Nominees for the Pionierpreis 2017 are…

Eight startups with innovative ideas and business models have been nonimated for the ZKB Pionierpreis 2017. These include: Aspivix, Cutiss, ennos, Topadur, Gamaya, MycoSolutions, theMOFcompany and TwentyGreen. They will compete against each other to qualify for the finals and for the award prize. The winner will receive a cash prize of CHF 100’000.

Every year, a startup that most convinces the jury of the Pionierpreis competition is selected and awarded CHF 100’000 during the award ceremony. This year eight startups have qualified to participate in the 2017 competition. Three of them will make it to the finals and only one will win the prize. The award ceremony will take place on 3 May 2017.

The 2017 nominees are:

Aspivix SA (Medtech, Lausanne) Aspivix SA is a Medtech start-up developing medical instruments to innovate women’s healthcare. The startup has developed a medical device “ASPIVIX”, a new and simple suction pad technology for tenaculum, to turn painful and traumatic common gynaecological practices into gentle ones. ASPIVIX offers unrivalled comfort for patients by using an IP protected suction pad technology.  

CUTISS AG (Medtech, yet to be incorporated) CUTISS plans to manufacture and sell innovative, personalized skin grafts for patients that suffer from skin defects, and to significantly improve patient’s life quality. The first product in the pipeline, denovoSkin, has been tested in a first-in-man trial and will be tested in a Pivotal Phase II trial in early 2017 (financed by Wyss Zurich). denovoSkin received Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) for the treatment of Burn Wounds (life-threatening and rare) by Swissmedic, EMA and FDA.

ennos ag (social entrepreneurship, Nidau) Ennos ag develops and distributes the sunlight pump - a high-efficiency, solar-powered water pump for use in agricultural irrigation and for drinking water supply in developing countries. In the foreground is the cost-effective use of a sustainable CO2-free technology. This helps to improve the income and living conditions of people in developing countries and promotes a more economical and more productive use of energy and water resources.

Gamaya SA (Agro-industry, Ecublens) Gamaya developed an advanced solution for diagnostics of farmland using a unique constellation of patented hyperspectral imaging technology, drone-based deployment and artificial intelligence. Gamaya’s crop intelligence solution improves production efficiency by facilitating optimised usage of chemicals and fertilisers, as well as reducing disease and weed-related losses.

MycoSolutions AG (Agri-industry, St. Gallen) MycoSolutions AG was established as a Spin-off of Empa. The company has developed innovative and environmentally-friendly fungus solutions to facilitate healthier plant growth and better soil. Their tailor-made products protect and revitalize diseased urban and Park trees or extend the period of wooden poles, which are available in the telecoms and electricity provider in use.

theMOFcompany (Chemicals, to be incorporated in 2017) theMOFcompany, a Spinoff of the Paul Scherrer Institute offers a unique customer oriented production service for revolutionary special chemicals called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). MOFs are the fastest-growing class of materials in chemistry and attract attention as materials for adsorptive hydrogen storage because of their exceptionally high specific surface areas and chemically tuneable structures. A gram of MOF can have a surface as large as a football field.

Topadur Pharma AG (Biotech, Schlieren) Topadur Pharma has developed two promising drugs for the treatment of non-healing wounds and for preventing excessive scarring of burn-wounds in the field of wound healing. The active ingredient of TOP-N53 could provide the crucial aid for diabetics with chronic foot wounds to prevent amputations.

TwentyGreen AG (Agri-industry, Root) TwentyGreen produces greener feed to promote sustainable and responsible animal farming. This solution promotes healthy and fast-growing animals, whilst reducing costs, disease s and pollution. The new EPFL spinoff is based at Technopark Lucerne at the heart of the Swiss agri industry.