Improving Dairy European Industry

European dairy sector is a heavyweight in the European Union’s agricultural economy. Is the world second biggest agricultural sector in terms of output value, after the vegetable and horticultural plant sector and before cereals. (1). In 2016, European milk farmers produced 163.3 million liters of cow’s milk, representing a 27% market share in global trade. There were 23.4 million dairy cows in the EU in 2015, unevenly distributed across the EU. (2)

Nowadays, the dairy industry faces a number of challenges, according to the study “Animal Welfare in the EU” by the European Parliament. Second worst animal welfare problem in Europe is the poor welfare of dairy cows, because of leg disorders, mastitis and reproductive problems.

Mastitis is an endemic disease and one of the most prevalent diseases in dairy cows. Distinguish by an inflammation of mammary gland parenchyma, which is characterized by a range of physical and chemical changes of milk and pathological changes in the udder tissues. It also provokes the swelling and discomfort on the cow, affecting to the quality of milk. Mastitis most commonly occurs on dairy cows but can also affects all types of them, being the most important, frequent and costly disease, affecting dairy herds worldwide (Halasa et al. 2007; Miller et al. 1993). According to Bhikane & Kawitkar (2000) this is a major economic issue in dairy industry worldwide, causing up to 70% of reduced milk production, 9% of milk discard after treatment, 7% of the cost of veterinary services and 14% of premature culling.

In the UK only, around one million cases of bovine mastitis occur each year, causing 200 millions pounds of losses in production and treatments every year (Science Daily 2008). Under Dutch circumstances, the average costs of a case of clinical mastitis are estimated to be 277 Euros and 168 Euros for cows in early and late lactation respectively. According to estimations by De Vos, C.J. and Dijkhuizen, A.A. (1998) “Economical aspects of udder health” (in Dutch). the yearly economic damage of clinical mastitis for Dutch farmers exceeds 100 million Euros, assuming a yearly incidence rate of 25% and 1,6 million dairy cows at risk each year.

Current milk testing involves bacterial culture and/or PCRs to identify bacterial pathogens, involving time consuming and expensive processes. To address this key issue, DestiNA Genomics Ltd. (DGL) has developed the Bovine Mastitis Spin-Tube project, calls MastiTube, a novel medical multiplex diagnostic platform based on a direct detection of mastitis pathogen rRNA sequences, without need of cultures or PCRs.

The MastiTube project takes advantage from this market need and timing opportunity, and was developed from the previous patented device DestiNA Spin-Tube, used for human parasite infections. This test pledge to revolutionize testing for mastitis, offering a rapid, accurate and low cost detection of bovine mastitis, of 2 DestiNA Spin tube Prototype / Source: euros cost per test.

DGL is a spin-off from the University of Edinburgh, founded in 2010 by three partners: Hugh Ilyine, Juan J. Diaz-Mochon and Mark Bradley, to research, validate and commercialize this novel “dynamic chemistry” technology. In 2012 DGL incorporated a Spanish subsidiary DestiNA Genomica S.L. (DGSL), located on the Granada Health Technology Park, with the goal of fostering research and development in Spain, with partners such as Master Diagnóstica.

Since its foundation, DGL/DGSL have focused on development of simpler, faster more accurate and cost-effective products for PCR free detection of microRNAs, valuables as biomarkers for toxicology, illness and disease.

Technology developed is unique and distinguishable from the rest existing enzymatic methods of nucleic acid analysis. Additionally, company demonstrated that its patented Smart Nucleobase Technology works 100% accurately at detecting mutations in blind testing of cystic fibrosis patient blood samples.

Participation in ACTTiVAte program has been decisive to reach goal of becoming a leading manufacturer and supplier of custom chemical reagents for biomarker assays. Participation has helped finishing developments to get ready a prototype, including improved sample preparation and RNA stabilization, refrigeration free handling, shipment and storage, as well as its library of patented smart nucleobases and custom probes.

The MastiTube solution will make an important impact in European countries with significant dairy herds, such as the Agrofood Capital Cluster of Netherlands which produces almost the 10% of the total production of milk in Europe; and thanks to the ACTTiVAte network will be possible to contact them and improve the test thanks to its inputs.

