Medtech and Cleantech startups get boosted

Two of the newly selected startups for the InnoBooster program are developing medical technology solutions to address preterm births and bladder regeneration—the other two offer cleantech solutions focusing on hydrogen and gas separation. Each startup will receive CHF 150’000.

The InnoBooster program of the Gebert Rüf Foundation aims at speeding up innovative, science-based deeptech businesses that have high market potential, and have already entered the Venture Kick process. The selection committee has selected the following startups to benefit from the program.

REAtest - EPFL and CHUV Lausanne
Founded as a spinoff of  EPFL’s Laboratory of Prof. Carlotta Guiducci, and CHUV’s Obstetrics Research Unit of Prof. David Baud, Rea is developing the first non-invasive test to rule out preterm labour. Currently, 70% of pregnant women hospitalised for risk of preterm birth spend at least three months in the hospital, yet only 30% deliver preterm. Rea’s technology, which comes in the form of a smart Panty Liner that should be won at home, helps identify and quantify biomarkers present in the vaginal fluid to determine the risk of preterm birth. The device is primarily composed of three components: a microfluidic system, a biosensing unit, and a readout system. The founding team is composed of two cofounders, Loulia Kassem & Erick Garcia Cordero.

Regenosca - EPFL
After an operation on the urethra or bladder, patients with bladder diseases often need tissue grafts or synthetic meshes to fill the voids in their bodies. Grafts can be painful, while synthetic options are prone to failure. Regenosca has engineered and patented a collagen implant that allows surgeons to reconstruct the bladder much easier.  The shapeable, off-the-shelf sterile device provides an alternative to tissue grafts obtained from the patient’s body. Unlike current technologies, Regenoca’s implants are quicker, better to handle and promise to reduce the risk of complications. The team, which comprises of surgeons and EPFL scientists Mattias Larsson, Eva-Maria Balet, Kalitha Pinnagoda, and Ganesh Vythilingam has already completed its pre-clinical studies. The next major milestone is to kick off the first-in-human trials.

SoHHytec - EPFL
Founded by Saurabh Tembhurne, Sophia Haussener and  Meng Lin, SoHHytec is introducing a new approach for energy production using hydrogen as a sustainable alternative to the conventional highly polluting fossil fuels. The startup helps address the issue where hydrogen, in its current use, raises several issues since about 96% of the world’s hydrogen comes from centralised installations, requiring major logistical infrastructures to move the resource to the requesting countries. Moreover, hydrogen is mainly produced from fossil sources and CO2-emitting processes.

UniSieve ETH Zurich
The startup aims to help companies from the chemical and energy industry in conserving energy and reducing waste. UniSieve’s proprietary ‘membrane technology platform’ promises to save up to 90% of the energy required to purify the world’s most frequent chemical feedstocks. Therefore, customers can significantly reduce greenhouse gas pollution, recover valuable chemicals, and save operational costs. Besides, highly efficient separation technologies are enabling technologies to increase the economic attractiveness and sustainability of the growing renewable chemicals market. The Innobosster funding comes a few days after the company secured CHF 4.6 million to accelerate pilot production and co-finance industrial testing at customers’ chemical sites.

Picture: Rea smart panty liner