Innovation boosters

The Innovation Booster Series

Since we are all eager to connect with each other face-to-face and keep the energy going towards new innovations in health technology, HTRIC is organising a series of innovation boosters. These will be 2-hour meetings (plus lunch or drinks), aimed at networking, sharing knowledge and exchanging ideas with fellow MedTech experts and professionals.

The innovation booster sessions will be at the HTRIC headquarters; each with a unique health technology related theme. Sessions will start with a presentation by the main speaker(s), followed by group discussions.

This first two series of Innovation Boosters has turned out to be quite a success. To see what we have talked about, check out the schedule below. Really curious? Then check out the podcasts we have made of each Innovation Booster!


Made possible by:

Autumn | 2022

The path to success: funding opportunities and start-up support

Although you might have a great idea, it’s sometimes difficult to find funding and support opportunities, right? Why not ask some experts how THEY can support you and how YOU can find them? Lisan Assen and Deepak Veeregowda can help you navigate your way. Moreover, what happens after you get funding? One possible outcome could be funding a start-up, so we invited two founders to speak about their success story.

SpeakersLisan Assen – Project Manager at UMCG Research BVDeepak H. Veeregowda – Innovation Consultant at RuG Ventures and Global Head at Ducom InstrumentsReinier Hakvoort & David de Jong  – Co-founders of DA-RE Health Innovation en ARNA.


  1. Subsidy Opportunities – This presentation will provide you with insight into financing options for your project. The focus will be on research and business funding opportunities for all TRL levels. So if you are interested in finding good funding opportunities for your Medtech project, you should join this innovation booster. There will also be ample opportunity to ask questions and discuss your project.
  2. Capabilities of VentureLab en RuG Ventures to support ideators – Understanding why startups fail is an important learning towards successful entrepreneurship. In this regard, how to be critical about product-market fit and customer journey mapping, and how to capture this in your marketing and sales strategy to achieve your targeted revenue.
  3. DA-RE Health Innovation & ARNA – You’ve got a brilliant idea and have already read all the books about start-ups, but what’s next? Reinier Hakvoort and David de Jong from DA-RE Health Innovation will take you on their journey about how they started innovating as employees within an existing healthcare organisation. They will tell you how they became successful entrepreneurs despite working in the shadow of a flourishing organisation. Learn from their mistakes and obtain practical tips to ensure you can begin your start-up journey fully motivated.

Speak from experience: New start-up companies on health technology 

In the first innovation booster, we introduced one start-up, but luckily there are more success stories around us! For this booster, we invited Romana Schirhagl, Patrick van Rijn and Alessandro Grillini to talk about their experience from academia to becoming founder/co-founder of a start-up on Medtech. What are the hurdles, and what can be improved? What worked well?

As usual, there will be plenty of time for networking and asking questions to them!

Speakers: (1) Romana Schirhagl – Founder of Diamond Visions, (2) Patrick van Rijn – CSO & Founder of BiomACS, (3) Alessandro Grillini – Founder & Managing Director of Reperio B.V.


  1. Diamond Visions – In this presentation, I will introduce our new startup company, Diamond Visions. I will further share how Diamond Visions emerged from my research group, what hurdles we have faced so far, how we dealt with them and what diamond visions we have for the future.
  2. BiomACS – How do you get from a research idea to a company utilizing the outcomes of results coming out of that research? In this presentation, I will discuss how a fundamental research question led to a new technology on which BiomACS B.V. is founded.
  3. Reperio – I will tell about my experience as a solo-founder of Reperio and the journey of translating scientific research into a viable business. In my presentation, I will share challenges, tips & tricks, and some reality checks on what it means to transition from academia into a full-time startup owner.


Within the field of rehabilitation, many technological innovations, both high-tech and low-tech, appear in literature, online and at fairs. Some of these become successful commercially and clinically; other innovations remain within the field of research or disappear entirely. In this Innovation booster, we will present examples of arm rehabilitation and wheelchairs and put them in perspective.

ModeratorJuha Hijmans – Associate Professor at the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

Speakers: prof. Corry van der SluisSamantha RozevinkRiemer Vegter & Jasper den Boer.