On the coming months, as a result of its contacts with the Roslyn Institute in Scotland, DestiNA will implement the MastiTube to detect novel biomarkers for early detection of dairy cow pregnancy. A contract between the Institute and the company has been recently signed to improve the MastiTube in order to develop new tests for the Agrofood and companion animal sector.

Furthermore, participation in ACTTiVAte has facilitated the development of alternative market entrance strategies and viable business models, as well as the investment of 180 thousand Euros already in 2018. This and further investments will also open up new scalable opportunities and thus lower costs and prices, which likely lead to first national sales in 2019 and international ones in 2020.




Genetics for nutrition: Improving health and sports practice

Since publication of first human genome sequences in 2001, and the completion of the Human Genome Project Sequence in 2004, many expectation about its consequences have arisen.

Human genome was the first of all vertebrates to be completely sequenced, and in the next years after 2004, thousands of human genomes have been completely sequenced, and many more have been mapped at lower levels of resolution. Although the sequence of the human genome has been nearly completely determined by DNA sequencing, it is not yet fully understood. Most genes have been identified by a combination of high throughput experimental and bioinformatics approaches, yet much work still needs to be done to further elucidate the biological functions of their protein and RNA products.

This data is used worldwide in biomedical science, anthropology, forensics and other branches of science, and there is a widely held expectation that genomic studies will lead to advances in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, and to new insights in many fields of biology, including human evolution.

Among other applications of Genetics, Nutrition is one of the most developed. In this sense, nutrition studies demonstrate so many conflicting results because of people’s different genotypes, which lead to diverse reactions to specific foods. And this difference likely depends, at least in part, on genetic variation.

Genetically, humans are 99.5% the same. Yet, that 0.5% difference matters. After all, it accounts for 30 million letters in the genetic code. And within that 0.5%, there is the SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms).
When a single nucleotide in the genome is altered, that is a SNP.

SNPs are the most common form of sequence variation in the human genome. More than 470 have been identified on the vitamin D receptor gene alone. SNPs determine human genetic differences – including risk of particular illnesses.

Genes can be influenced by all kinds of things, such as nutrient deficiencies or excesses (especially at crucial developmental stages), dietary components, sunlight and Vitamin D, toxins, bacteria and viruses, exercise and activity, alcohol and other drugs, etc. Therefore, genetic expression is strongly shaped by environment, so, if we know more about our genetic variants, we might be able to adjust our lifestyle or environment in order to prevent some illnesses or become healthier.

Genetic testing can be performed via cheek swab, blood, or other tissue sampling. Any sample that contains human cell nuclei will work, since all cells have the same genes. DNA is extracted from the sample, then amplified, sequenced, and assembled into a readable format for the patient.

Researchers can then analyze single genes, arrays, or the full genome. Once genetically screened, people can then receive their own tailored dietary prescription.

In this context, present project GeneHealth has carried out the development of a personalized nutritional supplementation product to improve health and sports practice, through the transfer of genetic knowledge.

It is an innovative project which intends to give a supplementation to the most optimal and effective measure, thanks to the development of scientific research in the field of Genetics. The product developed consists in the proper selection of nutrients in different formats through the analysis of the genes involved in the different metabolic processes, using a computer algorithm to interpret results.

The company, Advanced Genetics DNActive SL is a bio-sanitary startup in the field of consumer genomics, based on the Granada Health Technology Park, specialized in personalizing services of nutritional itineraries, adapted training and tailored supplementation, using genetics of patients and providing them in distance. Field of
application are Sports, Nutrition and Anti-aging.

Company has already developed genetic solutions for Sports and Nutrition and plans to launch services on Cosmetics and Skin Diseases in the mid-term. Indeed, it sells its services via e-commerce since May 2016, confirming a growing trend of sales and profits. Moreover, there is a very important common denominator in all of its services: how human body processes different nutrients that eats, since they are the basis of many metabolic and biochemical processes that take place in the body, being, at the end of the day, responsible of its quality life and health.

