In our Sunday weekly overview, we as editors look back at the past seven days. We do this at the suggestion of our cartoonist Albert Jan Rasker. He chooses a subject, makes a drawing and we take it from there. What were we talking about in the editorial? What other topics caught our eye? How do we actually work at Innovation Origins? Anything can pass. Would you like to receive this newsletter directly in your inbox every Sunday morning? You can register here.
Nice choice this week from Albert Jan, especially because it gives me the opportunity to discuss the difference between technology as a gadget and technology with a mission. First the article itself: it concerns a start-up – Enliven – that uses virtual reality to combat discrimination, inequality and intimidation. Wonderful cause and unfortunately greatly desired by society.
Enliven was in the news because they received support from OostNL and LUMO Labs: an injection of one million euros enables Enliven to perfect the concept and actually look for a clientele. It is not the first time that LUMO Labs has invested in a “mission-driven” start-up and that is exactly the beauty of incubators like this: not primarily looking for a rapid increase in value, but first and foremost an approach to one of the Sustainable Development Goals. It even says in their mission statement: “We create opportunities for impact-driven ventures in emerging technologies.”
And that is very much in line with the choices made by Innovation Origins. Yes, technology is very important in our innovation related stories. But that technology must solve something that is of social importance. That is why you will not easily find anything about the latest iPhone with us, but all the more often an explanation of a development around healthcare, the energy transition or a mobility dilemma. We are always looking for the people and organizations that are working to solve the challenges of today and tomorrow. So with real impact. As was visible every day last week. Here’s a small selection:
What else struck us
If you want to read everything again, click here. But here are the most notable pieces:
For the first time, the injection of radioactive spheres for irradiation of liver tumors has been visualized live. An MRI scanner can be used to see exactly whether the radiation beads in the patient end up in the right place in the tumors. The technique will make it possible in the future to adjust the injection location and dose per patient live. Researchers at Radboudumc in Nijmegen have discovered this and applied it to patients with liver cancer. The procedure is safe and feasible.
Every year thousands of kilos of fishing nets end up in the water. Marcel Alberts, founder of Healix in Maastricht, intends to clear the sea for fishing nets. Together with other companies, he wants to save maritime life by fishing the nets out of the water to make the raw material polymer again. Healix was our start-up of the day.
Cheese is as old as mankind. It is a source of protein, calcium and vitamins. Nevertheless, the production of dairy products involves significant greenhouse gas emissions and the use of liters of water. That is why we are eagerly looking for alternatives. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark have now found a way to make cheese from the vegetable proteins in yellow peas. The pea as a raw material for brie?
Biochemist Christian Gruber of the Medical University of Vienna studies therapeutic applications based on plant and animal mechanisms. He is currently investigating how locust hormones can be used for therapeutic applications in humans. From insect to medicine.