For some time now, the Netherlands has a thriving startup scene with a surge of successful entrepreneurial endeavors making it one of Europe’s hottest startup hubs. Long before startups, the Netherlands have been part of some crucial innovations like Bluetooth, the Compact Disc and Wi-Fi. In fact, the Netherlands holds a considerable part in the making of modern society.
The contribution of technological breakthroughs happened through some important Dutch universities, who produce some of the best engineers and managers. However, innovation just doesn’t belong to Silicon Valley, since half comes from the Netherlands as well. Falling in line with the above statement, we have compiled a list of 5 Dutch Breakthrough Technologies for 2018 based on the latest report by StartupDelta. Do check it out.
#1 Lab-grown meat
We all love consuming meat, don’t we? But are you aware of the fact that Animal agriculture and eating meat are the biggest causes of global warming? Meanwhile, Livestock farming alone contributes to 15% of greenhouse gas emission. In an attempt to fight the negative carbon footprint, companies like Mosa Meat are working towards creating lab-grown meat.
This project began in 2013 with a burger costing literally around $330,000 due to cultured meat. At present, this Maastricht University spin-off is backed by tech biggies like Google’s Sergey Brin and others. Moreover, he raised $8.8M to begin commercializing the manufacturing process. The company is also planning to open a production location in the Netherlands by 2021 where it can produce patties at 8.50 euros each. Another company worth mentioning here is ‘Meatable‘, which uses stem cells from animals’ umbilical cords to develop cultured meat.
#2 Innovative printing tech
In the recent past, many industries have been making some noise in the 3D printing market. Luxexcel is one such company that stands out of the crowd for its concept of printing lens for glasses. This is the only company in the world which can 3D print ophthalmic specialty lenses. To enable ophthalmic labs to make use of 3D printing.
Luxexcel developed a turnkey 3D print solution for ophthalmic laboratories. This in-lab technology solution will offer a revolutionary new approach to lens manufacturing and opens up new opportunities to differentiate and create unique custom ophthalmic products. Last year, the company has raised around $24 million and in 2018, they have started delivering custom lens for AR/VR market as well.
There is another company called Inkless, which adopts an approach called controlled burning or carbonization. According to the team of researchers, this process produces the right amount of heat on paper which in turn produces permanent deep black marks. This inkless technology, that would allow black and white printing without any cartridges or toners on all paper types at any time.
Moreover, there is a spin-off from the University of Twente called Iamfluidics, which recently developed a 3D printing technique for structures with living cells. Called as In-Air Microfluidics (IAMF), it allows viable micro building blocks to be produced, then used to repair damaged tissue. This is already patented and could have a huge impact on tissue engineering and repairs as well.
#3 Surgical robots
If you think robots are everywhere today, that’s because they are. Surgical robots are one such thing that helps doctors to perform a variety of complex operations with precision and perfection. Realising the potential, many universities around the Netherlands are pushing it right now. It’s worth mentioning here that Sarthak Misra, professor of Surgical Robotics at the University of Twente has received permission to further develop a flexible and smart needle. This needle is said to come with a sensor that steers it in the optimal path through the human body.
Moreover, Maarten Steinbuch, Professor and entrepreneur, Technical University in Eindhoven is currently working on developing surgical robots. He has also involved in RoBoSculpt, a surgical robot that can drill precision holes in the base of the skull.
Initially, Preceyes, a robot-pen was developed in his department, that stabilized the surgeon’s hand while performing eye surgery. Having said that, it is now being used in multiple hospitals in the Netherlands.
In addition to it, there are other significant developments happened in the Netherlands like Microsure, a surgical robot that can assist in microsurgery.
#4 Brain computer interface
Remember Stephen Hawking and the way he talked through computers? Mindaffect, a spinoff from Radboud University has developed technology that helps ALS patients to communicate again. To make it simple, the patient needs to wear a headset that measures electrical brain activity following which, their attention is visually directed to stimulus like special keyboard, where it matches the brain signals with the stimulus. This allows a patient to spell per letter.
Another company that contributes to this space is Braincarta. As in, the company have developed a new way to identify focal points inside the brain, utilising fMRI-technology. This, in turn, assess the important brain regions and assist the neurosurgeons, protecting important tissue.
#5 Batteries and energy storage systems
Battery back-up has been the biggest concern for human beings be it smartphones, wearables or any other. In a bid to address these issues, Lithium Werks is developing lithium-ion phosphate batteries, also known as LFP batteries. Moreover, the company is working on producing next-gen of storage techniques in ties with the University of Twente in the Netherlands.
Known for several accomplishments, the university operates advanced materials research facilities, like the MESA+ NanoLab along with control electronics and AI.
AquaBattery is yet another company working on the battery and energy storage technique space. This team has developed a product that stores electricity solely using water and table salt. At present, the company is working on its first pilot on The Green Village in Delft.
Furthermore, Leyden Jar, a Leiden based startups are working on the production of nano-structured materials. In addition to it, the company is also building molecular protection to extend battery life by up to 1.200 Wh/l.
Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more updates.