Participation in ACTTiVAte has resulted highly important since it has helped in several areas. Firstly, to be able to get a business model 100% validated and a marketed product. Secondly, facilitating geographical diversification of suppliers, with shorter response times, lower costs and at the end of the day greater strength of negotiation; finally, thanks to coaching dynamics held in ACTTiVAte, project reached economies of scale via opening of new channels and new international markets, diversification of new products, deduction of supply costs and generation of multiple complementary services. Also, they have got:

• 250,000 from NEOTEC-Neotec Capital Riesgo.
• The seal of innovative company.
• Raised an additional 343.500 Euros in third-party financing, including the 15k angels.
• Taking advantage of the new capital inflow (40.000 Enisa + 200.000 Autonomous Government of Andalusia)
• The entry of new capital to DNActive is being negotiated with other investors.
• DNActive’s workforce has increased.
• New cosmetic product launched on the market.
• The commercialization of DNActive’s nutraceutical product has begun.

Expectations from project are very high. Opportunity timing is clear, and project may take advantage from scientific advances on Genetics and its use in several areas.

Nanotechnology for food security

General speaking, it is considered a food incident as a situation within the food supply chain where there is a possible or confirmed risk associated with the consumption of a food. Moreover, a food recall is an action taken by a food business to remove unsafe food from distribution, sale and consumption, in a quickly way in order to protect public health and safety.

Food recalls are a major concern for the food industry. In recent years, the number of identified and reported incidents of contaminated food products has dramatically increased, posing serious health and economic consequences. In some countries incidents of this kind with a huge impact on population have produced phenomena of collective hysteria.

To early control these incidents many countries have regulated procedures of traceability, which is the ability to track any food through all stages of production, processing and distribution (including importation and at retail). Traceability should mean that movements can be traced one step backwards and one step forward at any point in the supply chain.

Traceability enables corrective actions (such as a product recall) to be implemented quickly and effectively when something goes wrong. When a potential food safety problem is identified, whether by a food business or a government agency, an effective traceability system can help isolate and prevent contaminated products from reaching consumers.

Traceability allows as well food businesses to target the product(s) affected by a food safety problem, minimizing disruption to trade and any potential public health risks. It is important for all food businesses (including retailers and importers) to be able to trace products.

Concerning European law, traceability means the ability to track any food, feed, food-producing animal or substance that will be used for consumption, through all stages of production, processing and distribution. Its aim is to prevent potential risks that can arise in food and feed, and to ensure that all food products in the EU are safe for European citizens to eat.

In this context was born QStamp®, to deal with the need of traceability within the whole food supply chain. Indeed, its value proposition is to radically change current way of food tracking, by developing a label pasted to perishable food packages, which integrates printed low-power electronic circuits and nanosensors, enable to measure external variables from food and to report them passively, through standard wireless technologies and non-invasive operational protocols.

QStamp® is so a flexible, low-cost and wireless sensor that can measure temperature, humidity, pressure and light using nanotechnology. Its sticky like application allows QStamp® to be easily used on any package or material helping, for example, food retailers, consumers and restaurant owners to better manage their food products.

QStamp® runs without battery and can be applied on any material regardless of its shape. The temperature, humidity and pressure data collected by the QStamp® are sent to a database through wireless protocols such as RFID, and then a software translates the information into actionable data within the users Preferred system (ranging from Excel to complex supply chain management ERP’s) via API’s. Furthermore, technology developed is compliant with standard hardware as smartphones and RF devices, which are growing in terms of adoption by companies and consumers.

The company, Mater Dynamics, is a Portuguese SME dedicated to develop sensoring solutions combining ICT and Advanced Materials practices. Its technology comprises microelectronics, RF communications, cloud computing and materials’ synthesis, in order to allow Mater Dynamics conceiving better sensors. Regarding this project, its overall objective is to see QStamp® on any packaged food item around Europe, with capability to monitor up to six variables.

Company currently has a team of PhDs and MScs (2 PhDs, 3 MSCs and 2 BScs), with backgrounds ranging from Chemical Engineering up to Computer Science, having one dedicated team member for Business Development. In addition, it has an informal board of advisors both from academic institutions, as the M.I.T. and NOVA Business School, and from corporate side, as Altice.

At the time of joining to ACTTiVAte, Mater Dynamics already had an important industrial partner in UK, as well as two demonstrator clients in Portugal, one of the latter being a key player in the retail market of the country, aiming to implement a new protocol for distribution activities and real-time temperature monitoring to fulfill the cold chain requirements. So hence, QStamp® is more than a single project, because it has a vocation of standard for many industries.