  • Upper-limb rehab:


1) Prof. Corry van der Sluis MD PhD – Rehabilitation physician, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine (UMCG)

The usage of technological advancements by the end-user is challenging. Only if technology provides more advantages than disadvantages to the end-user, the technology will indeed be used. We investigated the use of a non-actuated robotic device to improve the upper limb function of stroke survivors, who trained in their home situation. Furthermore, we analyzed the (cost)effectiveness of multi-grip prosthesis hands in comparison to mono-grip prosthesis hands. In both research projects the technological advancements did not or only partially live up to their promises, which has implications for the end-user and for the designers/engineers. In this presentation the pros and cons of this new technology will be revealed in the light of bridging the gap between the technology and the end-user. 

Teaser: Technological advancements do not always live up to their promises.


2) Samantha Rozevink – PhD student, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine (UMCG)

After a stroke, patients often need a lot of training to improve the upper limb function. In this project we provided patients with a training device to train the upper limb function at home using telerehabilitation. In my presentation I will tell more about the barriers and facilitators that we encountered during this project, especially with the device, telerehabilitation, and the perks and difficulties of home training.


  • Wheelchairs:


Crossing the TRL valley of death; better together

1) Dr. Riemer JK Vegter – Assistant Professor Department of Human Movement Sciences (UMCG) 

As scientists we feel we have innovative ideas daily. Most never leave our heads. Some become prototypes. Few become in-house manufactured research tools. Finally, every now and then one might transcend our lab, because it fits with our view on the future of rehabilitation. With the wheelchair ergometer we foresaw a chance to give feedback on manual wheeled mobility as part of regular clinical practice and sport-science support. Backed by an abundance of scientific wheeling literature and an international network open to collaboration. In other words, a good start to begin pushing, mostly by the particularly broad shoulders of Prof Lucas van der Woude. Lode Holding was found open to the challenge and we successfully acquired funding through Sprint and SNN, which was a challenge by itself that failed at multiple occasions. Together we went from prototype to scientifically validated marketable product. Over more than 10 years of collaboration have taught us a lot about each other, different perspectives, societal challenges and becoming a team. Currently the ergometer is for sale as a research tool, finalizing the MDR and final TRL levels towards the rehab center is ongoing, just like our collaboration!

Teaser: True partnership and mutual understanding is key to success


Innovative medical technology and end-users, from a business perspective

2) Jasper den Boer – Senior business developer, Lode Holding.

LodeHolding wants people to move in the best possible way, so they can become more healthy, more vital, stronger, better in sports, live more independent, and eventually live happier lives. For all kind of medical applications we develop devices and software that facilitate human movement. All our latest innovations originate in science. There are a lot of steps necessary before an innovation can become part of a successful positive business case. In many innovative projects there is an ambition to reach a marketable, CE certified product, with diagnostic capabilities, easy to use for a patient, sometimes in a home environment, at the end of the project. It is good to have this ambition but it is not very likely it will be reached during the firsts innovative attempts. Sometimes other directions are needed. Place the envisioned product at a point on the horizon, and try to define a roadmap with (minimum viable) products in between that can be reached. Maybe there are other end-users that also can use the product and where you can build a first positive business case.

Teaser: Dare to sidetrack

This Innovation Booster will be postponed to 2023.

*Please note that this session will be at Grandcafé 2Jongens uit Groningen (Damsterdiep 2, 97111 SX Groningen).

The Personalised Implants ecosystem aims to optimize the implant production chain to deliver personalized solutions in a shorter time, with improved infection-resistant properties and increased functionality. The ecosystem includes several regional manufacturers and R&D companies, such as Witec Fijnmechanische Techniek, Polyvation, Bether Encapsulates, VDL WIentjes, Smart Polymers, Innovizie, Elbo Technics, Biomacs, EV Biotech en H&P Moulding. Additionally, research and clinical expertise are brought in by the UMCG clinical departments of the 3DLab, the Oral and Maxillofacial Department and Traumasurgery along with Biomedical Engineering, Pathology and Medical Biology and the Biofabrication group of the RUG ZIAM institute. 

