Results 2021 JUMP21 Call

The FNR is pleased to communicate that 12 of 15 eligible Proof of Concept projects have been accepted in the 2021 JUMP21 Call, an FNR commitment of 3 MEUR.

The FNR JUMP21 programme (formerly PoC) is a competitive funding programme, open to all research domains, that is designed to help bridge the technical and funding gap between research-driven discoveries and their commercialisation/utilisation, thereby enhancing the impact of Luxembourg’s research on economy and society.

Go to JUMP21 programme page 

Funded projects

Principal Investigator

Sivashankar Krishnamoorthy

Project title

Nano-enhanced Qcm Sensor (NANOSENS)

Host institution

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology

FNR committed

341,000 EUR

ABSTRACT

High performance in biological devices that can detect, monitor and treat healthcare issues in a patient requires fine optimization of the device surface properties. Taking into account the significant advances made in the state of the art during the last decade, the optimization would require changing surface properties at length scales of the order of molecules themselves. This is an arduous challenge, one that requires the investigators to have ‘eyes’ to see the behavior of biomolecules or biological cells, when they make changes to the surface properties. Research tools that can serve as such ‘eyes’ are currently not available, making the process of understanding the surface properties down to molecular level on the biological outcome to be a long and complex investigation. NANOSENS provides a solution by enabling research tools in this direction, making a significant step forward to researchers engaged in the development of a range of biological devices, including biosensors, bioimplants, anti-bacterial surfaces.

Principal Investigator

Rejko Krüger

Project title

Compound Upgrade To Treat Mis-splicing In Pd (CUTSinPD)

Host institution

University of Luxembourg

FNR committed

449,000 EUR

ABSTRACT

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder leading to premature ageing of dopamine producing nerve cells. Current therapies focus on replacing the deficit of dopamine, but still there exists no causative treatment to slow down the progressive nerve cell loss. Today it is well established that there is not only ‘one’ Parkinson’s disease, but there are several subgroups of patients with similar clinical symptoms that require more targeted therapies. Using patient derived cells, we deciphered a novel molecular mechanism by which the mutation in the patient’s gene causes PD. Additionally, we analyzed genetic data of thousands of PD patients and healthy individuals and showed that mutations causing the same genetic defect were significantly more common in patients than in healthy people worldwide. By testing thousands of chemical compounds on the patient derived cells, we identified a combinatorial treatment with two chemical compounds that repaired the molecular defect in cell culture. In the frame of the JUMP project CUTSinPD, we aim to develop these new drugs a step further towards a clinical application. Therefore, we will validate in vivo the efficacy of the treatment and we will also study the toxicity profile and the pharmacokinetic properties of the drugs. In a final step we will validate that our treatment works for other mutations causing the same defect. With the acquired new data on our drugs we intend to engage with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in collaborative research to accelerate the drug development process and with a final goal to enter into a licensing agreement.

Principal Investigator

Sylvain Legay

Project title

Upscaling And Validation Of A Technology Aiming To Produce An Apple Cell Suspension Culture-based Cosmetics Ingredient (ACCEDE)

Host institution

Luxembourg Institute of Science & Technology (LIST)

FNR committed

245,000 EUR

ABSTRACT

Since few years, cosmetic ingredients based on plant cell suspension culture technology are considered as increasingly attractive due to their advantages in terms of safety, reliability and sustainability. Based on the use of dedifferentiated plant cells (aslo “called plant stem cells”), LIST has developed a new cosmetic ingredient, an enriched pentacyclic triterpenes extract including conjugated triterpenes. The latter are rare, difficult and expensive to obtain using standard extraction processes. Several companies have shown their interest in the patented technology and also requested additional data and guaranties related to (i) the scalability of the production and recovery processes, (ii) the bioactivity and toxicity of the ingredient, and finally (iii) the cost and techno economic assessment of the process. The ACCEDE project aims to answer these questions while developing the technology from TRL4 to TRL8 and define a strategy to reach the market.