For this project opportunity timing is clear, and participation in ACTTiVAte has helped to foster already implemented strategy, as well as enriching product-market strategy with a clear set of objectives and associated initiatives and KPIs. Strategy is now focused on deploying commercial efforts on such demonstrator clients in Retail and Logistics, as key enablers for the quick-as-possible adoption of the system in their industries.

Next future looks like optimistic for the project: in the medium term it is foreseen both an international roll-out and a diversification to other regulated industries with traceability needs, such as Pharma and the Veterinary one.

More information:

Bioanalytical software to battle against bacterial diseases

Devastating pathogen-borne diseases and plagues in nature, both viral and bacterial, have affected humans since the beginning of human history.

Until the mid-20th century, bacterial pneumonia was probably the leading cause of death among elderly people. Improved sanitation, vaccines and antibiotics, have all decreased mortality rates from bacterial infections, although the war against bacterial diseases has no foreseeable end.

A study developed by experts at ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) and the Burden of AMR Collaborative Group,(Study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases for EU/EEA journal) estimates that about 33.000 european people die each year as a direct consequence of an infection due to bacteria resistance to antibiotics. Furthermore, the burden of these infections, is comparable to that of influenza, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined (

Even though many bacterial infections can be treated successfully with appropriate antibiotics, antibiotic-esistant strains are beginning to emerge, according to the World Health Organization. The antimicrobial resistance is occurring everywhere in the world, compromising capability to treat infectious diseases, as well as undermining many other advances in health and medicine. Full impact is unknown, there is no system in place to track antibiotic resistance globally, and many modern medicines could become obsolete.

As a consequence, common infections might become deadly threats. Therefore an accurate medical diagnosis is imperative for correct treatment, and hence to drecrease mortality and reuce lenght of hospitalization.

A rapid diagnosis also allows for early streamlining of empirical antimicrobial therapies, thus contributing to limit the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance. The introduction of MALDITOF mass spectrometry (MS) for routine identification of microbial pathogens has profoundly influenced microbiological diagnostics, and is progressively replacing biochemical identification methods.



In this context, digital revolution provided relatively inexpensive and available means to collect and store data. Thereby, with the right data analysis, implementation of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, as well as exponential growth of databases, enable clinical laboratories a very rapid microbial identification at low cost.

These advances have been a decissive to reach to successful medical diagnosis for the early treatment of patients.

In 2015 a group of engineers and an analytical chemistry specialist (among them several PhDs in different fields and with a wide expertise) founded a bioinformatics company named CLOVER BioSoft, based on the Granada Health Technology Park, specialized in Bionalytical Chemistry data analysis and Microbial ID, using Mass Spectrometry. This team aims to giving solutions to real problems using knowledge-based approaches, understanding data and the statistics behind it.

Using methods of artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data analysis, was born this cutting-edge project: Clover MS Strain Typing, a software solution developed to perform research on bacterial analysis applications using MALDI-TOF MS.

The software AI-powered algorithms allows to build smart and reliable analysis of the bacterial strain typing by studying differences in the lipidomic profiles of bacterial strains, using Mass Spectrometry. Identifying bacteria at the strain level is particularly important for diagnosis, treatment and epidemiological surveillance of bacterial infections.

Each feature included is the result of close interaction with experts, to provide the most efficient and convenient workflow, in order to answer bacterial analysis questions. Among others, the software features include:

• Repeatability and reproducibility studies for the validity of biological and technical replicates.
• Antibiotic resistance analysis comparing with positive and negative controls.
• Feature extraction: Strain class, resistance mechanism, bacteria type, etc.
• Samples identification: Strain typing prediction with custom database support.


Project strength relies on its specifically designed data processing algorithm, as well as a patented lipid extraction method to provide competitive advantage, which is a complete protocol already proven and demonstrated in multiple applications. It also has the major advantages of MALDI-TOF MS (speed, cost-efficiency), with the addition of the gradual decrease in size, and thus cost of mass spectrometers.

Current bacterial ID systems in the market using MALDI-TOF MS are decreasing time and cost in the detection of bacterial species. Extending these systems to the identification of individual strains will help applying the most appropriate antibiotics for every patient, having a more accurate treatment and fighting against antibiotic resistance. Moreover, this ID systems in the coming future will help to predict unknown cases by learning known multivariate data patterns.

