Wyss Zurich welcomes two additional startups


While four projects have already completed their journey at Wyss Zurich, two have just embarked on it. During their stay, Voliro and Somagenetix will benefit from funding and state-of-the-art infrastructure to accelerate the development of their solutions, conduct clinical trials and the time-to-market.


The $120 million-donation from the Swiss entrepreneur and philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss is still the backbone of the Wyss Zurich, a joint research and development center of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. Since its inauguration in 2015, Wyss Zurich has continued to support startups from the fields of regenerative medicine and robotics providing them with funds and state-of-the-art infrastructure to accelerate the transformation of their discoveries into practical applications. To date, four projects; AnyMotion, Rosie, Wingra and ZurichEye (acquired by Facebook) have already exited the program and have launched their solutions in the market. Aiming to achieve similar achievements, are two new projects that have just embarked on a new journey with the Wyss Zurich. Voliro: Autonomous aerial robots with the capability to see, fly and touch.Voliro is the youngest among all Wyss Zurich projects. The team is developing the next generation of autonomous flying robots – an omnidirectional platform with the unique capability to approach, touch, and interact with the environment. The solution shifts the abilities of service drones from "fly and see" to "fly, see and touch" for increased safety and efficiency in assets remote in-depth inspection and monitoring. Considered as the «Hands in the sky» Voliro’s solution brings new perspectives in large markets where construction or maintenance tasks at height require additional infrastructure. Such tasks include Non-Destructive infrastructure inspection where a sensor is often required to be in contact with structures, spraying of fluids to clean buildings facades, cleaning of walls and windows, painting and coating of surfaces. Recently, the drone was deployed to spray-paint the complete building at the new Spital Limmattal as observed in the video. The task was accomplished within only one day. “Voliro started as a research project to push the boundaries of what aerial robots (drones) can do. With the help of the Wyss Zurich, we will be able to bring our research results on the market in the form of a product that will increase safety and efficiency in dangerous workplaces. Besides the financial support, we receive in-kind support in the form of infrastructure and engineering support that helps to accelerate our development. We already conducting several demonstrations and proof of concepts, and we aim to release our first product next year.” Somagenetix: gene therapy for several inherited diseasesBased on several years of research, Somagenetix is committed to the development of new cell and gene therapy solutions for patients with severe inherited immune diseases. According to Benjamin Gaub, Project Leader of the Wyss Zurich project Somagenetix, “The idea of using viral vectors to modify the genetic content of cells was only feasible in science fiction. It is now becoming a reality, thanks to these novel tools. We now have the chance to help children in need who are looking up to scientists and medical doctors like us for solutions. I am very proud to be leading the effort to develop cutting edge medicine at Wyss Zurich.” (RAN)