VU and Amsterdam UMC well represented in Take-off approvals NWO

January 19, 2023

In the 2022 autumn round of the NWO Take-off Grant, six Amsterdam projects, developed at VU Amsterdam and Amsterdam UMC, have been awarded a Take-off grant. With this Take-off grant, academic and innovative starters can investigate whether their science-based innovative ideas are feasible and commercially applicable. They can also explore the possibility of starting a business based on knowledge innovations from knowledge institutions.

The NWO Take-off grants are important valorisation instruments and at IXA we consider them important in creating impact through spinoffs. Always involve IXA in your application to maximise your success changes and get a complete application in time. Find out who to contact at: team of business developers.

Projects Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • VIBE Batting: A virtual reality environment to improve batting in baseball 

dr. D.L. Mann
Skilled athletes in fast-ball sports such as baseball use unique eye and head movements when hitting, yet these skills are difficult to acquire. We have developed a virtual reality environment that tests the eye and head movements of baseballers when hitting, and we use our research experience to create individualised training programs to improve performance. This Take-Off project will test the feasibility of our plan to scale our virtual environment to a broader group of consumers. We will establish technical feasibility and consumer demand for a solution that improves player performance by using algorithms that automatically implement tailored training programs.

  • Madglove: Testing the feasibility of a novel orthotic device for person-centred in-clinic and at-home rehabilitation of hand dexterity in patients with spasticity using implicit learning methods

dr. G.K. van der Kamp
Madglove is an orthotic glove for person-centred in-clinic and at-home rehabilitation that can greatly improve hand dexterity in patients with spasticity. Madglove proposes to offer increased independence in daily life by exploiting evidence-based implicit learning methods, ultimately aiming for patients to function without the glove. In this feasibility study, we further exploit this learning route to allow Madglove to gain significant advantages over alternative orthotic devices available on the market. To this end, we develop a strategically sound business plan for the future start-up and produce a minimum viable product for at-home rehabilitation.

  • Targeting the oncogene beta-catenin: Towards a new treatment of colorectal cancer

prof. dr. T.N. Grossmann
Colorectal cancer is a common and deadly disease, and new therapies are urgently needed. We have identified molecules that bind the oncogenic protein beta-catenin and thereby inhibit certain cancer cells. These molecules will provide the basis for the development of therapeutics that selectively inhibit the oncogenic Wnt signaling pathway a strong driver in colorectal cancer. These first-in-class inhibitors have the potential to enable targeted therapies of certain forms of colorectal cancer.

  • ChloroSpec – Take-off Innovatieve Starter

P. Kievit
ChloroSpec has developed an innovative technology to measure the health status of plants, based on chlorophyll fluorescence. Plants emit fluorescence signals that contain relevant information about the presence of stress factors. Current products can only measure part of the information in these signals. ChloroSpec has been able to simultaneously measure spectral as well as time information, thus providing reliable early stage stress information. A prototype of the laboratory version has been developed, successfully tested and a first series is being produced. Next phase is to develop a research greenhouse version and eventually portable versions for the field.

Projects Amsterdam UMC

  • StrokePointer: a fast AI-based EEG device for pre-hospital stroke diagnosis

dr. J. Coutinho
The speed of treatment initiation is of key importance in acute ischemic stroke. Valuable time is lost by the incorrect transportation of stroke patients to hospitals that are not able to correctly treat the severe strokes due to a large vessel occlusion. At the Amsterdam UMC, we developed an EEG device and AI algorithms to diagnose large vessel occlusion stroke in the ambulance. Early diagnosis helps to transport stroke patient faster to their best treatment, thereby dramatically improving their outcome. Our solution therefore is of great value, both for the patients as from the commercial viewpoint.

  • Commercial feasibility of in-silico stroke treatment simulation to optimize treatment devices and clinical trials

P.R. Konduri
After the recent successful introduction of endovascular treatment for stroke – the most debilitating disease in the world, many stroke treatment devices are being developed. The trajectory of introducing treatments is sub-optimal resulting in huge capital wastes and delays in translation to clinical practice. We offer a unique solution: an in-silico stroke treatment modelling platform, which has been validated with the current standard of in-vitro testing and clinical data. We simulate stent-retriever-based thrombectomy to facilitate device optimization, clinical trial design and regulatory supportive evidence. With this grant, we will conduct a detailed market assessment and deliver a comprehensive business plan.

Support by IXA
The NWO Take off phase 1 and 2 are important valorisation instruments and at IXA we consider them important in creating impact through spinoffs. Projects are scouted though out the year in the faculties and at Demonstrator Lab. Business Developers from IXA provide researchers with support during the application proces. Assistance in proposition development, formulating the business case and filling out the application is provided. In addition help with gaining support letters from outside corporations is possible. Take in mind that for the Take Off Phase 1 IXA needs to write a letter of intent regarding the future licensing of the VU intellectual property. Always involve IXA in your application to maximise your succes changes and get a complete application in in time. Find out who to contact at: team of business developers.

About Take-off
With the Take-off funding for feasibility studies, academic and innovative startups are enabled to explore the feasibility and commercial applicability of their science-based innovative ideas. They can also explore the possibility of starting business based on knowledge innovations from knowledge institutions. Funding for the 10 cash loans will be used to, among other things, work on solutions for scoliosis patients, innovations that help with puncture anxiety, and green facades through mossed concrete. Thanks to Take-off, these start-ups can take the step to enter the market with their product/service.

Register for Take-off 2023
Since January 5th, the spring round of Take-off 2023 opened. Both feasibility studies and early-stage projects can be applied for.