Biophotonics Diagnostics GmbH has won the OptecNet Start-up Challenge 2019. The young company from Jena was able to prevail against five other finalists in a pitch session during the OptecNet annual conference. For 1st place, the start-up receives prize money of 5000 euros and a portrait in the trade journal PHOTONIK.

 optonet innovationspreis2019Jörg Weber (3rd from left) receives the 1st prize of the OptecNet Start-up Challenge 2019 (Photo: Optonet)

Detecting pathogens and resistances directly through the unique combination of Raman spectroscopy and artificial intelligence without first cultivating a patient sample in a time-consuming process - Biophotonics Diagnostics was able to convince the jury with its approach in the final of the 3rd OptecNet Start-up Challenge on May 14, 2019.

As a spin-off of the Leibniz Institute for Photonic Technologies (Leibniz-IPHT), Biophotonics Diagnostics takes the innovative basic research from the institute to a marketable product - the RAMANBIOASSAYTM. The approach developed in Jena, which was already awarded a Future Prize last year , combines an established device concept for the spectroscopic determination of bacteria and resistances with a novel database evaluation by machine learning. As a low-cost chip cartridge, the test will be used in clinics and hospital laboratories in the future and enable phenotypic resistance determination within a few hours. Until now, physicians have usually had to rely on microbiological cultivation, which can take several days. The RAMANBIOASSAYTM could thus provide doctors with the decisive information on whether a pathogen is sensitive or resistant to an antibiotic much more quickly.

At the final in Jena, Dr. Jörg Weber, Managing Director of the company, presented the RAMANBIOASSAYTM concept in a four-minute pitch and a question and answer session that also lasted four minutes. The five-member jury of experts from business, science and finance ultimately evaluated the concepts on the basis of the business idea presented, technical performance, innovation potential and competitive advantages.

OptecNet Deutschland e.V. is the association of the seven regional optical technology innovation networks in Germany and supports supraregional and international activities in the industry, for example international cooperation, technology transfer and innovation promotion, promotion of young talent and a Germany-wide public relations campaign.