InSciTe, the Institute for Science and Technology, receives €1.8 million for (Bio)medical Accelerator Matrix concept


Sittard-Geleen, October 3, 2017 - The Chemelot Institute for Science & Technology (InSciTe) has received an EU OPZuid grant of €1.6 million to further the development and validation of the (Bio)medical Accelerator Matrix. The Provincie Limburg adds to this with an additional funding of €157,000. InSciTe, together with its initiators Royal DSM, TU/e, UM, and MUMC+, and complemented by Neuroplast, Xilloc Medical and Fujifilm Manufacturing Europe, will add to strengthening the open innovation climate of the Life Sciences and Health sector in the Netherlands with this matrix concept.

Bridging the gap between patent and patient 
As an institute with its primary focus on transforming biomedical materials concepts into new treatments for patients, InSciTe saw the need from its partners to facilitate the process from patent to patient. Currently, many promising (bio)medical concepts fail due to the long and difficult road to commercialization and market introduction. The required development investments coupled with ever more stringent medical legislation make it almost impossible for these lab-proven concepts to develop into a patient-ready and marketable product. To help bridge this so-called ‘innovation valley of death,’ InSciTe developed a unique (Bio)medical Accelerator Matrix concept. The EU OPZuid grant and provincial funding will be used to further build and validate the (Bio)medical Accelerator Matrix concept to facilitate (bio)medical breakthroughs and help them reach their potential. 

Accelerating innovation by sharing knowledge
The (Bio)medical Accelerator Matrix works on multiple levels to accelerate innovations. The matrix provides basic infrastructural laboratory and office elements, but also specialized items such as cleanrooms, inspection areas and supporting experts. At the heart of all this is an overarching quality system with the required trainings and courses. All these elements are available in a plug-and-play menu to be tailored to the needs of the clients to create the perfect work, and learning environment for them. Due to its nature, the matrix has a self-learning ability which creates an environment where knowhow and knowledge are bundled. By sharing, investment costs can be limited for all parties involved. For example, the matrix uses early experiences with specific regulatory requirements of one company to help and guide the next. All these elements serve to minimize the risks and the costs for a startup bio(med)tech company and increase their chances of success.

Two routes to validate the concept 
The first medical development to prove the effectiveness of the matrix is a new scoliosis treatment. Early-onset scoliosis is a deformation of the spine which occurs in young children and can cause lung- and heart problems in extreme cases. The current treatment for these patients is based on invasive surgery to anchor the spine with metal rods. This treatment has to be repeated multiple times, to make sure the growth of the spine is not obstructed. With the new treatment, which will be further developed in the matrix, correction of the deformed spine is performed with a patient specific guiding structure with sliding cables to enable growth of the spine whilst correction takes place. When successful this will drastically decrease the amount of surgeries. 
The second development route is a collaboration between Fujifilm Europe and Neuroplast. The aim is to increase stem cell viability in neurodegenerative disorders like paraplegia. 

With the European OPZuid grant and provincial support, the matrix concept can be tested on its use and effectiveness with two promising medical developments. 

Twan Beurskens, Deputy minister of Economic Affairs and Knowledge Infrastructure for the Provincie Limburg 
‘This is a completely new concept that really enhances the innovative climate in the south of the Netherlands, as it is attracting biomedical start-ups and SMEs to the region. Not only that, but it means we have the potential to create innovative medical concepts that reach patients much more quickly than they do now. We are proud to be able to contribute to the validation of this concept’. 

Peter van Asten, R&D manager Life Sciences Fujifilm Manufacturing Europe BV
‘Working together in the Biomedical Accelerator Matrix provides us with the opportunity to combine the strengths of Fujifilm Europe and Neuroplast to develop an optimal stem cell therapy. Thanks to the support of OPZuid and the Provincie Limburg we can realize this way of joint research and co-development up to a successful market introduction.

Danielle Curfs, Program manager InSciTe Biomedical
‘We are on the verge of a game changing development.  It is amazing to see my idea materialize and that the Biomedical Accelerator Matrix concept is receiving the appreciation and attention it deserves. I am looking forward to guide many more promising ideas towards the benefit of patients.’

The work of BEAM-NL is performed under the framework of Chemelot InSciTe. The project is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, the ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands and the Provincie Limburg in the context of the Operational Programme South Netherlands (OPZuid).


Press release: OPZuid subsidy for InSciTe

Chemelot InSciTe