Innovation Boosters:

Book your Innovation Booster

After two successful Innovation Booster series in 2022, we wish to keep the energy going towards new collaborations and innovations in health technology. Therefore, HTRIC is organising a new series of Innovation Boosters. In 2023, Thursday afternoons will be all about the Innovation Boosters. The same concept but even better! You are welcome to join the Boosters at the Innovation Center Chemistry & Engineering (Blauwborgje 31, 9747 AW Groningen). 

Keep an eye on our website and socials, or sign up for our newsletter if you want to be the first to know about the subjects of the Innovation Boosters.

Curious about the past Innovation Boosters? Check out the previous programme right here. Or listen to our podcast, one from each Innovation Booster!

Together with:


Topic: METc (=Medisch Ethische Toetsingscommissie UMCG)   

(Medisch Ethische Toetsingscommissie UMCG)

Research falling under the Medical Device Regulation (MDR) and/or ‘Medical Research Involving Human Subjects Act’ (WMO) must be reviewed beforehand by an independent committee of experts: the ‘Medical Research Ethics Committee’ (MREC or METc). Without an approval from this committee, the research may not start. The purpose of the review is to safeguard the rights, safety and welfare of the test subjects participating in this research. Therefore, the METc plays an essential role if you want to do a research study involving human subjects and test products for clinical applications.

Do you know when you need to consult a ‘Medical Research Ethics Commitee’?

Have you submitted a proposal to them in the past?

Any specific question regarding a project you are working on?

No matter if you replied yes or no to these questions: we are pretty sure you can learn something new also this time and have an interactive discussion at the first IB of 2023.


Joke Ummels: Research ethics officer – Medical Ethics Review Board – (ambtelijk secretaries) METc at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) 

Jelmer Sjollema: assistant professor and principal investigator at the UMCG. He is also the Director of the Master Programme Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering (RUG) and Member of the medical ethics review committee (METC) at the UMCG, where he is giving specific advice on the use of clinical products. 


Jan Willem Veldsink, Program Lead Business Development Innovation Institute at the UMCG 

Explore the latest developments in mental disorders during our upcoming Innovation Booster on 16 February.
We will dive into natural language processing and machine learning in psychiatry with Iris Sommer & Alban Voppel. Learn about the impact of mental health disorders on patients and society, and discover new ways to personalize mental health care with the web-based e-health tool PETRA hosted by Harriette Riese. And we will discuss the role of repetitive negative thinking and how it can be objectively tracked by machine-learning-augmented measurements together with Marlijn Besten.

Topic: Mental disorders 

Speakers: Alban Voppel (1), Harriëtte Riese (2), Marlijn Besten (3) 


  1. Alban Voppel: Mental health disorders have a large impact on patients and society. A majority of these disorders have unique language characteristics, from incoherence to more monotonous speech. In this presentation, I will present recent research from the UMCG using natural language processing and machine learning in psychiatry, with a focus on psychosis. 
  2. PETRA is a web-based e-health tool for personalized diaries in mental health care ( The personalized diaries are based on scientific studies on the experience sampling method (ESM) or ecological momentary assessment (EMA). PETRA is integrated in the personal health record systems of several mental health care institutes. PETRA facilitates clinicians and patients to co-create a personalized diary and visualizes the gathered data in a clinically relevant way. 
  3. Repetitive negative thinking has been associated with a high risk to develop and maintain Major Depressive Disorder. With our recent work at the UMCG and RUG we examine how rumination plays a role in the vulnerability for depression and how rumination can be objectively tracked by machine-learning-augmented measurements.

Topic: Boosting your drug delivery

Subtitle: Platform technologies for nanomedicine and dosage form development in the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP).  

In this innovation booster we will illustrate the technologies and expertise available in our institute, which could boost and support the development of nanomedicines, targeted drugs and dosage forms.

Six short pitches from GRIP researchers will illustrate the available technologies and expertise. After the pitches, there will be plenty of time for networking and the speakers can be approached individually for further questions.

Speakers: Wouter Hinrichs (1), Klaas Poelstra (2), Anna Salvati (3), Christoffer Åberg (4), Peter Olinga (5), Erik Frijlink (6) 

1) Wouter Hinrichs: in this pitch we will illustrate the available technologies and expertise for the stabilization of biopharmaceuticals by sugar glass technology and the development of solid dosage forms, such as powders for inhalation, tablets for oral administration and microneedles for transdermal administration among others. 

2) Klaas Poelstra: this pitch will present the available expertise for the design of targeted drugs, i.e., for the identification of key target receptors in diseased tissue and the design and testing of receptor-recognizing peptides that can be used to target them. 

3) Anna Salvatihere we will present the expertise and methods available for the characterization of nanomedicines once applied in biological fluids (stability, and nanomedicine corona) and nanomedicine interactions with targeted/non targeted cells (interaction with receptors, mechanism of uptake and eventual impact on cell functions). 

