European funds for Swiss start-ups


Three Swiss start-ups are among the beneficiaries of two EIT programs designed to support activities geared towards addressing the current pandemic and enabling continuity. SwissdeCode won in EIT Food program while Volumina Medical and Hemotune in  EIT Health.



EIT Food is part of the COVID-19 Rapid Response Call for Innovation projects designed to fast-track product or service solutions that could have a significant and immediate impact to the challenges brought about by COVID-19 on the agrifood sector. Following the pitching rounds, program committee announced the final 13 projects that will receive EURO 6.17m.

One of the winners is SwissDeCode. Based on its experience in developing rapid on-site tests for bacteria and viruses, the start-up is developing a test for COVID-19 based on its DNAFoil technology. The DNAFoil is a portable, self-administered, on-site DNA detection kit, which combines both food safety and compliance with regulatory bodies in a single tool. The test will provide results in 30 minutes and is currently being developed n the company’s laboratories in Zurich. The team is also working with university hospitals in Switzerland to conduct human trials.

The EIT Health program is a Start-up Rescue Instrument funded through the €60 million EIT Crisis Response Initiative, part of the EU’s collective efforts to tackle the COVID-19 crisis part of the CODID-19 crisis. The initiative supports activities that directly address the pandemic and also assists all types of start-ups in dealing with the disruptions caused by the pandemic. Following the recent announcement, the program is providing €5.5M in co-investment to help the selected companies maintain business continuity. Two of the recipient are Swiss start-ups.

Volumina Medical addresses the problem of natural repair of 3D soft tissue by developing AdiPearl, a highly innovative tissue reconstruction technology for the market of reconstructive and plastic surgery. AdiPearl is injectable through thin cannulas, reducing intervention time and recovery time.

Hemotune received 0.5 million from EIT Health. The start-up uses magnetic blood purification to restore immune balance in sepsis. By combining cutting-edge scientific results from biomedicine and nanotechnology, the start-up has developed a technology that allows for specific and direct removal of disease-causing substances such as toxins, pathogenic organisms, or overdosed drugs from the blood-stream of a patient. Since sepsis is also one of the leading causes of death in COVID-19, hemotune will use the EIT Health funding to adapt its technology to treat COVID-19 patients.

(Press release/RAN)