Principal Investigator

Marco Chini

Project title

Web-based Solution To Map Urban Settlements Over Specific Areas And Fixed Time Periods Using Earth Observation Data (CityWatch)

Host institution

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)

FNR committed

250,000 EUR

ABSTRACT

Abstract

The world population is growing at an unprecedented rate and is becoming increasingly urbanized. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) estimates that by 2050, 70% of the global population will live in cities. With growing impacts of climate change, especially affecting coastal areas, many of these cities have an urgent need to better understand where people live and what risks they are exposed to. Satellites provide a solution to monitor on a daily/weekly/monthly basis in order to highlight changes in a timelier manner. However, satellite-derived data has so far been difficult for people to access, or costly due to the high prices of commercial imagery and the specific skillset and knowledge required to process the images to generate value added services and products. This is changing with the development of multiple low-cost very high-resolution commercial satellite constellations, and freely available high-resolution data from government programs, such as the European Copernicus Program, Sentinel data. This increasing supply of data can greatly improve the quality of imagery available, and the ability to derive information. For a non-Earth observation expert or unfamiliar user, the access to large quantities of Earth observation data has no inherent operational value by itself; they are instead interested in rapidly accessing information derived from value-added services and products. Thus, there is a real need from end-users for solutions like CityWatch that:

– Provide regular updated continuous information with global coverage, as current solutions are updated infrequently.

– Provide higher resolution maps than the current standard of 10m spatial resolution, in other words being able to monitor change at the building-level.

– Avoid downloading huge amounts of data: end-user do not have the capacity to store lots of data.

– Also avoids the need for an IT expert to manage cloud computing infrastructures and to implement data mining algorithms

– Avoid ad-hoc negotiations with commercial Earth observation operators to procure imagery.

Principal Investigator

Antonio Ken Iannillo

Project title

Online Work(It)Out Platform (OWL)

Host institution

University of Luxembourg (SnT)

FNR committed

240,000 EUR

ABSTRACT

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2019, representing 32% of global deaths. While in Europe, CVD accounts for 45% of all deaths, and it costs the EU economy 210 billion euros a year. While cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is associated with a significant reduction in cardiovascular mortality, both availability (~15%) and participation (10~30%) in CR programs are limited. Also, in Luxembourg, a recent study highlighted meager participation (less than 1%) in maintenance CR programs. One of the main reasons is the personal and practical factor: commuting to training sessions, professional reintegration, and cost burden. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, safety restrictions limited and discouraged patients from joining a physical therapy session on-site. OWL provides secured and enhanced video communication between rehabilitation patients and the medical staff. The video and audio streams combine with transmitting vital parameters, measured from patients’ wearable devices, in a secure-by-design platform. OWL is an all-in-one software platform that provides a communication platform between the patients and the medical staff. It handles the videocall combined with the transmission of vital signs (i.e., heartbeat frequency).

Principal Investigator

Sébastien Faye

Project title

A Plan-build-run Solution For Iot-based Smart Waste Management (PLUME)

Host institution

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)

FNR committed

249,000 EUR

ABSTRACT

At least 92% of industrial waste companies do not have access to real-time waste data, thus leading to huge discrepancies in service quality and sustainability. With three years of R&D under its belt, PLUME intends to disrupt the waste management industry by anticipating and deeply optimising any company’s collection processes. PLUME will offer a decision support system for industrial waste collection companies to optimise their operations while anticipating their future needs (customer profiling, automated driver schedules, fleet management). Most existing solutions generally offer sensors as the key technology to measure the waste filling level, and provide a platform as a service that mainly focuses on how to best react to these measures – thus leading to limited decisions and an overall low service sustainability. PLUME is unique as, unlike these solutions, it will rely on an advanced simulation and planning (ASP) technology, which digitally and realistically reproduces waste collection services to derive recommendations tailored to the waste collection companies and their customers’ needs. This model is largely inspired by the concept of digital twins, on which LIST has specialised for several years now. With PLUME, and based on scientifically-validated methods developed for over two years, we expect to increase the amount of waste collected per hour and per kilometre by at least 50% each and up to 80% depending on the maturity of the waste collection company.

