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Guideline points out Smart Opportunities for the Life Sciences and Food Sectors
23 February 2012
VDI/VDE-Innovation + Technik GmbH
With the emergence of molecular biology, point of care solutions and a growing demand for industrial testing, diagnostics is a dynamic field for which miniaturised smart systems can provide unique solutions to improve systems’ intelligence and autonomy. The European project COWIN, aiming at fostering commercial exploitation of EU-funded research results, now publicates a new “Report and guideline to optimise smart systems penetration into the diagnostics and food markets”.
The use of miniaturised smart systems in the field of diagnostics can bring breakthrough innovation for a reinforced European competitiveness. With the acquisition of smart systems-based companies by leading diagnostics actors, new products are now entering the market that offer innovative new tests and cutting-edge solutions for better patient diagnoses and management as well as in the food and water quality control. This is only the first step - smart systems are poised to bring widespread innovation into the diagnostics field, with intelligence and autonomous functions that will generate new applications and businesses.
The European Commission is willing to support Europe’s competitiveness in this area, as evidenced by the recent call for proposals of the 7th Framework Programme (ICT Call 8), in which a budget of 39 M€ was dedicated to the micro-nano-bio convergence. Europe benefits from the emergence of many activities in the microfluidics and smart systems fields - which only add to an already broad range of competitive European clusters in the life sciences field.
One example of this support is COWIN’s new “Report and guideline to optimise smart systems penetration into the diagnostics and food markets” presenting the main challenges and barriers to bring miniaturised smart systems to the in-vitro diagnostics and food markets. This report contains added-value information for researchers and companies willing to better understand the diagnostics field’s trends and needs. Indeed the diagnostics field is very fragmented, and a sound analysis of the right applications to address is required. The report also highlights common beliefs and reinforces the tangible benefits that smart systems offer to different diagnostics markets. Also provided are examples of specifications to better address the food and water quality market in order to better support smart systems’ penetration in this emerging and growing market. Finally, a solution to consider regulatory constrains as a driver and not just as a barrier is proposed.