Case studies

Case studies are summaries of some of the successful R&D projects that have been funded through one of our programmes in recent years. Read about the societal, environmental and commercial impact of these international collaborations.

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HANDINMIND

(Eurostars)

A robotic hand for stroke patients

Stroke victims often experience severe motor disability caused by neural damage when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. A Swedish-Swiss-Dutch partnership delivered a wearable device that helps patients recover dexterity in affected hands and arms. The robotic glove developed under the HANDINMIND project speeds up the retraining of patients’ neural networks. Powered by a battery pack worn around the waist, the glove has sensors embedded in the fabric that relay and transpose finger movements into a visual environment on a computer screen. Patients can play “serious” games specially devised as therapy, such as using targeted finger movements to direct a submarine in an underwater adventure game.

Conventional rehabilitation equipment can be large and expensive, and patients usually have to travel to hospitals to use them. The HANDINMIND glove can be used at home at any time and answers a growing market need for small therapeutic devices.

Project funded by Swedish innovation agency VINNOVA (Sweden), Netherlands innovation agency RVO (Netherlands) and Research and Innovation Switzerland Innosuisse (Switzerland)

  • Hocoma (Switzerland – SME)
  • Roessingh Research and Development (The Netherlands – research organisation)
  • Bioservo Technologies (Sweden – SME and leading role)

Smart Splice SMARTSPLICER™

(Eurostars)

A crystal clear and gravity-defying laser joining system

German partners and a Swedish SME have developed a highly sensitive laser heating, tapering and splicing system that is both robust and versatile. High-precision lasers are used in many manufacturing techniques and SMARTSPLICER™ fulfilled the need for a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly system that doesn’t require additional heat or consumables and needs low maintenance.

SMARTSPLICER™ has a powerful CO2-based heat source and precise optics for splicing (based on Axicon Splicing™ technology) with a configurable software-controlled ring that shapes laser beams to match the width of the optical component being processed. These adjustable parameters result in uniform optical power. When the tool is used vertically (method based on Gravity Splicing™), gravity also helps tapering and lensing operations.

The final product is advanced and unique, and commercialised for delicate glass, photonic- and fibre-related joining and processing jobs e.g. for bulk production of lenses, in medical devices, sensors, telecom fibre-optics and R&D applications.

Funded by BMBF and Vinnova

  • Fraunhofer IOF (Germany - )
  • CeramOptec GmbH (Germany - )
  • Nyfors Teknologi AB (Sweden – SME)

RDT REAG

(Eurostars)

Rapid diagnosis for tick-borne disease

The world’s first rapid test for tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) has been developed by a collaboration between a Finnish SME and university and a Swedish research organisation. Quick treatment of TBE saves lives, but processing test results currently takes days. ReaScan® is a small low-cost diagnosis that can test immediately after infection and give results in 20 minutes. It needs one drop of blood to detect antibodies combatting the pathogen soon after exposure, and it’s accurate even for diseases known to produce false positives. The project also developed two tests for laboratories that can process batches of samples simultaneously.

ReaScan® has no competing devices and project participants have conducted trials to highlight its reliability. Reagena Oy has seen an annual turnover increase of over 20% with 10% of the company’s turnover coming from this product alone. Eureka accelerated the development of these diagnosis products, which are now on sale around Europe.

Funded by Business Finland and Vinnova

  • University of Helsinki (Finland – university)
  • Reagena Oy (Finland – SME)
  • Karoliniska Institutet (Sweden – research organisation)

TEHADP

(Eurostars)

Advanced turbines for clean, reliable tidal energy

Researchers from the UK and Sweden developed efficient turbine blades for exploiting tidal energy. Unlike sunlight or wind, the ocean’s tides are predictable and regular, and therefore represent a vital source of renewable energy that is both clean and dependable. The TEHADP project investigated robust new materials, manufacturing techniques and designs that can withstand the tough conditions in tidal energy plants. The new turbine blades they developed (also known as hydrodynamic absorbers) are reliable and cost-effective and can be “tuned” to different tidal speeds for deployment in different locations.

TEHADP turbine blades have been tested in real-world conditions, in a scaled-up tidal power plant off the Welsh coast and in full-size turbines off the coast of Scotland. Partners unveiled a tidal turbine system that includes the largest and most powerful single-axis turbine available on the commercial market. They are now pursuing opportunities for commercial deployment in the UK, France and several Asian countries.

Project funded by VINNOVA, Swedish innovation agency and Innovate UK

  • Minesto ( Sweden – SME)
  • Atlantis Operations (UK – SME and leading role)