17 November 2017

PSI spin-off GratXray wins Swiss Technology Award 2017

Research Using Synchrotron Light Human Health

A spin-off from PSI has received this year's Swiss Technology Award: The young company GratXray is developing a new method for early diagnosis of breast cancer. The prize was announced and awarded at yesterday's Swiss Innovation Forum.

The Swiss Technology Award is considered Switzerland's most significant technology prize and annually honours the best technological developments and innovations with high market potential in each of three categories: Inventors, Start-ups, and Innovation Leaders. Swiss companies as well as projects that were developed in Switzerland are eligible to compete. The spin-off GratXray received the prize in the Inventors category, in which young Swiss start-ups as well as innnovative business ideas with high market potential can qualify. In a multi-step application procedure, GratXray won out over its competitors.

GratXray is a spin-off of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and ETH Zurich. The firm's co-founders are PSI researcher and ETH Zurich professor Marco Stampanoni and his colleague Zhentian Wang; the managing director is Martin Stauber. GratXray focuses on a new method for early diagnosis of breast cancer: For this purpose the spin-off is developing a computer tomography system that is unique worldwide, which in practice will be pain-free for patients in comparison with conventional mammography and will, through highly precise three-dimensional imaging, enable earlier diagnosis of breast cancer and reduce false diagnoses. Over the next two years, a prototype of a better mammography system is expected to be developed.

The presentation of the major prize took place at yesterday's Swiss Innovation Forum in Basel, with more than 1,000 prominent people from business, science, and politics in attendance. Among the finalists for the Swiss Technology Award was Araris, a PSI spin-off (in formation) founded by Philipp Spycher from PSI's Biology and Chemistry Division on the basis of Spycher's business idea in the area of development and optimisation of drugs for the treatment of cancer.

Text: Paul Scherrer Institute/Stefanie Wiedner

About PSI

The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI develops, builds and operates large, complex research facilities and makes them available to the national and international research community. The institute's own key research priorities are in the fields of matter and materials, energy and environment and human health. PSI is committed to the training of future generations. Therefore about one quarter of our staff are post-docs, post-graduates or apprentices. Altogether PSI employs 2100 people, thus being the largest research institute in Switzerland. The annual budget amounts to approximately CHF 380 million. PSI is part of the ETH Domain, with the other members being the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, ETH Zurich and EPFL Lausanne, as well as Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology), Empa (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology) and WSL (Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research).
(Last updated in May 2017)