ACES entrepreneurship prizes reward companies working in health and environment

07 Oct 2014 | News

BERLIN – 7 October 2014. Spin-outs from Germany, Switzerland and the UK won the ACES awards for academic entrepreneurship in Europe. The three awards – one each for innovative companies in life sciences and ICT, and one Green award for companies with a low environmental footprint and a clear societal impact – were presented on Tuesday 7 October 2014 at a ceremony at TU Berlin, Germany.

The host city was able to celebrate victory in the Green Award, which went to Matan Beery, CEO and inventor of the technology behind akvolution GmbH. His company offers compact water desalination and treatment packages based on ceramic materials that can operate in challenging waters, for example in the Arabian Gulf, which is prone to algal blooms. The technology was the fruit of Beery’s PhD thesis, conducted at TU Berlin.

The Life Sciences Award went to Jan Lichtenberg and Melanie Aregger, who developed the basic science behind InSphero AG’s innovative non-animal 3D cell cultures while at the ETH, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. The company’s revenues are set to double this year, and again next year. Customers include the world’s top 15 pharmaceutical companies as well as firms in chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

From the UK, Michalis Papadakis at the University of Oxford picked up the ICT Award for the company he co-founded and leads, Brainomix. The company produces e-ASPECTS, the first medical imaging software evaluating stroke damage on CT scans. The technology promises potentially life-saving reductions in the time it takes to decide on the right treatment for stroke patients.


The ACES awards programme was created in 2008 by Science|Business, a Brussels- and London-based media company and innovation network set up to recognise entrepreneurship at academic institutions.

The ACES 2014 winners conference was held in Germany at the Technical University Berlin. The winners were chosen by the Science|Business Innovation Board from a shortlist drawn up by a jury drawn from academia, industry and venture capital.

The full list of finalists chosen include founders and leaders of the following organisations (in alphabetical order, by prize category):

For the Green Award:

  • Winner: Matan Beery, TU Berlin, Germany. Company: akvolution GmbH
  • Runner-up: Sonja Jost, TU Berlin, Germany. Company: DexLeChem GmbH
  • Runner-up: Eoin Casey, University College Dublin, Ireland. Company: OxyMem Ltd

For the ICT Award:

  • Winner: Michalis Papadakis, University of Oxford, UK. Company: Brainomix
  • Runner-up: Patrick Henkel. TU Munich, Germany. Company. ANavS – Advanced Navigation Systems
  • Runner-up: Harald Haas, University of Edinburgh, UK: Company: pureLiFi

For the Life Sciences Award

  • Winner: Jan Lichtenberg, ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Company: InSphero AG
  • Runner-up: Peter Kenney, Aarhus University, Denmark. Company: RHINIX ApS
  • Runner-up: Uwe Marx, TU Berlin, Germany. Company: TissUse GmbH
The Science|Business Innovation Board is a non-profit association founded in 2009. Current members include INSEAD, ESADE, Imperial College London, Microsoft International, BP, SKF, Aalto University and Sanofi.

For more information about the ACES Awards, and the full list of selection committee members, visit

For further information, contact:
Maryline Fiaschi
Director, Science|Business +32 477 50 40 78
[email protected]

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