Financial boost for nine deeptech startups

The Gebert Rüf Stiftung has invested CHF 1,35 million in nine start-ups since April as part of its InnoBooster program. Participating start-ups are developing deep technology solutions covering a range of industries.

The InnoBooster program aims at speeding up innovative, science-based deep tech businesses which have already entered the Venture Kick process and promise high market potential. At the previous two selection meetings, the Gebert Rüf Stiftung team selected additional projects that would each receive CHF 150’000. The funds enable the teams to bring their projects and solutions a step further.

SwissProsthetics, ZHAW – SwissProsthetics offers a cost-effective, modular and robust prosthesis for children and adults with upper limb loss. The user-friendly prostheses enable users to integrate socially and improve their quality of life thanks to the ability to participate in leisure activities such as cycling. The project benefits from the experience of a father whose daughter was born without a left hand.

Bloom Biorenewables, EPFL - is transforming plants to provide new renewable materials and energy to offer a sustainable alternative to fossil-based materials in industries such as fragrances, materials, plastics, or textiles.

Nanogence, EPFL – aims to revolutionise the construction industry with its smart catalyst designed to reduce the cost of production and carbon footprint of cement. The company’s ‘ngCon’ catalyst innovation allows formulating new classes of sustainable cement capable of tuning the bulk physical properties of concrete during preparation while improving its performance.

Oxyle – Clean Wastwater, ETH Zürich – is developing a novel wastewater treatment that eliminates the most persistent and toxic micropollutants – such as pharmaceuticals, hormones, personal-scare-products, pesticides, industrial chemicals etc. –from water. The underlying technology relies on the use of a catalyst with nanoporous material.  The company’s small scale reactors can be installed on the customer’s site.

Depoly,  EPFL Valais – uses a chemical method to recycle any type of PET waste in indoor environments. The process uses at room temperature without any additional heat or pressure, and with sustainable and environmentally friendly chemicals only. The resulting chemical products can directly be used to make 100% recycled PET resins.

XRnanotech, Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI) – is developing solutions for X-ray optics applications aiming for the highest quality in resolution, efficiency, stability and design. The start-up’s optics allow focusing on higher-energy beams onto the smallest possible samples. The InnoBooster program will enable the team to accelerate market entry in Europe and later in America.

Microcaps, ETH Zürich - Microcaps developed a patented technology that enables the size control of the microcapsules with Swiss precision such to ensure that they all behave exactly the same. The company is working with several clients across the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and cosmetics field. In total, the start-up has received CHF 350’000 from the Gebert Rüf Foundation. The program will enable the company to combine the probiotics market with Microcaps’ current offering.

Miraex – Photonic sensing solution, EPFL - provides full sensing solutions to enable advanced predictive maintenance, asset monitoring and anomaly detection, specifically in extreme environments. The solution combines the company’s unique proprietary Photonics Sensors and Machine Learning.

INERGIO, HEIG-VD – is developing an innovative modular, lightweight, and efficient power system that delivers clean electricity wherever it is needed. The fuel cell modular power system allows unlimited scaling, making the technology suitable for applications ranging from IoT devices and consumer electronics to autonomous robotic systems and automobiles for range extenders.

(Ritah Ayebare Nyakato)