Participation in the ACTTiVAte program has been decisive to accelerate project, making possible to reach to current state of business model 100% validated, with a marketed ready product. In this sense, it has resulted highly important the advice received in ACTTiVAte on strategy and business planning, through mentoring and coaching dynamics. In addition to the funding received through ACTTIVATE and the SME Instrument, Clover Biosoft will make use of reserved funds and forecasted sales to face the expenses generated by this feasibility study. They will also raise private investment to complement these H2020 programs.

Some specific goals of the feasibility study are:

• Technical feasibility: Perform initial evaluation with our partner hospitals to assess the potential to become a clinical product. Develop a technical, regulatory and validation plan. In order to get first national and international sales orders during year 2019.
• Clinical feasibility: Identify the most severe pathogen strains causing most of the infections in European hospitals. Define the clinical validation strategy.
• Business opportunity: Discover the best approach-to-market strategy and establish a continuous presence on the field. Study real market needs, size and potential for profit and scalability.
• Economic feasibility: Detailed economic analysis to reach the clinical market.

Concerning the future, brilliant perspectives arises, since this system may have extensive applications in different sectors, such as industrial chemistry, environmental testing, food & beverage testing, as well other
biotech applications such as mycobacterial ID, biomarkers for cancer, early detection of pressure ulcers and the Agrofood sector.

Musculoskeletal Disorders in different áreas – Osteoartritis / Source:

Big Data to deal with Musculoskeletal Disorder

Musculoskeletal conditions affect people along their life everywhere. According to a study from the Global Burden of Disease, about 20-30% of worldwide population lives with a painful musculoskeletal condition.

While the prevalence of musculoskeletal conditions increases with age, younger people are also affected, often during their peak incomeearning years. Nowadays, Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSDs) are the most common reason of work disability, sick leave and early retirement of people under 50 all over the world, more than any other disease like cancer or diabetes.

MSDs, as the word already explains itself, is a kind of disorder affecting people’s musculoskeletal system, typically characterized by pain (often persistent pain) and limitations in mobility, dexterity and functional ability, reducing people’s ability to work and participate in social roles with associated impacts on mental wellbeing, and, at a broader level, impacting as well on prosperity of communities. Most common and disabling musculoskeletal conditions are osteoarthritis, back and neck pain, fractures associated with bone fragility, injuries and systemic inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Musculoskeletal conditions share some similar risk factors to other non communicable diseases, such as inadequate physical activity, obesity, smoking and poor nutrition.

While management of some musculoskeletal conditions often requires specialist and/or surgical care, many musculoskeletal conditions can be managed in primary care services through a combination of core non-pharmacologic interventions, such as exercise, and psychological and pharmacologic therapies.

Moreover, health and broader social cost of musculoskeletal conditions are very relevant, although spending on musculoskeletal conditions is challenging to measure, due to the vast array of musculoskeletal conditions and limitations of surveillance systems.

According to the World Health Organization, MSDs conditions comprise more than 150 diagnoses which affect to the locomotor system. So hence, potential value of the annual sector is estimated around 300 trillion Dollars worldwide. Two thirds of this amount may derive from the costs saving for the National Health Service, and at a
European level this saving is estimated to be of 100 million Euros.

Bearing this context in mind, MDURANCE SOLUTIONS is a start-up based in Granada (Spain), part of the Technological trampoline network (CESEAND, RTT) and focused on the field of Digital Health.

Specifically, it’s been developed an auxiliary tool for the evaluation of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), based on an advanced analysis of signals generated by Electromyography (EMG Surface electromyography is the analysis of the electrical activity of muscles. Its aim is to detect and assess neuromuscular pathologies through the
evaluation of the health and performance of your patient’s musculature), and pursuing that this technique could be effectively used by Health professionals.

Main challenge of this project has consisted on unifying different technologies, such as Big Data, Wearables and Artificial Intelligence, to provide a deeper and more useful knowledge in the field of physical health and wellness. At the end, it’s been developed an intuitive digital tool designed to be used by a wide range of professionals, from the most expert specialist to a general physiotherapist in a high-performance sport center.

Wearable EMG sensor: Muscle activity controlled Source

Wearable EMG sensor: Muscle activity controlled

Project mDurance is basically a wearable EMG sensor, integrated with an application for mobile devices, which sends signal data to a private cloud service, where all data are stored, processed and analysed through data mining and Big Data.

