After the 2nd Evaluation Cut-Off Date: CLC Germany will fund 6 further Head Start proposals

After the first evaluation cut-off date on 15 April 2016, the German Co-Location Center (CLC) of EIT Health announced the first 3 winners of the German EIT Health Head Start Programme 2016 at the end of June. After the second evaluation cut-off date on 30 June, 25 eligible project proposals have been received and external reviewers have been evaluating the projects independently in the categories: Project Excellence; Commercialisation Potential and Market Strategy; Project Impact.

The Head Start Programme provides fast-track project opportunities with a focus on German or Swiss micro and small enterprises (<50 employees), spin-offs and start-ups, funded to rapidly initiate their activities. With a funding of up to € 50,000 for a maximum of one year the grant supports the applicants in realizing next steps towards the market for innovative products and services. In addition, the successful applicants get access to a European network of world leading medtech, biotech, pharma and IT companies as well as world class research organizations in health care. They will benefit from unique services in crucial areas such as clinical validation (living labs and test beds), market preparation and internationalization provided in EIT Health Accelerator programmes such as GoGlobal MedTech and Digital or Launchlab. The winners will get early access to the EIT Health Investors Network, which brings international investors together (VCs, Corporate VCs, Business Angels, Crowd Investors) in order to boost the winner’s business idea and to support the participants to increase their visibility across Europe.

Additional four promising projects or start-ups have been selected after the 2nd evaluation cut-off date which will be funded by EIT Health:

Project Title: ConfiguAAL – Configuration Tools for the semantic open platform universAAL
Name of Organisation: SageLiving GmbH
Website: www.sageliving.de
Brief description: universAAL originally resulted from consolidation of several promising AAL platforms of FP6 and FP7 into one open standard platform for interoperable solutions in AAL and many other domains, by enabling semantic interoperability for rapid integration and deployment. Within the ReAAL project, this platform has been deployed in 13 pilots with different applications, including smart living applications in over a hundred apartments in Europe. Therefore, SageLiving aims at filling this gap by providing graphical interactive configuration tools, e.g. for the configuration of the semantic rules to enable clients to individualize the settings according to the needs of the inhabitants based on parameters, such as the setting of the alarm chain with individual telephone numbers.


Project Title: Food Coach – ehealth Prevention – Business Food Coach
Name of Organisation: danova GmbH
Website: www.danova.de
Brief description: Personalized e-health and the self-management of health become a highly important factor for the ageing societies in Europe in the near future. The project “e-health prevention” will support the personalization of health by bringing the existing prototype “Business Food Coach” to the market. This system provides highly individualised, targeted nutrition suggestions to improve one’s own health by combining complex algorithms with personal health data. The effectiveness increases based on individual coaching support for each user in contrast to existing products on the market.


Project Title: PIEMACS – Piezoelectric micro transducer for implantable hearing aids
Name of Organisation: PIEMACS
Website: www.piemacs.ch
Brief description: There is a need for implantable hearing aids for persons with severe to profound hearing loss having still some residual acoustic hearing capacity. One solution is to place a piezoelectric MEMS transducer directly at the entry of the cochlea. The objective of this project is to increase device stability and performance over time. This challenge will be addressed by benchmarking different deposition techniques of the piezoelectric film. The goal of the project is to deliver a functional prototype with a multilayer transducer for implantable hearing aids. It will be manufactured according to specifications provided by FRAUNHOFER IPA.


Project Title: SmartCushion – Sensor cushion for the physiological monitoring of its occupants
Name of Organisation: Fitbase Institut für Online Prävention GmbH
Website: www.fitbase.de
Brief description: Long-term sitting is commonplace for office workers throughout the world. Nonetheless it is also a major health risk that may lead to organ damage, muscle degeneration, or back issues. SmartCushion – a sensor-equipped seat cushion shall detect physiological signals like activity levels, posture and breathing rate to break the cycle for customers interested in this self-assessment. In the scope of this project five prototypes of SmartCushion will be developed and tested in a realistic setting over several weeks by at least 16 potential users in a late project stage.


The following two projects will be funded by additional money from the federal state of Baden-Württemberg:

Project Title: Enfin – Development and commercialization of an innovative clinical analysis Kit (EnFin-CLL®) for therapy guidance in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
Name of Organisation: University Hospital Heidelberg / Start-up “EnFin”
Website: www.uni-heidelberg.de
Brief description: EnFin is an innovative high technology project that has been funded since 2015 through the eXist Transfer Research Program of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The project focuses on development and commercialization of tissue‐based and blood based prognostic/predictive cancer biomarkers. EnFin is using its novel and proprietary patented diagnostic method for predicting of tumor prognosis including the likelihood of formation of metastases or of potential relapse/local recurrence and response to certain frontline chemo‐/immunotherapies. The aim of this Head Start project is to introduce the first product of EnFin’s pipeline, EnFinCLL®, into the European market in the middle of 2017.


Project Title: MammaScreen – The way to the new gold standard ‐ In vitro detection of breast cancer at earliest stage with a blood test
Name of Organisation: University Hospital Heidelberg / Start-up “MammaScreen”
Website: MammaScreen
Brief description: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. In western countries, 12% women would suffer from it, and 3% women would die of it. If breast cancer is detected early, 95% of the patients could survive. Currently, the “gold‐standard” for breast cancer screening is mammography, a radiologic imaging technique, which is subjectivity has limited sensitivity, especially for the young women. Our team developed the MammaScreen Test, a molecular test which utilizes the association between breast cancer and the change of the DNA methylation and miRNA biomarkers in the blood. MammaScreen Test can precisely detect breast cancer in women at early stage, regardless of the subtype and size of the tumor, and regardless of the age of women.


The next evaluation cut-off date will be on 30 September 2016. It offers the last opportunity in 2016 to apply for the German Head Start Call in 2016. For more information about the call for proposals, please contact headstart@eit-health.de

For more information on EIT Health: www.eithealth.eu
For more information on German EIT Health: http://eithealth.eu/clc/eit-health-clc-germany/

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