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LASER 2017: Winners of Startup Challenge revealed

27 Jun 2017

New Israel-based biometric scanning firm wins gold; IR spectroscopy blood testing method silver; and low-noise reflective optics developer bronze.

At Startup World – part of this week’s LASER World of Photonics expo in Munich – the winners of the second bi-annual competition were announced this morning, with gold, silver and bronze categories picking up €3000, €2000 and €1000 cash prizes, respectively, as well as promotional support.

Overall winner was Eran Hochstadter, Head of Business Unit at ContinUse Biometrics, a new contactless biometric scanning company, based in Tel Aviv, Israel. He told the gathering, “Continuse Biometrics is bringing to market the only integrated, remote and contactless sensing technology that both authenticates users and monitors their physiological state.”

“Our exclusive sensor performs active and continuous biometrics, scanning a distance of up to several hundred meters. The technology is especially geared for the eHealth, IoT, Mobile, and consumer goods markets.”

Produced by a team of academics, the sensor is based on nano-technology that detects molecular vibration. Unaffected by clothing or other physical conditions, it can measure over 20 bioparameters, such as heartrate, respiration rate, blood pressure, glucose levels, and alcohol levels. The company is a spinoff from a 10-year research project conducted at Bar-Ilan and Valencia Universities, now being commercialized by a team in Israel, Spain and Silicon Valley, Ca, USA.

Silver and bronze

Second prize was awarded to ATR Elements, based in Gilching, near Munich, Germany. This startup has developed an infrared spectroscopy process for blood testing, said to be much cheaper and more efficient than existing alternatives.. ATR stands for attenuated total reflection.

The team, headed by Lorenz Sykora, presenting at today's event, Alex Geißler, and Anja Müller, has developed the core crystal component necessary for IR spectroscopy. They made the carrier from low-cost, highly sensitive silicon crystal.

ATR Elements says its crystal-based approach will make blood and biofluid analysis cheaper, more hygienic and more accurate."The ATR crystal is more sensitive than current solutions and works with smaller sample volumes," said Sykora.

Third prize went to Crystalline Mirror Solutions, a spin-off of fundamental physics research at the University of Vienna by Dr. Garrett Cole and Dr. Markus Aspelmeyer. The company manufactures low-noise reflective optics using a proprietary, patented coating technology.

The awards, judged by a panel of industry experts in recent months and refined from a longlist of 20 new photonics companies, were presented here today by various representatives of industry, Messe München, and AZO, a Bavarian hub of Germany’s aerospace industry.

LASEROPTIK GmbHAlluxaHÜBNER PhotonicsHyperion OpticsLaCroix Precision OpticsBerkeley Nucleonics CorporationOptikos Corporation
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