Idris Oncology awarded the EIT Health PoC grant

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On Wednesday, 21 September 2016, six companies from the Netherlands and Belgium received a large innovation grant from EIT Health. After an intense competition with almost 30 other competitors from the Life Sciences, Health & Technology domain, the companies Ectosense, Toxys, Microsure, Qompium, m4ke.IT and Idris Oncology received sums of between €25,000 and €50,000 that they can use to fund the next major step in their development. With the awarding of the grants, the jury looked for innovative entrepreneurship, a well-considered marketing strategy, the potential of the product, and the chances that the company receiving the grant would reach the market quicker. During the “Road to Uppsala” – event of EIT Health Belgium – Netherlands the innovation prizes were awarded by Ellen Perik, Development Manager City of Rotterdam, Menno Kok, director EIT Health Belgium - Netherlands and Bart Haex, chair EIT Health Belgium - Netherlands. On the same afternoon the regional final was held for the EIT Health business plan competition and the winners of this were Ontoforce and Somnox.

The innovation grant

Young companies are important drivers for innovation, especially in the health and healthcare sectors in which EIT Health is active. EIT Health has therefore developed several instruments to support young entrepreneurs during the frequently difficult journey from idea to application. In both the early phase of this route, when starting companies must demonstrate for the first time what they are worth with the first functioning concept of the invention (the so-called Proof of Concept phase), as in the later phase of the development of their company, when they are almost ready to market their product, companies can receive advice, facilities and financial support from EIT Health to help them overcome the last hurdle.

To be able to select the most highly promising companies in such a crucial phase of their development, EIT Health launched the Head Start & Proof of Concept competition. Young companies in the Life Sciences, Health & Technology sector in the seven EIT Health locations, including the Netherlands and Belgium, can register. From the 32 registrations, specialist jury experts in innovation and healthcare, entrepreneurs and investors chose six winners, who are ready to force breakthroughs in healthcare with new “digital health solutions”, groundbreaking medical technology and smart applications of the latest biomedical knowledge and consequently make a contribution to the increasingly stronger image of the Low Countries as the innovation motor of Europe.

Business plan competition

The business plan competition of EIT Health was launched this year at seven locations in Europe. Out of several hundred candidates, twenty entrepreneurs will compete in the final on 23 November in Barcelona to become the first winner of the EIT Health business plan competition and to take home a substantial sum of prize-money. Furthermore, the winner can count on the attention of the jury, each of whom are top investors in the Life Sciences, Health & Technology sector.
After their winning pitch in Rotterdam, the companies Ontoforce and Somnox have gained a place in the international final in Barcelona where they will present their pitches to a jury of nine investors and a public of 350 potential collaborative partners and clients. As part of the preparations for this they will first receive an intensive pitch training from an international guru in that area and a promotional film of their company will be made.

What is EIT Health?

Throughout the world the population is ageing and that is also the case in Europe. If people are to enjoy a longer life to the full then new ways will need to be found to advance health while limiting healthcare costs. The European Institute of Innovation and Technology in Health does that by encouraging entrepreneurship, training and innovation in healthcare so that new products and services will become available for the European citizen. EIT Health is a unique collaboration between 140 prominent partners from throughout Europe. Institutions and companies such as the Karolinska Institute, Imperial College London, University of Oxford, IBM, KU Leuven, Erasmus MC, Achmea, Philips, Siemens and Roche are working together in this.

On 25 February 2016, EIT Health Belgium-Netherlands was officially opened in Rotterdam. EIT Health Belgium-Netherlands is one of the seven EIT Health locations in Europe and thanks to the City of Rotterdam it is located in the Groothandelsgebouw at the Cambridge Innovation Center in Rotterdam.

Partners Belgium and the Netherlands

Partners of EIT Health Belgium-Netherlands are Philips, Achmea, KU Leuven, University of Ghent, Eindhoven University of Technology, Erasmus MC, Delft University of Technology, Leiden University Medical Center, the Leyden Academy, University Medical Center Groningen, Maastricht University, TNO, Barco, iMinds, iMec and Gimv.

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