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Oxygen unit for general practice wins top prize in ESA Technology Transfer Competition

19 december 2022

The ESA Technology Broker NL team was impressed with the response to its first technology transfer competition, launched in November 2022. The brief called for ideas of how space technologies can be used in applications to solve real-world problems. The quality of the submissions was high and three winning ideas have been selected. All have the potential to benefit life on Earth, and the overall winner really stood out with its practical application.

First competition of the ESA Technology Broker NL

The ESA Technology Broker for the Netherlands – jointly operated by SBIC Noordwijk and NL Space Campus – uses a combination of market pull and space technology push to find the optimum solution to existing problems. On behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA), the broker ran this technology transfer competition to generate new ideas for successfully applying space technology with hardware focus on Earth.

“We launched this technology transfer competition as the first step for our brokerage to act as an initial funnel for bold ideas,” explains Erik van der Heide, connect & development manager at SBIC. “A number of these space technology applications have high market potential and, in our role as broker, we will support and facilitate in order to progress the ideas.”

The judges were impressed by the high quality of all submissions received, as well as the broad distribution of topics – from bio-inspired rovers to enhanced X-ray spectrophotometers. After careful consideration, the judges selected three winning ideas that are innovative, have high market potential and offer key benefits in terms of socio-economic impact of the application on Earth.

Winning ideas

  • 1st prize: Producing an easy-to-use and lightweight oxygen supply for general practitioners

The judges unanimously selected HDES to be the overall winner. The first prize went to the proposal of an easy-to-use and lightweight oxygen supply for general practitioners (GP), as well as doctors working in the field. The idea is supported by a user perspective from GP Ferry Janssen. It utilises the space-tech cool gas generators developed while HDES was a startup at ESA BIC Noordwijk – read the background here. The company is continually seeking applications for this technology here on Earth. This latest idea has the potential to result in a life-saving product. The team plans to now use the prize money to further develop this concept, formulate a business case and find potential customers.

  • 2nd prize: Creating a smart precision inhaler with advanced targeting capabilities

The second prize went to a solution that has the potential to benefit the lives of many lung disease patients. The idea put forward by Gilbert Technologies could offer a solution for a true societal problem by creating a smart precision inhaler. This would include advanced targeting capabilities, using space technology, that could potentially accelerate the time to go-to market.

  • 3rd prize: Regenerating resources from human waste to positively impact health

The third prize goes to the bold idea of Studio Carbon that uses two ESA IPs: the first for disposing of organic/human waste; and the second focusing on data analysis. The idea aims to regenerate resources from human waste, as well as provide analysis that can positively impact the health and lifestyle habits of communities. This proposal is ambitious and visionary, where this solution could aim to tackle the huge problem of human waste for future generations. Studio Carbon – the newest technical partner of SBIC – has a design- and systems-centric approach that, in the past, has helped create dialogue and action on tabooed problems like sewage.

Next steps

Erik comments: “We would like to thank everyone who submitted entries to the competition and shared their thought-provoking ides, and we look forward to investigating any development possibilities for the winning proposals.”

Are you excited about joining a future competition, want to make use of the networks of the brokers and/or want to know more about the winning projects? Reach out to us, join us at the monthly Network & Drinks every last Thursday of the month at SBIC Noordwijk, and stay updated through our newsletters.

In the coming months, we will share details about the winning projects and report on their progress. Get updates via our newsletter: signup today!


WINNERS: 

1st prize Entry from: Berry Sanders @ HDES with Ferry Janssen GP, based in NLEntry title: EVE Oxygen Cool Gas Generator for General Practitioners Basic idea: An easy-to-use oxygen supply for general practice

2nd prize Entry from: Maurits Huigen @ Gilbert Technologies, based in NLEntry title: Redefining Treatment for Lung Patients with Electro Hydrodynamic Atomization (EHDA) Basic idea: Electrospray technology that enables targetted therapy delivery via smart precision inhalers

3rd prize Entry from: Itika Gupta @ Studio Carbon, based in NLEntry title: Health and Wellbeing of Micro-Habitats Powered by Shit Basic idea: To build a better future for the next generation, it will be necessary to regenerate every resource, including human waste, and provide analysis that can positively impact health


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