At the annual European Forum Alpbach in August, the Euregio Innovation Prize was awarded for the fifth time. The Euregio Innovation Prize is an important promotional award of the European Region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino and is aimed at entrepreneurs, inventors and developers from these regions. This year they were invited to submit their innovative products, technologies and services in the field of "Health and Life Sciences" on prevention, diagnostics and therapy.
Yeongmi Kim, a researcher and professor at the MCI bursting with innovative ideas, made it to the finalists with PoRI, the prototype of a portable hand therapy device, and presented her invention in Alpbach. The PoRI is a wearable robotic interface to support hand rehabilitation of stroke patients, consisting of a device and training software. It could be a potential solution for a low-cost in-home solution that integrates well into home environments thanks to its small size, light weight and low complexity. Kim as representative of the MCI was the only one from a university and research institution among only companies submitting entries.
First place went to the Tyrolean company Heart Regeneration Technologies (HeaRT) with a shock wave therapy for regenerating heart tissue, and second prize went to the Innsbruck-based company Occyo for developing an imaging system for telemedicine in ophthalmology. The company PreBiomics from Trento achieved third place with their platform for the analysis of the oral microbiome.
At the Tirol Day in Alpbach, LH Platter emphasized the importance of life sciences companies for the Tyrol as a business location. In terms of employment in pharmaceutical and medical technology as well as value creation and patents, Tyrol is well positioned throughout Europe. However, as far as the number of biotech companies active in research and development is concerned, there is definitely a need to catch up. Together with the Tyrolean universities and key companies, a research center of excellence should be developed and the transfer of knowledge and technology between industry and science should be improved through the targeted establishment of companies and the support of spin-offs and start-ups.
The finalists of the Euregio Innovation Award 2022
© EFA-Philipp Huber