4) Christoffer Åbergthis pitch will illustrate methods to quantify cell uptake of drugs/nanomedicines (in terms of absolute numbers), determine their intracellular distribution using microscopy and kinetic modelling of nanomedicine distribution. 

5) Peter Olinga: in this pitch we will present our platform of ex vivo human models of different organs and diseases which can be used to test nanomedicines, targeted drugs and other drug formulations and ensure they are effective and non-toxic. 

6) Erik FrijlinkCollaborations with different research groups at the Groningen research institute of Pharmacy are an excellent way for companies or research institutes to develop their active pharmaceutical ingredient into an advanced dosage form. This pitch will illustrate different contract forms which have been used within GRIP to establish such research collaborations. Different ways on how IP contracts can be set up will be presented. A few examples from past projects will be presented.  

In this Innovation Booster, we will talk about every aspect of Theranostics and Imaging. Four scientific speakers will tell about Molecular imaging, a type of medical imaging that provides detailed pictures of what is happening inside the body on molecular and cellular level. By labeling any compound of interest (e.g., antibody or protein) with a fluorescent dye or a radionuclide, information on bodily functions, diseases (diagnosis) and potential efficacy of novel drugs can be obtained. These imaging agents are called tracers.

The field of molecular imaging is rapidly evolving: AI is changing the way nuclear medicine images are read and “Theranostic” approaches, where treatments and imaging are combined, are emerging. In this innovation Booster, you will be informed about the latest regional developments in Theranostics and (Molecular) Imaging, various experts will cover different topics such as AI, theranostics in oncology and infection diseases.

Speakers1. Prof. Dr. Philip Elsinga 

Professor in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) radiochemistry at the University of Groningen and University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)

He will present novel theranostics approaches for medical imaging (diagnostics) and radionuclide therapy. An overview will be given on available and new radionuclides, currently used radio theranostics and novel approaches including radio theranostic pairs and nanoparticles.

2. Prof. Dr. Jan Maarten van Dijl 

Founder and advisor Sabiad BV – Professor of Medical Microbiology at the University of Groningen and the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) 

One of the most notorious causative agents of knee and hip implant infections are Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant variants known as MRSA. This bacterium can colonize implants and then form a so-called biofilm that is virtually impossible to combat once it is fully grown. It is therefore important to detect and eliminate the emerging biofilm early. A problem in the early detection of S. aureus biofilms is that current microbiological diagnostics are rather slow and that the symptoms of emerging implant infection are at first sight indistinguishable from sterile inflammation. With help of a monoclonal antibody, linked to fluorescent dyes or radioactive atoms, emerging infections can be visualized without performing an invasive biopsy or surgical procedure.

These so-called tracers can show the surgeon the specific site of an infection during an operative implant revision. In addition to normal dyes, we can also attach activatable dyes to the antibody. With such tracers we can not only localize the infection but also fight it. These Theranostic principles have so far been preclinically investigated in my research group and it is Sabiad’s ambition to bring tracers for Imaging and Theranostics of infections to the clinic in order to achieve better/faster treatment of patients.

3. MD/PhD Rudolf Fehrmann & MD/PhD Derk Jan de Groot

Medical oncologists at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)

AI & Theranostics in oncology. With molecular imaging, we aim to improve the selection of patients that will benefit from targeted cancer medicines and to support drug development. 

What are the last trends and new ideas coming from research, technology and business related to cancer treatment? In this booster, we are getting some updates from the clinics and other innovative approaches to improve the patients’ life.  

Hope to see you for the last innovation booster before the summer break.  

Please consider this event will be on Friday morning (10-12), followed by lunch! 


Bart Cornelissen 

Associate professor in Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)  


Marije van Dijk – AI on radiotherapy (UMCG) 

Time to innovate 

Treatment plans for daily clinical practice are created manually and are becoming more advanced and precise with the advent of new (proton) radiation therapy techniques. Furthermore, it also takes more time to create these advanced treatment plans. In addition, research and innovation to reduce side effects in irradiated patients also takes a lot of time. How do we keep up? Therefore, we developed and implemented a deep learning based automated treatment planning method with multidisciplinary efforts.


Hoang Nguyen from Protyon  

From research to startup  

Last year I made the transition to go from investment manager to co-founder of a startup called Protyon (spin-off RUG/UMCG).  

At Protyon, we use protein structures to help oncologists make the best choice of medications for cancer patients; extending life expectancy and lowering treatment costs. Our vision is of a world in which all patient treatment conversations include a molecular visualization of the disease, empowering the clinical decision-making process to choose the best available therapy for the individual.  

Protyon has co-created a digital solution with oncologists at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG-MTB). We use anonymized patient data to generate a model of their cancer-driving proteins and apply our algorithms to rapidly assess which drug would be of most benefit for each individual. This approach has led to significant improvements in patient lives and has become an integral part of the work of the UMCG-MTB, directly impacting patients undergoing treatment today.  

During the presentation I will go a bit deeper in how to find investors and share my knowledge and experiences on investments with you.  

More content will be available soon.

More content will be available soon.

More content will be available soon.

More content will be available soon.

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