Principal Investigator

Project title

Multisilva Decision Support System For Multifunctional Forest Management (Multisilva DSS)

Host institution

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)

FNR committed

247,000 EUR

ABSTRACT

Forests provide a large variety of ecosystem services (ES) i.e., the benefits that people obtain from nature, for society’s wellbeing (e.g., timber, pulp, paper, fuelwood, carbon sequestration, air and water purification, habitats for protected species and recreational opportunities). Most of these ecosystem services do not generate direct revenues for the forest owner. Therefore, they have not been considered in traditional forest management and planning. In the last decades, however, researchers and policy makers started discussing the importance of the ES that forests provide for human society. This political push brought increasing attention to the provision of multiple goods and services from forests. In recent years, the climate and biodiversity crisis further stressed the importance of forests as a source of renewable materials but also for their provision of ES. As a result, new market opportunities are emerging related to forest consultancy services. An increasing number of public forest owners, forest administrations and nature protected areas explicitly refer to the provision of multiple ecosystem services in their set of objectives. Consequently, managers of these public organizations increasingly need to quantify the provision of ecosystem services from their forests, understand how to manage the trade-offs between these services and communicate it to the public and stakeholders. Forest consultants and forest managers start facing this new demand of studies, reports quantifying ecosystem services (carbon sequestration, biodiversity, among others) from public administrations and private companies. Forest consultants have a good understanding of forest functioning, particularly related to timber production. However, quantitatively assessing the provision of ecosystem services requires a deeper understanding of the forest ecosystem functioning and the complex interactions between trees, soil, climate, and human activities. Moreover, they need to inform their clients that are willing to switch from traditional, timber-oriented management to multifunctional forest management what are the direct and indirect costs of this change. Finally, there is the need to understand the spatial distribution of ecosystems services hotspots to account for synergies and trade-offs. Although there are publicly available maps and indicators, it is very time consuming to collect, treat and analyze this data. To respond to these issues, we developed a web-based decision support system, Multisilva, to assess the current and future provision of ES and quantify the direct and indirect management costs. Multisilva comprises two components. The first component is the Mapping tool computing spatial statistics and maps of the current provision of ES at the forest property level. The second component is a Simulation tool able to forecast the evolution of the forest under user-defined management scenarios over time. This tool allows to assess the biophysical estimations of ES and the economic costs for the simulated management alternative over time. Multisilva is currently calibrated for Luxembourg. The objective of this project is to bring the tool to other geographical contexts and adapt it to the needs of the customers. The existing prototype version will be adapted to match the new ecological, institutional, and silvicultural context within Europe. The project will support the customer discovery to identify both final customers for Multisilva (e.g., public administration, national protected areas, large private forest owners) and potential partners (forest consultant companies) to adapt the tool to selected regions. Based on the results of this market analysis, Multisilva will be technically tailored to European markets. Finally, the project will define the best commercialization strategy (spin-off or licensing out).

Principal Investigator

Jimmy Roussel

Project title

A Novel Energy-efficient Biogas-to-methane Upgrading Bioprocess With Co2 Capture (EMC2)

Host institution

Luxembourg Institute of Science & Technology (LIST)

FNR committed

249,000 EUR

ABSTRACT

To fulfil its objectives of carbon neutrality by 2050, Luxembourg and the European Union need to push for the replacement of natural gas by biomethane through technological innovation and policy support. LIST has developed a novel biogas upgrading technology able to convert the carbon dioxide present in the raw biogas in methane rather than just removing it. Thanks to our technology, the biogas plant will be able to generate an output gas with a methane yield increased by 25-45%, methane content over 95% (gas grid injection standard) and to reduce drastically carbon dioxide emission. The technology, based on biological methanation, is using a microbial community where hydrogenotrophic methanogens are using carbon dioxide and hydrogen to produce methane. The hydrogen will be locally produced using green electricity generated onsite. The aim of the project EMC2 is to validate ad to improve the technology technically and economically by running a prototype on a full-scale biogas plant. Alongside optimisation experiments, a full research on the market and customer understanding will be done to provide a roadmap to bring this sustainable and robust biogas upgrading technology to the biogas industry.

