Organised by the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) in collaboration with Wirtschaftskammer Baselland and BLKB, the Swiss Innovation Challenge is a three-phase competition designed to sharpen, prepare, and implement the business idea for the Start-ups. The program offers participants free, user-oriented seminars and access to mentoring and coaching sessions. For its 2020 edition, the competition received 100 innovation projects from which the jury selected the winner.
AgroSustain won the challenge, thereby receiving CHF 20’000. The Agritech start-up provides biological solutions for crop protection, including plant-based coatings for fruits and vegetables for extended freshness and shelf-life as well as antifungal solutions, preventing fungal growth on crops in the field and protecting the fresh produce during storage and distribution. Through their solution, start-up up based in Lausanne aims to reduce food waste and support organic food production while supporting environment-friendly logistics chain. The startup's products are fully developed and the company is currently awaiting certification to bring the products to the market.
Runner up and special prizes
The second runner up is Resistell, a start-up that developed the world’s fastest antibiotic susceptibility tests. Its diagnostic device allows for identifying the best antibiotic to treat a particular infection 100 faster than conventional methods. The test is based on the measurement of vibrations of living bacteria from the sample by using nanosensors. Both Resistell and the third-place winner Hype2type, which created a mobile keyboard for blind and visually impaired people received a CHF 5000 cash prize.
The competition jury also presents two special prizes in the category Life Sciences and Construction. Resistell won a CHF 24'000 worth prize for winning the category Life Sciences while Tinamu labs, whose technology enables the safe use of computer-controlled drones in all environments won the second category endowed with CHF 10'000.