Within SILS, valorisation is valued and we stimulate new business opportunities. Several spin-off initiatives were successfully started by our researchers.
TRANSFORMING CO2 TO VALUABLE PRODUCTS, POWERED BY THE SUN
Photanol is a platform renewable chemicals company that utilises proprietary engineered cyanobacteria to process carbon dioxide (CO2) and sunlight into valuable chemical products.
Photanol recently got elected as Technology Pioneer at the World Economic Forum (WEF) held in China in 2019.
Confocal.nl is aiming to innovate the microscopy industry with our plug-and-play feature confocal microscopes including the re-scan invention (Re-scan Confocal Microscope). Our new RCM-microscope has an improved resolution and strongly improved sensitivity as compared to most confocal microscopes. It will be available as a highly affordable, customised device, which is ideal for labs with specific interests, or as an upgrade for existing wide-field fluorescence microscopes. Our goal is an open-architecture system that can be customised at need, and is platform- and software independent.
In 2019, Confocal.nl was one of the winners in the Academic Startup Competition.
Macrobian-Biotech was founded in May 2017 by Dr. Lars van der Heide and Prof. dr. Marten Smidt. Its primary goal is to perfect treatments for disorders of the midbrain dopamine system. The company is currently housed at the University of Amsterdam, the heart of academic excellence in the Netherlands.
Macrobian Biotech utilizes state of the art technology and is at the very front of scientific breakthroughs. The company's step-by-step mechanistic approach to unravel molecular components of dopamine neurons has lead to the identification of compounds that are able to restore dopamine production. The constant perfectioning and
upgrading of such compounds is the current core business of Macrobian-Biotech. Its perspective is to deliver a fully tested and safe compound to be verified in clinical trials for neurodegenerative diseases as Parkinson.
In 2011 the vegetable breeding company Enza Zaden approached SILS to explore the idea of hosting a spinout at the UvA to valorise the IP that Enza owns for third partners. For nearly seven years the plant biotechnology spinout company Scienza was based at SILS, embedded in the Molecular Plant Pathology group. The team included Dr. Takken and was supported by MSc and BSc students. Its mission was to help clients improve their plant materials by introducing novel traits, with added value. The revenues from this setup would make it cost-effective and meanwhile provide excellent training facilities for students, contribute to knowledge valorisation and address the ambition of the Amsterdam Green Campus. Over the years the team grew to over seven fte, hosted over 10 MSc and BSc students and served many clients from e.g., horticulture, agriculture or even aquaculture. Many exciting results were generated, such as the identification and introduction of novel disease resistances into ornamentals. As more traits, plant species and clients were added to the agenda, progress was made in developing new molecular tools and biosystems thereby not only increasing our understanding of existing traits, but also identifying new and interesting leads thus turning Scienza into a research extension of ENZA. Although Scienza has been discontinued, what remains is a solid basis for collaboration with ENZA resulting in many joined projects in GLS that are either bilaterally funded (e.g., Takken and Bleeker) or co-funded by NWO or TKI (e.g., Schuurink, Bleeker, Takken, Bouwmeester).