Over years of research, company has developed new algorithms to improve analysis. By applying these algorithms and AI technology to collected data, integrated system can provide reliable conclusions within only 5 minutes, being able to instantly detect the root cause of a patient’s problem. Thereby, it is possible to target the most effective treatment, providing so the highest impact therapy and shortening therefore the recovery period.


Main features of mDurance system might be summed up as follows:

• Biofeedback therapy: facilitating the process of learning exercises.
• Verify muscular anomalies.
• Objectively assess the muscle fatigue.
• Measure and objectively analyze muscle strength and development
• Detect muscle asymmetries: allowing to correct asymmetries in real time.
• Results processed in less than 30 seconds
• Access to results from any device.
• Build extensive reference material.
• Rapid assessments thanks to intuitive reports.
• Optimize peak performance times: reducing the likelihood of injury.

mDurance system interface in different devices: Muscle activity controlled Source

mDurance system interface in different devices: Muscle activity controlled

One of the main factors for the project’s success has been the multidisciplinarity of the team, collecting knowledge and skills from different areas, which has been essential in the management and development of the project.

Another key factor has been the ACTTiVAte acceleration program, which facilitated to a large extent the boost of innovation. In this sense, although some parts of technology were developed and validated before joining to ACTTiVAte, however, acceleration carried out within program leaded to implement new functions, such as the
improvement in algorithms’ sensitivity and prediction capability, making possible to get ready mDurance for larger scale testing.

The main results of the development done within the ACTTiVAte project are:

• A new, very intuitive digital product CE Class II Certification.
• SME Instrument Phase 1.226.000 Euros from NEOTECNeotec Capital Riesgo.
• Cross4Health selected SMEs within its 2st Acceleration Programme. (mDurance will receive a voucher of up to
60.000 Euros to contract an external service to help boost their innovation)

Expectations from project are very high. Opportunity timing is clear, and project may help to palliate MSDs, improving life quality of many people.

ACTTiVAte, a reference in fostering cross-sectoral tech transfer

ACTTiVAte has directly promoted half a hundred cross-sectoral technology transfer projects, and laid the foundations for the development of new value chains involving different sectors and countries.

1.5 million euros of direct financing have been allocated to these SMEs, and 4.3 million euros in business support services (information, training and facilitation of access to relevant stakeholders, mainly).

The beneficiary SMEs have also been able to raise close to 1.7 million extra-funds in 2018, according to the information they have provided. This more than doubles the direct financial support provided by ACTTiVAte that year. In addition, they have invested about 4.5 million euros in their innovative projects, without including the ACTTiVAte funds.

These are just some of the quantitative results of the initiative, whose impact on SMEs is far-reaching. In fact, SMEs give ACTTiVAte a global score of 4.4 points out of 5 and SMEs appreciate the non-financial support received (especially training).

At the same time, ACTTiVAte offers a reference for the promotion of cross-sectoral technology transfer, carried out by European SMEs and with the aid of cluster organizations and other business support entities, as a means of stimulating and promoting regional innovation ecosystems.

The results of the initiative, along with the role of clusters, the challenge of cross-sectoral innovation and a selection of promising projects supported by ACTTiVAte, were presented at the final conference, under the title “Fostering cross-sectoral technology transfer in Europe: Lessons and prospects from the European project ACTTiVAte”. It took place at DES2019 (Madrid, 21st – 23rd May 2019).

One of the speakers, Mercedes Delgado, Associate Professor of Strategy and Innovation at Copenhagen Business School, and Research Scientist at the MIT Innovation Initiative, highlighted the figure of the “clusters as the key players for boosting innovation”. She detailed the main characteristics of the clusters and affirmed that they are everywhere and in every sector. Although she considers important to pay more attention to the traded industries (vs local industries), in terms of taking advantage of the benefits linked to cluster agglomerations, as well as identifying ecosystems and companies that are producing specialized inputs for other industries (more downstream linkages and more agglomeration benefits); so as not to create clusters from scratch, where there are still no companies. Then, to be located in appropriate ecosystems is vital for startups; as their performance depends not only on strategy, but also on location.

