In 2001 virologists in Rotterdam, The Netherlands discovered a new virus that causes serious respiratory illnesses mainly in young children. The discovery was the beginning of a successful company that enabled the development and production of a range of diagnostic products. This led to substantial job creation and made a positive contribution to public health.
When scientists from the Belgian Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) met technology transfer professionals, they could not foresee how only a couple of years later they would be heading a firm developing and selling a full range of microscopes based on digital holography. The basic technology was developed at the university, the applications by the spin-off company Ovizio.
For decades, research teams have been looking for ways to treat cancer. A pioneer in this field, Professor Axel Ullrich, developed Sutent, a drug that prolongs the lives of cancer patients by blocking the blood supply to the tumour. This drug originated in the laboratories of the Max Planck Institute and has become a blockbuster for Pfizer Oncology.
Many people know that broccoli is a healthy vegetable. Thanks to British scientists, a healthier variety of broccoli is available in the the United Kingdom and the United States. This broccoli contains up to three times more of the nutrient glucoraphanin than normal broccoli. Scientific studies indicate that this nutrient may offer protection against cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Cochlear implants greatly improve the quality of life for severely hearing-impaired people. However, understanding speech in noisy conditions remains a challenge. Scientists from the University of Leuven in Belgium and market leader Cochlear are developing software that improves signal processing in cochlear implants, enabling better speech recognition.
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