02. June 2023

Prototyping grants #2: Healthy sugar, digital health solutions, and improved cancer screening Prototyping grants #2: Healthy sugar, digital health solutions, and improved cancer screening

Transfer Center Promotes Innovative Product Development

Is there a healthy alternative to sugar? How can I measure changes to my mental acuity? And how can cancer prevention be made more reliable? These questions are at the heart of three innovative validation projects— “Sweeternative,” “Trackognize,” and “HPV & Cervix all-in-one Test”— that are receiving funding from the prototyping grant’s application round #2 of the Transfer Center enaCom. The teams from the University of Bonn and the University Hospital Bonn (UKB) are each receiving a prototyping grant to develop their innovative research findings to market readiness. Calls for the grants with up to 50,000 euros in funding are regularly posted by the Transfer Center.

These teams will receive a prototyping grant in Round 2:
These teams will receive a prototyping grant in Round 2: - Sweeternative (Jorge de Heuvel, Jannick Dülberg, Marcel Hövels, André Neff); All-in-One Test (Thomas Mayr, Ines Gütgemann, Glen Kristiansen, Damian Ralser - not pictured: Alexander Mustea, Andreas Buness, Anshupa Sahu); Trackognize (Christoph Helmstaedter, Kris Leipzig, Jacqueline Lohmann, Vivian Radicke, Thorsten Rings) [from left]. © Sweeternative | Rolf Müller (UKB) | Trackognize
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Sweeternative – A healthy alternative to sugar

Sugar that won't make you fat—who doesn’t dream of that? Dr. Marcel Hövels, André Neff, Jorge de Heuvel and Jannick Dülberg are developing a sweet-tasting form of fiber that can be consumed as an alternative sweetener. The idea arose from Marcel Hövels’s research into microbiology and biotechnology at the University of Bonn. “We came together as a team last year at the start-up summer school and almost immediately won the idea competition at the University of Bonn. We’re now thrilled to have funding through the prototyping grant to produce our first prototypes,” Hövels recounts the history of the project.

Trackognize – Digital app monitors mental acuity

An intelligent keyboard app for the smartphone has been designed to visualize cognitive processing power. “This is especially crucial for people with chronic illnesses of the central nervous systems, such as epilepsy, Parkinson's or multiple sclerosis. They often also suffer from a creeping deterioration of mental acuity,” explains Prof. Dr. Christoph Helmstädter of the Bonn University Hospital's Clinic for Epileptic Studies. He and his co-founders Vivian Radicke, Kris Leipzig, Jacqueline Lohmann, and Thorsten Rings developed an app to track this digitally. “Trackognize” monitors cognitive function to allow physicians to make better therapy decisions.

Medical Care: Better detection of cervical cancer

All-round care: Prof. Dr. Ines Gütgemann of the UKB’s Institute for Pathology has developed an all-in-one test for cervical cancer. The new test procedure lends itself to earlier diagnosis of cervical cancer and its preliminary stages, ultimately providing better protection for women. Gütgemann is joined in the project team by Dr. Glen Kristiansen, Dr. Thomas Mayr, Dr. Damian Ralser, Dr. Alexander Mustea, Andreas Buness, and Dr. Anshupa Sahu (all of the UKB).

Funding via the Transfer Center

“This second round of applications brought us a variety of high-quality proposals. With the selected projects we are funding  valuable validation research projects,” says Sandra Speer, head of enaCom. “Our start-up consulting team looks forward to support these projects in moving towards market launch.” The first round of applications in 2022 funded four prototyping projects. The call for applications is conducted by the enaCom Transfer Center and financed as part of “U-Bo-Grow,” a stand-alone ESC project from the University of Bonn. It receives support from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy (MWIKE) for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

To the website of the prototyping grants

If you are interested in the funding line, please contact:

Dr. Alexander Küsshauer, Start-Up Advisor


+49 228 73-62026

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