Anna Sobczak, EU policy-making expert for clusters and emerging industries at the European Commission (EC), stated that the EC is using clusters to support SMEs, taking into account that clusters are facilitators and bridge-builders for innovation. In the EU there are more than 3,000 strong regional clusters in related industries. The EC is promoting the building of bridges across European ecosystems through cluster partnerships, using three pillars: clusters as accelerators for innovation and industrial change, capacity building (Cluster Excellence Program), and inter-regional and international cluster cooperation. In addition, cross-sectoral collaboration has been one of the themes highlighted in the framework of the awareness-raising campaign across Europe on the role of clusters and their impact (developed between November 2018 and April 2019).

In the panel discussion on the cross-sectoral innovation the main stakeholders were represented: startups (through Vitulo Plus), clusters / sectoral support agencies (Oost NL), mentors / business advisors (Agnieszka Klucznik – Törö, ACTTiVAte mentor) and investors (Spain New Ventures Lead, Johnson&Johnson). They highlighted some key factors such as the importance of customer validation to bring an idea to the market, and of maintaining a continuous learning attitude and a global vision, among others. Regarding the clusters’ value, it was affirmed that clusters contribute with infrastructures to the needs of SMEs and facilitate their arrival to potential clients. They also bring and share values, and build relationships, making sure that SMEs get the right connections. Moreover, in relation to ACTTiVate, according to the CEO of Vitulo Plus, Gary Antonius, it has enable them to be quicker (time to maker was improved) and it has facilitated the access to complementary financing.

Also, nine SMEs supported by ACTTiVAte had the opportunity to present their projects at the event: Chamco (Agrofood & Health), CiTD (Aerospace & ICT), Clover BioSoft (ICT & Health), Destina Genomics (Health & Agrofood), DNActive (Health & Agrofood), Fastinov (Health & Agrofood), IXL (Health & Agrofood), Mater Dynamics (ICT & Agrofood) and mDurance (ICT & Health). Three of them (Chamco, DNA Active and Mater Dynamics), together with Vitulo Plus, also participated in a final round table in which various aspects of “the Journey through the project” were addressed.

By Afi, Analistas Financieros Internacionales


ACTTiVAte’s Final Conference at #DES2019. Madrid, May 22

The Digital Enterprise Show (DES2019) has been the framework chosen by the European project ACTTiVAte to celebrate its final conference under the title ‘Fostering cross-sectoral technology transfer in Europe: Lessons and prospects from the European project ACTTiVAte‘ with the assistance of the most relevant actors and a selected number of companies funded by this initiative.

Great success. Thanks to all!

Digital Enterprise Show is a global expo with over 300 world’s top tech companies, Congress with 450 world’s best digital experts, and 21,000 visitors, who gather every year in Madrid to discuss how the digital changes the business, to acquire the crucial knowledge, skills and solutions to shape their industries’ future.

DES has been the framework chosen by the European project ACTTiVAte to celebrate its final conference.

The ACTTiVAte initiative, promoted by the European Commission (Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 691473), with a duration of three years (ends next May 31), aims to boost the development of business ecosystems integrated by innovative SMEs and in which the transfer of technology among different key sectors is favored.

The Consortium is composed by thirteen members, six of them are Cluster organizations (or similar enabler entities).These clusters have played a key role, from the identification of potential beneficiary companies, to the monitoring of projects and direct support to SMEs. Madrid Aerospace Cluster is the coordinator.

ACTTiVAte has contributed to the development of 50 cross-sectoral technology transfer projects, involving six participating countries (Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and Poland) and four sectors (Aerospace, Agrofood, Health and ICT), with 1.5 million euros of direct financing to SMEs and an extra 4.3 million euros in Business Support Services such as information, training and networking / access to stakeholders…

All projects have achieved important progress in several fields linked to SME development mainly in relation to training, strategic skills development, networking and innovation process improvement.

Final General Assembly Meeting, Dublin

DES 2019: Digital Enterprise Show

• The European project ACTTiVAte will be at the Digital Enterprise Show, the world’s leading event dedicated to Digital Transformation in Madrid, 21-23 May 2019 (IFEMA Hall 8 – Stand D407)
• Under the title ‘Fostering cross-sectoral technology transfer in Europe: Lessons and prospects from the European project ACTTiVAte’ , will celebrate its Final Conference on May 22.