Principal Investigator

Christoph Dr Schommer

Project title

Remedis – A Secure Medication Dispenser (REMEDIS)

Host institution

University of Luxembourg

FNR committed

60,000 EUR

ABSTRACT

Medical non-adherence (MNA) is one of the most pressing issues in health care. It claims lives, accelerates patients’ health deterioration, and its economic impact is tremendous: 818 billion USD annually (WHO, 2020). In developed countries, among patients with chronic illnesses, medical non-adherence averages at 50%. The elderly are particularly vulnerable. Research showed dementia could increase MNA to 58 – 89.3%. It is particularly devastating as their health rapidly deteriorates due to not taking their pills correctly. With our ageing demographics, this problem escalates quickly, and our ecosystem cannot keep up: professional caregivers are overwhelmed, underpaid, and as a result, mistakes frequently happen also in nursing homes. In our project, we develop an automated medication dispenser, particularly for people suffering from dementia. REMEDIS sorts their medication and reminds them of each medication intake. REMEDIS automates the sorting process to the benefit of the patient and simultaneously overcomes all challenges automation presents. How to mitigate if the machine erroneously dispenses a pill? What if the device works fine but was not filled correctly in the first place? How do we make sure users do know what medications are they taking if each dose is automatically sorted for them? Until now, the industry has not come up with a solution that gives satisfying answers to these questions. REMEDIS conclusively solves all three problems and is on its way to being the first secure pill dispenser on the market. We focus on creating a reliable product for those who cannot rely on managing their medication intake on their own. Our goal with this project is to develop a prototype and prepare for commercialisation. We are using these two years to put the most value into our product for our users.

Principal Investigator

Jacques Klein

Project title

Security As A Box (SecuBox)

Host institution

University of Luxembourg (SnT)

FNR committed

250,000 EUR

ABSTRACT

Security by design is now commonly accepted by practitioners and software engineers to design products that are foundationally secure. However, most of the companies do not have the money, nor the expertise, nor the time to invest in software cybersecurity testing. Furthermore, reviewing source code during continuous development is also essential, yet humans cannot realistically review thousands of lines of code, nor artificially propagate data across tens or even hundreds of function calls. Consequently, if small companies do not include security processes for their digital assets, it can be devastating for their business. Recently, our research group proposed several approaches that cope with most of the aforementioned limitations for companies. Indeed, as a software engineering research group, we propose automated solutions to detect and fix program properties that allow companies to save money, time, and human expertise. Besides, due to the automated nature of our prototypes, the problem of scaling to large codebases is mitigated. We propose SecuBox, an affordable automated software security testing system-as-a-service that embeds both existing work and numerous of our own research prototypes. Our solution SecuBox can be relied upon during the development process, and post-production. SecuBox will allow: (1) development companies to deliver secure code to clients; (2) companies that receive code from providers to ensure code liability; (3) companies to regularly perform security tests on their systems; and (4) pentesters to accelerate manual code reviews.

Principal Investigator

Patrick Philipp

Project title

Modular Processing And Visualisation Software For Hyperspectral Microscopy Data (PROVIS)

Host institution

Luxembourg Institute of Science & Technology (LIST)

FNR committed

250,000 EUR

ABSTRACT

The development of nanotechnologies requires an accurate characterisation of devices and materials at the nanoscale to determine their composition, structure and properties. Examples include the changes in batterie materials during cycling and the characterisation of solar cells to link chemical composition to solar cell yield. Furthermore, nanoparticles are used for drug delivery, cosmetics, etc., i.e. in areas where their application might affect human health and the environment. Hence, localising and characterising them in biological tissue is another societal challenge. Such material characterisation requires analytical tools that combine good lateral resolution with excellent sensitivity. In this context, a compact mass spectrometer has been developed at LIST as an add-on tool for the Zeiss ORION NanoFab, the Thermo Fisher DualBeam and ZeroK LoTIS systems. On the NanoFab it allows for an unprecedented lateral resolution of 10 nm for secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). Yet, no technique can provide all information required for the full characterisation of materials. Several analytical tools need to be combined using correlative methods. Advances in nanotechnologies rely increasingly on such correlative methods and the fast processing and visualisation of large datasets. The PROVIS project will deal with the development of a software prototype that can tackle these challenges and the corresponding business case. Most important aspects are data automation, data clustering and data comparison.

Principal Investigator

Stéphane Cortina

Project title

Data Protection Capability Determination (DAPROCADE)

Host institution

Luxembourg Institute of Science & Technology (LIST)

FNR committed

73,244 EUR

ABSTRACT

DAPROCADE is a Data Protection Governance solution allowing to monitor, improve and demonstrate the extent to which the measures implemented to protect the personal data are appropriate and effective.

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