In the first part of the innovation booster, you will hear about developments and the challenges of the five innovation projects that are subsidized by the program. An open discussion will follow on how effective the ecosystem construction is, what are the challenges and the gaps that were identified and how to continue after the funding ends in 2023

Moderator: Elena Merlo – Project Manager Personalised Implants Ecosystem, UMCG Innovation Center

Speakers & presentations:

The ecosystem was made possible by the European Regional Development Fund (EFRO), which is coordinated in the North by SNN, with co-financing from the Municipality of Groningen, Province Groningen, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. For more information about the PI-Ecosystem, please visit Home – PI (

Responsible development and implementation of AI:

What are the issues, what is already in place, and what needs to be done?

Health technology innovation, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) development, is moving at a fast pace and with high expectations. It offers good opportunities to contribute to high-quality and affordable healthcare, but also raises many questions. In order to promote responsible development and implementation of AI, several ELSA (Ethical, Legal and Societal Aspects) labs are being set up in the Netherlands, in which researchers, societal partners, companies, citizens and patients work together.

In this business booster, we will explain how the ELSA lab Northern Netherlands (ELSA-NN) aims to contribute to responsible development and implementation of AI in health-care. Three ELSA-NN consortium partners will pitch how they are confronted with and handle Ethical, Legal, and Societal Aspects and what their questions and needs are in realizing responsible development and implementation of AI. With these introductions and discussion with the audience, we expected to receive an overview of the Ethical, Legal and Societal Aspects at stake, what is already in place and what needs to be done to realize the responsible implementation of AI.


Prof. dr. Claudine JC Lamoth – Professor of Movement Analysis, Smart Technology in Healthy Ageing at the University Medical Center Groningen, dep. of Human Movement Sciences (RUG) & General scientific director research center SPRINT

Mirjam Plantinga – Senior researcher and project leader at ELSA AI lab Northern Netherlands (ELSA-NN)


Speakers & Presentations:

  1. Ethical, Legal and Societal Aspects (ELSA) of AI: Responsible development and implementation – Mirjam Plantinga, senior researcher and project leader at ELSA AI lab Northern Netherlands (ELSA-NN) 
  2. Implementing AI algorithms in healthcare: How to overcome remaining challenges? – Rick Pleijhuis, internist-allergologist/immunologist at University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), Co-founder and Chief medical officer of Evidencio 
  3. Data-ethics in the municipality – Nephtis Brandsma, Chief Data Officer at the Gemeente Groningen
  4. Neolook Early Moves – Marco D’AgataManaging Director at Neolook Solutions

Spring | 2022

Innovation Booster on ‘Safe by Design’ of medical products

Have you ever wondered how medical products are designed/planned so they can be safely applied in patient care? Do you want to learn how companies and researchers make use of safe by design for the development of medical products or patient care? To find out the answers to these and other questions, join us on March 4th for the very first HTRIC Innovation Booster with amazing speakers from companies and researchers discussing how safe by design is applied in their businesses/research for medical product development or patient care. 


  • 11.00 – 11.10 a.m. – Introduction 
    •  Hélder & Jeroen
  • 11.10 – 11.30 a.m. – RIVM
    • Jaco Westra, strategic advisor
  • 11.30 – 11.50 a.m. – Ivy Medical
    • Melcher Frankema, CEO
  • 11.50 – 12.10 a.m. – 3D Lab
    • Max Witjes, Professor of Head & Neck Oncology, UMCG
    • Joep Kraeima, Technical Physician Specialist dpt. Oral and Maxillofacial, UMCG
  • 12.10 – 12.40 – ‘Round table’
    • Discussion between presenters and audience
  • 12.40 a.m. – 1.00 p.m. – Announcement 
    • The very first 4 PhD HTRIC project winners are announced, including short presentations of the selected projects
  • 1.00 – 2.00 p.m. – Lunch
    • Including networking

Sensing and monitoring: innovations transforming healthcare at hospitals and home

Could wearable sensor technology innovations be the new standard of human movement monitoring at home and hospitals? Could wearable sensor technology assist a healthy lifestyle at work and home? Could Biomedical sensors and devices automate measurements at hospitals, reduce nurse workload and improve home care? Join our innovation booster series which discusses these questions through a series of talks, pitches and group discussions by scientists and entrepreneurs.