Digital Enterprise Show is a global expo with over 300 world’s top tech companies, Congress with 450 world’s best digital experts, and 21,000 visitors, who gather every year in Madrid to discuss how the digital changes the business, to acquire the crucial knowledge, skills and solutions to shape their industries’ future.

DES has been the framework chosen by the European project ACTTiVAte to celebrate its final conference.

The ACTTiVAte initiative, promoted by the European Commission (Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 691473), with a duration of three years (ends next May 31), aims to boost the development of business ecosystems integrated by innovative SMEs and in which the transfer of technology among different key sectors is favored.

The Consortium is composed by thirteen members, six of them are Cluster organizations (or other enabler entities).These clusters have played a key role, from the identification of potential beneficiary companies, to the monitoring of projects and direct support to SMEs. Madrid Aerospace Cluster is the coordinator.

ACTTiVAte has contributed to the development of 50 cross-sectoral technology transfer projects, involving five participating countries (Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, Ireland and Poland) and four sectors (Aerospace, Agrofood, Health and ICT), with 1.5 million euros of direct financing to SMEs and an extra 4.3 million euros in Business Support Services such as information, training and networking / access to stakeholders…

All projects have achieved important progress in several fields linked to SME development mainly in relation to training, strategic skills development, networking and innovation process improvement.

Coinciding with the end of this initiative, ACTTiVAte’s Final Conference will be held on May 22, under the title ‘Fostering cross-sectoral technology transfer in Europe: Lessons and prospects from the European project ACTTiVAte‘ with the assistance of the most relevant actors and a selected number of companies funded by this initiative, which will present their projects.

Download the Press release here.

ACTTiVAte’s Innovation Forum in Porto

Last Friday took place the Workshop: ‘Transfer of technologies as a path to innovation in the health and agrifood sectors’, organized by INEGI at Alfândega do Porto (Portugal).

Eugenio Fontán from Madrid Aerospace Cluster (ACTTiVAte’s coordinator) presented the ACTTiVATe project. Luís Pina, INEGI’s Research Coordinator, gave an overview of the projects funded by ACTTiVAte, and several SMEs presented their demonstrative prototypes of the technologies that have been transferred to the health and agrifood sectors:

  • Luisana Carvalho from IncreaseTime presented ESCaPe, a T-shirt with integrated sensors in the fabric, a telehealth system that allows continuous monitoring of the cardiovascular patients. More information
  • Robert Pater from HealthSens presented CoolPet to medical device, HealthSens fever monitor ICT to medical device transformation. More information
  • Luís Bastião from BMD software presented NetPathology, a digital platform that promises to facilitate the work of pathologists. More information
  • Alfredo Silva  from  Inova + presented BloC@ST, Protection of sensitive patient data using an innovative multi-layer blockchain approach. More information
  • Nélson Oliveira from BestHealth4U, presented Bio2Skin, a novel glue-less adhesive solution for medical applications avoiding skin injury in prolonged use or upon removal. More information
  • Ferdinando França Andrade from FASTINOV, presented FAST-vet a Flow cytometry Antimicrobial Susceptibility Test for Veterinary. More information
  • Tiago Cunha Reis from Mater Dynamics presented QStamp, passive and wireless flexible sensors for the Agrifood sector. More information
  • Gary Antonius from VKON
  • Artur Thielmann from Fine Bubble Technologies presented BubbleFoot, a treatment of diabetic foot by bathing in water enriched with carbon dioxide nanobubbles. More information

Afterwards, a discussion was promoted with Portuguese and European public funding agencies and innovation investment funds on the existing funding mechanisms for technology transfers through two round tables: ‘Innovation in Health sector – from SMEs to big corporates’ was attended by Luís Soares (Strategy Director – Health Cluster Portugal), Rita Ralha (Innovation Lead – Grupo José de Mello Saúde) and Ricardo Cruz Correia (Co-founder – HealthySystems); ‘MDevNet: National Network for Knowledge Transfer on Medical Devices’ was attended by Nuno Felício (MDevNet Project Manager/ Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS) and ‘Financing mechanisms for innovative SMEs’ was attended by Alexandre Marques (GPPQ/ ANI – Portuguese National Innovation Agency).

The event ended with B2B meetings with companies from the two sectors.