Volkswirtschaftsstiftung supports two start-ups developing analytical instruments

12.12.2014 13:55

The „Eidgenössische Stiftung zur Förderung schweizerischer Volkswirtschaft durch wissenschaftliche Forschung“ supports start-ups since 1996 with interest-free loans. The two newly supported start-ups are Ionight and rqmicro.

IONIGHT builds on decades of experience in designing dedicated instruments, electronic systems, and software solutions for ESA and NASA space missions. IONIGHT’s flagship product, LMS, is directly based on a design originally developed for in situ measurements of the chemical composition of solid materials of solar system bodies, such as our moon, planets, and asteroids.

LMS is much smaller than devices with comparable performance. The portable instrument is an ideal tool for a broad range of applications, including oil, gas and mineral exploration, mining operation, recycling of solid wastes, gems fingerprinting, contamination control, semiconductors, and others. Moreover, the start-up from Berne is investigating further areas of application, including the analysis of pharmaceutical and biological samples. LMS is already available on the market, both as laboratory instrument and as sample analysis service, for customers who look forward to advancing their analytical capabilities.

Rqmicro provides and develops services and technology for the rapid microbial assessment of water and food. The start-up from Zurich employs flow cytometry (FCM) based methods that provide absolute quantitative data in minutes instead of days. Flow cytometry is a laser-based electronic cell counting technology that allows multiparametric analysis of the properties of thousands of cells per seconds. The quantification of the cells in a given sample can be performed in minutes and since it is a cultivation independent method, all bacteria, also dormant or dead ones are in principle quantified. By using fluorescent viability dyes rqmicro can discriminate viable from dead cells. This is especially useful when tracking efficacies of disinfection measures. These facts lead to superior data in almost real time. Rqmicro has developed rapid detection methods for pathogenic organisms such as Legionella on the basis of flow cytometry. The target bacteria are first enriched by immunomagnetic separation and subsequently quantified with a flow cytometer.

The “Volkswirtschafts-Stiftung” supports companies that are not older than 12 months and use technology which was developed at a Swiss university (ETH, university or universities of applied science). The organisation provides interest-free loans in a very early phase of a start-up-project. The money is usually used for incorporation and IP costs. Every year the foundation supports three to six companies.

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