  • 11.00 a.m. – Opening
    • Healthy lifestyles supported by smart monitoring sensors – prof. dr. Claudine Lamoth
    • Wearable electronic sensors for monitoring physical function and movements – dr. Ajay Kottapalli
  • Theme: Movement and physical funtion: sensing and monitoring
    • SMOVE project – Natasha Maurits
    • Smart Implants – Charissa Roossien
    • Healthy worker and sensor monitoring – Elisabeth Wilhelm
    • Start-up pitch – Behesta Doestzada
  • 12.05 – 12.15 a.m. – break
  • Theme: Biomedical devices and clinical sensors
    • Optimising shoe parameters based on advanced biomechanical gait analysis – Juha Hijmans, UMCG
    • Integration of Urinary sodium and flow in daily practice – Acute Heart Failure – Kevin Damman (Cardiologist), UMCG, (virtual)
    • Start-up pitch “Biomedical flow management in hospital and home care” – Amar Kamat (Sencilia B.V.)
    • Introduction to case study break-out sessions (3 teams)
  • 1.10 – 1.30 p.m. – Discussion of break-out sessions
    • Team representative will present their vision 
  • 1.30 – 2.30 p.m. – Lunch and networking 

Stepping into the future with a new generation of bionic legs

In The Netherlands, more than 3000 individuals are annually confronted with lower-limb amputation, mainly as the consequence of peripheral vascular disease or diabetes and, to a lesser extent, as a consequence of trauma or cancer. Lower-limb amputation has large impact on the patients’ mobility, participation, and quality of life.

In the innovation booster on Artificial Limbs, we want to discuss the patients’ needs, the current clinical challenges and engineering solutions, and we want to share our outlook to the future.

If you are a lower-limb amputee, OR if you want to contribute as a scientists/clinician/orthopedics expert, OR you are simply curious about it, join our innovation booster: “Stepping into the future with a new generation of bionic legs”.
See you there!


  • 11.00 a.m. – Opening
    • prof. dr. Raffaella Carloni, prof. dr. Han Houdijk & dr. Aline H. Vrieling
  • 11.05 a.m. – Lower limb amputation and rehabilitation
    • Charlotte E. Bosman, UMCG
  • 11.20 a.m. – Muscoloskeletal mechanics and energetics in people with lower-limb amputation
    • prof. dr. Han Houdijk, UMCG
  • 11.35 a.m. – Mechatronic development of lower-limb prostheses
    • prof. dr. Raffaella Carloni, RUG/FSE
  • 11.50 a.m. – Prosthetic alignment
    • Niels Jonkergouw, UMCG
  • 12.05 a.m. –  Orthopedic assistive technology
    • Jeroen Olsman, OIM Orthopedie
  • 12.20 a.m. – State-of-the-art of lower limb prostheses
    • Mr. Peter Slijkhuis, Össur
  • 12.40 a.m. – Discussion and closing
    • prof. dr. Raffaella Carloni, prof. dr. Han Houdijk & dr. Aline H. Vrieling
  • 1.00 p.m. – 1.30 p.m. – Lunch 

Great idea! Now what?

You have a great life science or medtech idea. How do you proceed?

Is there a need and a market for your invention?

IP-protection, patenting, not your cup of tea. Who can help?

Strategy advice, more research and funding. Where do you start?

Contract and licensing negotiations, legal issues. Who to turn to?


These and other questions will be addressed interactively in this Innovation Booster; please sign up if you want to discuss these and your own questions with people who know. 

Need a preview? Check en

Speakers: Herman Groen & Maarten van Roosmalen (Business Generator Groningen); Nutte van Belzen (CC Diagnostics)

*Please note that the language of this Innovation Booster is Dutch.


Commerciële apps en wearables in de gezondheidszorg en het omgaan met persoonsgegevens en privacy, waar wringt de schoen?

Op dinsdag 29 maart 2022 organiseert de Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid, sectie IT-recht, in samenwerking met dHealth, PCH Ecosysteem en DASH een HTRIC Innovation Booster over het gebruik van commerciële apps en wearables in de gezondheidszorg. Aanleiding is de promotie van Trix Mulder op maandag 28 maart as, op haar proefschrift ‘The role of law in protecting personal data generated by health apps and wearables’. Het event start om 10:00 en duurt tot 12:30 met aansluitend een netwerklunch.

