ETH Zurich registers highest number of university spin-off companies in Switzerland

06 Jan 2011 | Network Updates | Update from ETH Zurich
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

ETH Zurich registered the highest number of university spin-off companies founded in the course of five years in Switzer-land with 104 new firms. Last year saw a total of 20 ETH spin-offs coming to light, with four of them operating in the highly important field of Med-tech.

ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich) has had another year of successful company foundations. In 2010, a total of 20 new firms were established in a a variety of research fields. Most spin-off companies were founded in the area of information and communications technology (6), followed by mechanical engineering (4), while two new firms were established in electric-al engineering and two in biotech pharmaceutical. One firm is developing chem-ical processes, one is working on micro-nano technology, and one focuses on sensors and analytics. Finally, three companies are in consulting and services business.

From eye implants to novel blood tests

„We are particularly excited about our four spin-off companies in the Medtech sector, which indicates that our strategic research investments in this field are starting to pay off”, comments Prof. Roland Siegwart, Vice President Research and Corporate Relations. “AEON Scientific” is developing miniature inserts with the goal to implant these in the posterior segment of the eye to act as reservoirs for long-term medication. “YouRehab” is producing a 3D glove to help trigger arm, hand and finger movement in cases of neural disabilities, while “Habtron-ics” is working on a therapeutical gait training device designed to facilitate re-covery and walking functions after neurological incidents. Finally, "ProteoMediX” is developing a new diagnostic method to test blood and allow for early detec-tion of cancers, such as prostate cancer.

Major awards won by ETH spin-offs

ETH Zurich spin-offs received over 760,000 Swiss francs in awards last year, as a recognition of their impact as promising entrepreneurs. ETH spin-offs scooped up prizes ranging from the Swiss Technology Awards to the Swiss Innovation Prize, as well as Venture Kick and DeVigier Prize.

ACES awards at ETH Zurich

The 2011 Academic Enterprise Awards event, the only pan-European awards for university researchers who start businesses, will be held at ETH Zurich on February 3, 2011. Among the 18 finalists are the founders of four ETH spin-offs based on technologies developed at ETH Zurich, including “InSphero,” “Dybus-ter,” “Mirasense”, and “Climeworks.” The winners, competing for five award categories including Life Sciences, ICT and Fast Start for early stage start-ups, will be announced during a gala dinner in Zurich.

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