Last December, the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ) launched a call for project proposals to foster entrepreneurship at ICIQ and facilitate the creation of spin-off companies that would bring their newest technologies to the market. A panel of ICIQ representatives and independent experts evaluated the proposals and decided to fund the two following projects with €85 000 each:
- Dr. Roger Mallol, supported by Prof. Emilio Palomares, aims to develop a diagnostic platform based on quantum dots, with a primary focus on cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease; it is currently diagnosed using sweat tests that are often complicated to carry out and inconclusive. Quantum dots (very small semiconductor particles) could be used in the creation of new fluorescent probes for the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis and other diseases. The new spin-off will collaborate with researchers from Hospital Parc Taulí in Barcelona, leading experts in cystic fibrosis.
- Dr. Cristina Sáenz de Pipaón, supported by Prof. José Ramón Galán-Mascarós, aims to design a membrane to separate carbon dioxide from mixtures of gases. To do so, she will use a novel material based on metal organic frameworks (MOFs) that is capable of selectively retaining CO2. This material can be mixed with different types of polymers to build composite membranes that would allow low-cost, simple, and autonomous gas separations, leading to the reduction of CO2 emissions. This project has also been recently incorporated in the CleanTech Camp program launched by KIC InnoEnergy in collaboration with Gas Natural Fenosa and the councils of Barcelona and Lisboa in order to catalyse the capture of value and its transformation into a sustainable business. The new spin-off will also focus on the development of innovative instruments for the study of the electromagnetic properties of materials.
Besides funding, the two selected projects will receive training and assessment to develop a successful business model, as well as guidance to follow the best path to reach the market in the following years.
More information on the ICIQ website.