In de gezondheidszorg wordt vaak gebruik gemaakt van apps en wearables, en doordat het niet uit kan om deze zelf te ontwikkelen wordt vaak van commerciële IT-middelen gebruik gemaakt. Inmiddels zijn er in de commerciële appstores meer dan 320.000 gezondheids- of wellnessapps te vinden. Hierdoor komt een toenemende hoeveelheid data van burgers en patiënten in het domein van commerciële bedrijven. Daarbij ontstaan er silos van data die onbenut blijven, en is er een gebrek aan overzicht welke data impact kunnen hebben. Dat leidt tot de vraag hoe met het gebruik van deze apps de privacy en het medisch beroepsgeheim gewaarborgd blijven?

Sprekers line-up:

Dagvoorzitter Aline Klingenberg

Trix Mulder – over haar onderzoek

Theo Hooghiemstra – over tegenmacht voor mensen die commerciële apps en wearables in de gezondheidszorg willen gebruiken

Jaap-Henk Hoepman – Privacy Preserving Techniques. Op verantwoorde wijze combineren van verspreide onderzoeksdata

Michelle Luxwolda – de ontwikkeling van Sleep in Sync, en het perspectief vanuit praktijk

The North to become a European Centre of Excellence for Nuclear Life Science

In this innovation Booster we invite you to discuss the future of medical isotopes in the North. Both from fabrication and application perspective. What do you think is needed? What would you like to contribute. Let’s think big and put some common goals! (read more)

Speakers: Harrie Buurlage (SHINE Medical – Director Europe); Prof. Sytze Brandenburg (UMCG – Professor in Accelerator Physics); dr. Walter Noordzij (UMCG, Nuclear Medicine)

A dream:

Every year, more than 1 million people in Europe die of cancer. Ursula von der Leyen – president of the EC – “the fight of those battling cancer is our fight as well”. The EC its ‘Beating Cancer Plan’ focuses on  the prevention, treatment and care of cancer. It includes all phases of cancer-development, from prevention to the quality of life of cancer patients and people who have survived cancer.

The Northern Netherlands can and wants to share an essential contribution to the battle against cancer, and in doing so, becoming a recognizable part of this Europe Beating Cancer Plan. The collaboration with the University of Groningen, the Universities of Applied Sciences, the Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen and SHINE Veendam dreams about becoming a European-acknowledged center of knowledge, innovation and production for nuclear medicine – for all Europeans and far beyond.

How do we further shape this dream on April 8th?


Nuclear medicine and the EC Beating Cancer Plan

New technologies, research and development are the starting point of the EC Beating Cancer Plan. An essential part of the plan is doing more and making better diagnoses. Nuclear diagnoses, as well as nuclear treatments, are recurring elements in the life of a cancer patient. The EC has completely acknowledged the worth of nuclear applications and has made this part of the EC Beating Cancer Plan under the name SAMIRA Action Plan. SAMIRA stands for ‘Strategic Agenda for Medical Ionising Radiation Applications’. The SAMIRA plan guarantees access for European civilians to nuclear medical applications of high quality. The supply security of medical radio-isotopes is one of the goals of this SAMIRA plan. (A medical isotope is the radioactive part of a nuclear medicine).

Innovation Booster

One of the goals of the SAMIRA plan is the organizing of a European platform for Radio-isotopes. This platform, called European Radioisotopes Valley Initiative (EVRI), will take care of maintaining the European leadership position in the supply of medical radio-isotopes. The EVRI will also take care of the acceleration of development for new radio-isotopes and production methods.

The goal of the innovation booster of April 8th is a first exploration into the possible initiatives in which the RUG, the Universities of Applied Sciences, UMCG and SHINE can collaborate to support the SAMIRA plan and the ERVI initiative. These are initiatives that – just as was meant under the EC Beating Cancer Plan – take into account all phases of cancer development, from prevention to the quality of life for cancer patients and people that have survived cancer.

Games have proven to provide attractive applications in many healthcare areas. Examples can be found e.g. in training games, diagnosing aids and behaviour changes. However, to launch a successful game in the health-care environment, many challenges need to be overcome:  a serious approach is required from the start of the game development!

On the 29th of April, NHL Stenden university will host a HTRIC Innovation Booster to provide insights into the complex development process of Games for Health. By using a practical case as an example we will illustrate the steps we take from the exploration of the issue to the design and evaluation of the implementation. By joining this HTRIC Innovation Booster you will experience yourself how the game design process has changed by co-creation with the audience involved.

