European funding for two Swiss startups

Tackling global challenges in public health and agriculture management, two Swiss startups have received European funding to further develop their innovative solutions. Correntics AG from Zurich has secured €1.5 million through the Eurostars programme, while Schlieren-based Avelo AG has received €3 million from Horizon Europe. 

Startup Correntics has secured a Eurostars grant of €1.5 million to lead the development of next-generation risk analytics capabilities for the agri-food sector. The company will lead an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional consortium in the development of the risk analytics platform. Other members are the Danish weather technology company Cordulus, the Danish Technological Institute and the EClim Group at the University of Zurich.   

The platform builds on Correntics' established climate risk analysis software, which predicts and quantifies physical and financial risks along agricultural supply chains. The solution will support farm management and business stakeholders by improving the accuracy of key weather parameters such as precipitation, wind, temperature and humidity.   

Further research and development efforts will be channelled into a recommendation system developed by the University of Zurich, based on a comprehensive language model, which will translate the quantitative results of the model into actionable risk mitigation and climate adaptation measures and recommendations, such as improving crop varieties, integrating renewable energy, soil conservation techniques and developing a climate-resilient agricultural policy. 

Avelo part of a Horizon Europe project
The medtech startup Avelo has joined an international consortium called "BreathForDiagnosis", which is developing user-friendly respiratory tests for the rapid diagnosis of respiratory infections such as tuberculosis together with the University of Heidelberg, the IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, the South African organisation Desmond Tutu Health Foundation and the Marius Nasta Institute of Pneumophthisiology in Bucharest. The project is funded by the European Commission under the "Horizon Europe" framework programme and co-financed by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) with a budget of €3 million.

Respiratory infections led to more than 7 million deaths in 2020 alone. One of the most dangerous respiratory infections,in low-income countries in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, is tuberculosis, which claims more than 1.4 million lives every year, including 250,000 children.  

Swiss medtech Avelo is at the forefront of developing a new solution that is poised to change Tuberculosis diagnostics. Its flagship product AveloCollect breath collector captures biological sample material, including infection-causing pathogens, from patients' breath in a non-invasive and rapid manner. The device also contains a highly efficient filter material produced by a special manufacturing process called electrospinning. 

As part of the "BreathForDiagnosis" project, the partners are developing two devices for breath sampling. Theywill optimise them in test runs and evaluate the benefits of the entire diagnostic procedure for early detection and screening in clinical studies. They will also investigate the extent to which this diagnostic procedure is suitable for detecting drug resistance. The project will test the performance of the Avelo devices in terms of cost-effectiveness and ease of use compared to conventional, more complex procedures. Another research focus is the extent to which diagnostics that use breath as a sample can contain the spread of infection. 

(Press releases / SR)