UNIGE faculty and student-led startups win top awards at Innosuisse Business Concept Training Fall 2020 session

Pioneer in medical imaging, UNIGE alumni and current Founder and President of OsiriX Foundation, which promotes the development of open source software in medicine, Professor Osman Ratib joined forces with Professor Guiseppe Iacobucci of the Department of Nuclear and Corpuscular Physics to participate in this Fall’s Innosuisse Business Concept Training to explore the commercialization of a new generation of ultrahigh-resolution detectors to improve the quality of images obtained from molecular imaging scanners.

Profs. Ratib and Iacobucci presented their idea and successfully recruited Department of Fundamental Neurosiences PhD student Antoine Philippides and EHL Bachelor Student Johanna Troudi. Together they formed the team SiGe-Med, aiming to develop and manufacture the new PET scanners both for pre-clinical animal imaging and for human applications. During the training they performed market survey, developed a project plan, identified a list of potential industrial partners and concretized a business plan and provisional budget. As a result of their training, SiGe-Med plans to begin design and manufacturing of the new detectors and scanner ring as well as seed round of fundraising in the next 6-months. “The course was a fantastic experience in exploring a new world of startups and business developments after spending a career in competitive academic world”, shared Prof. Ratib, “it allowed us to immerse ourselves in a completely different domain from the scientific and academic research domains that we are used to, and encouraged us to pursue our aim to translate our work from basic research to real life applications that will help treat patients and potentially save lives.”

Another notable project was led by UNIGE Department of Radiology and Medical Informatics and Pharmaceutical Technology Researcher and current Lead Project Manager at Lausanne’s University Hospital (CHUV) Laurent Vinet. Laurent presented his idea, Artemis, aimed at commercializing a biodegradable local drug delivery system to prevent vein stenosis after an arteriovenous fistula or a bypass surgery, decreasing re-hospitalization, reducing health insurance costs and improve patient survival rates.

Laurent recruited Pharmacy PhD students Si Gou and Nandkishor Mule of University of Geneva. Together they developed a market analysis and business plan, and identified industry partners as well as sources of financing. In the next 6 months they will begin their seed financing process to initiate pre-clinical trials. “It was a really amazing journey to work on Artemis with Laurent Vinet and Nandkishor Mule. We have made a great progress under the guidance of our mentorRobert Slooves and all the coaches involved in Innosuisse Business Concept Training”, commented Si Gou.

Given the progress and viability of their innovative ideas, SiGe-Med captured the Rosenfield Innovation Prize winning 1000 CHF for their concept and viability of their business idea. Artemis won the Life Sciences Prize - a personalized 6 months of hosting and coaching program by the Geneva life science incubator Geneus, jointly run by EPFL Innovation Park and Fongit.

This year, Innosuisse Business Concept Trainings took place in 5 cities across Western Switzerland, training over 220 ambitious researchers and students who developed 78 business projects. These trainings are done with the help and support of university management, deans, professors, and student associations at UNIGE.

Over 6 years, Innosuisse Business Concept Western Switzerland has built a network of over 1500 alumni and generated nearly 100 start-ups including recognized companies such as AgroSustain, CompAir, Urbio amongst others.

Innosuisse Business Concept Trainings are a free semester-long course to help innovators across all sectors explore the viability of their business idea or commercialization path for their research. Taught by a network of industry and subject matter experts and coaches, the training provides participants with the opportunity to improve business skills, connect with other entrepreneurs and connect with a wide network of innovators. 

Applications in 4 cities (Lausanne, Geneva, Neuchâtel and Sion) for the Spring Session are open. For more information visit science2market or apply directly here.

1 février 2021