If you ever thought about developing games for healthcare applications, or work as a healthcare professional and are looking how a serious game can help boosting your daily professional work, then this HTRIC Innovation Booster is for you. Don’t miss out!

When: April 29 2022, from 11.00 a.m. until 1.30 p.m. Lunch included!

Where: HTRIC building, Blauwborgje 31, Zernike Campus, Groningen

MDR and the translation of medical devices to the clinic

…Finally, you are convinced that your innovative product is ready. After months of testing, adapting and asking feedback, you’re about to try your product  first time in human or, after having successfully conducted human trials launch your product to the market. Then you are confronted with the hurdle of passing the METC or legislatory bodies and you need to provide data you never thought. Moreover, this is the first time you notice the full impact of some vague term from the past: MDR! It sets you back months and, considering all unexpected costs mounting at your expense, it puts the whole launch at a business risk”. If you recognize or fear such a situation, this booster is definitely for you! On May 13, experts in the field of Medical Device Regulation or the  Medical Ethical Review Committee as well as business people who experienced what MDR can do to your business share their experiences and recommendations. This HTRIC MDR Booster aims to make you aware of the MDR regulatory issues and how to turn this in a competitive advantage for your business. 


During this booster, Jelmer Sjollema (UMCG, Biomedical Engineering, member METC) will first introduce the background of the MDR,  what does it mean, who should adhere, when? Ilona Brouwers (UMCG Innovation Centre) shares her experiences with in-house developed devices and use within the UMCG clinical environment. Gerrit Baarda (ZIUZ) and Rutger Flink (Pulmotec) give their view from a company perspective and what MDR means to doing business in the MedTech segment, and also which other hurdles to pass! We close this MDR booster session with a group discussion how HTRIC could help providing a working platform regarding MDR know-how and best-practices.


We are looking forward to welcoming you on the HTRIC booster “MDR: Innovation killer or booster?” on 13 May 2022, from 11 a.m. until 1:30 pm. Lunch is included. Location is the HTRIC venue at Blauwborghje 31, Zernike Campus Groningen. Please register!

AI and Imaging

On Friday 20 May, DASH, together with HTRIC, DHealth and the AI Hub Noord Nederland, will organise an Innovation Booster on AI in Imaging. In this event, the AI Hub will be introduced, Peter van Ooijen will tell more about the Role of AI in Medical Imaging and you will learn more about Federated Learning on Imaging, Synthetic Imaging Data Generation and the ELSA Tool.

11.00 – 11.10 – Introduction AI Hub Noord Nederland

Yvonne Kooi, AI Hub Noord Nederland

11.10 – 11.30 – Role of AI in Medical Imaging

Peter van Ooijen, DASH/UMCG

11.30 – 11.50 – Annotation needed! Annotation lab dHealth

Hendrik Erenstein, Hanze Hogeschool 

11.50 – 12.10 – Federated Learning on Imaging

Simon Dalmolen, TNO

12.10 – 12.40 – Synthetic Imaging Data Generation

Mihai Popescu, former Master student FSE/RUG

12.40 – 13.00 – Discussion and questions

13.00 – 13.30 – Lunch
Including networking

Technology in the Operation Room: How to speed up Bench-to-Bed implementation?


Jean-Paul de Vries

UMCG Chirurgie

Intro to Booster

Cyril Moers

UMCG Chirurgie

The development of an MRI compatible kidney and liver pump

Henri Leuvenink

UMCG Chirurgie

The development of the Groningen Preservation Machine

Leonie Venema


From clinical implementation to next-gen perfusion machines

Jean-Paul / Esther / Jan Willem


Poll & Discussion



Richte Schuurmann

UMCG vaatchirurgie

Non-invasive perfusion measurements

Michael Munker

Photonics Healthcare

COMET device for mitochondrial O2 measurements

Christoff Heunis


Empowering surgeons through magnetic robots.

dr. Rodolfo Reyes-Báez


Peroperative robot decision platform:
digital Twins is the first step

Jean-Paul / Esther / Jan Willem


Poll & Discussion

Jean-Paul / Esther


Closure and Take-home