The FIT and EPFL Tech Launchpad award three new Innogrants

© 2021 EPFL

© 2021 EPFL

We are proud to announce that Solaxer, FiberLab and Adaptyv Biosystems, have each been awarded a CHF100,000 Innogrant as part of EPFL’s Tech Launchpad - a leading incubator dedicated to supporting groundbreaking and innovative startups.

Solaxer, cutting reliance on fossil fuel with a next generation heat harvesting technology

Nearly 75% of the energy used in industry goes towards heat. Ninety percent of that heat is generated using fossil fuels and therefore responsible for causing huge amounts of damage to the environment. Despite high societal pressure, industry has been reluctant to move over to renewables (such as solar) for a number of reasons - ranging from cost to durability. At the moment, the investment just isn’t worth it.

Maxime Lagier and Anna Krammer, co-founders of EPFL start-up Solaxer, believe they have an answer. They have developed a new coating for solar receivers which delivers the high performance needed, but with significantly reduced environmental impact and at lower cost. There has already been significant interest in their technology from some of the world’s largest solar heat manufacturers. The team will use the grant to adapt and refine their prototype and start scaling up production.

FiberLab, improving the quality and efficiency of chronic wound care 

Chronic wounds are those which don’t heal properly. Unfortunately, chronic wounds are an under-recognised and poorly managed affliction. In Switzerland alone, there are around 30,000 new cases annually and the country spends around CHF 2 billion in treatment every year.

With an aging population, it’s estimated that the global chronic wound care market is going to be worth over $16.3b by the end of 2027. One of the core problems with chronic wound diagnosis and management is that clinical assessment remains highly subjective, strongly dependent on the doctor or nurse’s own experience. Misdiagnosis is all too frequent.

FiberLab has developed a technology which offers quick and effective on-site testing of chronic wounds. The test assesses different markers in a rapid manner, allowing practitioners to reliably evaluate healing progress and detect any potential complications. The team will use their grant to derisk their innovation through further clinical testing and validation studies.

Adaptyv Biosystems, an EPFL start-up project specialising in antibody screening

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means we’re all a little more aware of the power and importance of antibodies. In fact, antibodies are a huge part of the drug development work done by pharmaceutical and biomedical companies. Six of the top ten selling drugs worldwide are antibody based. The process of identifying new antibodies is key to being able to combat different diseases such as viral infections, autoimmune disease, and cancers.

Unfortunately, the current process for testing efficacy of new antibodies is slow and expensive. It’s also very difficult with a failure rate of around 88%. The team at Adaptyv Biosystems have come up with a new technology which is quicker, cheaper, and offers higher quality data on the performance of potential antibodies. The team will use their grant to continue development of their platform as they move towards commercialisation.