shuttle Catheters, a team from Greece, to take 1st prize at the InnoStars Awards, one of the flagship accelerator programmes of EIT Health InnoStars with a catheter innovation with multiple life-saving applications. DP Innovation from Hungary, with a pocket-sized smart nebuliser for inhaled drug delivery, came second, while Medicud from Italy took 3rd place with a medical device for treating wounds with a negative pressure dressing.
“The grant and the high-class training provided by EIT Health InnoStars experts have helped us move forward with our solution to enter the market very soon. InnoStars Awards is the best place to kick off the MVP and get an extra bonus – access to the biggest community of innovators, investors, hospitals and other key stakeholders who are relevant for our project’s success” – said Mihalis Boutaris, Founder of Shuttle Catheters.
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a major chronic disease affecting millions worldwide and growing due to an ageing population. The winning Greek team’s technology addresses an unmet need for minimally invasive PAD procedures in roughly 30% of all chronic, severe arterial stenosis cases. Shuttle Catheters is developing an innovative catheter technology to enable minimally invasive procedures for crossing through severe artery stenosis, plugging arterial ruptures, and preventing gastric reflux complications. According to founders, this could mean savings of €7.5bn for the European healthcare system and reduced morbidity rates, thanks to averted open bypass surgeries for roughly 300,000 patients.
Profile of this year’s InnoStars Awards teams
The finalists represented various fields in biotechnology, medical technology and life sciences, ranging from a real-time monitoring device aiming at the traceability of transfusion blood bags and digital iron deficiency screener to an advanced antibacterial wound dressing and ultra-personalised nutritional advice platform.
At the Grand Finals, on November 24th, the top three placed teams receive prizes worth €25,000, €15,000 and €10,000, respectively. On top of the prize money, EIT Health also provides networking opportunities with EIT Health InnoStars Partners, healthcare providers and investors. Among the top ten start-ups, Italy was represented by four, Greece by two, while one each came from Estonia, Hungary, Romania and Czechia.
“InnoStars Awards is one of EIT Health’s programmes for early-stage start-ups. During the past six years, almost 70% of accelerated solutions in the programme have already been launched on the market. This underlines how valuble it is to invest in innovative biotech, medtech and digital health spin-offs and start-up teams discovered in the Central, Eastern and Southern European region. We provide teams with mentoring, validation and networking opportunities to help turn their ideas into viable products and services that contribute to better healthcare and enable European citizens to live longer, healthier and happier lives”, said Tamás Békási, responsible for the InnoStars Awards programme at the EIT Health InnoStars.
The winner of the Media Award is Home Diagnostics, Attract to Invest team, from Spain with their home testing products, called Ailin. Based on test results, experts provide recommendations and a clear roadmap to achieve an optimal state of health.
The winner of the Public Award is ApniWave, a RIS Innovation Call team, from Greece working on a smart screening solution to detect obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) at home. The start-up team is awarded an exclusive media training course and communications masterclass.
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