Access to Funding
A sustainable cooperation between Delft Imaging Systems and Radboudumc
Experiences and lessons learned of an SME on Top Sector funding
Are you an SME working in the life sciences and health sector? Do you work together with an academic partner and are you looking for R&D funding opportunities? The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Allowance might be the way to go! We interviewed Frank Vijn, Director of LSH projects at Delft Imaging Systems, on his development as SME and how his company made use of the PPP Allowance.
Worldwide, about 9 million people are infected each year by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB). Approximately 1.5 million people die of the causes of TB. It is highly contagious and so early detection and treatment of TB is the key to reducing disease's burden. The company Delft Imaging Systems, started in 2004, is dedicated to improving people's quality of life around the world by means of its systems, software and services. Their products and services include Computer Aided Detection of TB (CAD4TB), which is user-friendly software that can read chest X-rays and then automatically indicate the likelihood of a TB infection.
Delft Imaging Systems has a close and longstanding collaboration with the Radboud University Medical Center (Radboudumc). In 2013, they jointly made use of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Allowance of the Top Sector LSH. The project was successfully completed at the end of 2015. Frank Vijn notes that the allowance contributed to an acceleration of their project. The financial support of the Top Sector LSH helped them to realise the aims of the project faster: a diagnostic decision expert system for rapid screening of TB subjects. “The time and effort invested in applying for the PPP Allowance of a project really fits the worthy outcome,” according to Vijn. “Since SMEs are short on time, an application process should be time and cost effective.” Vijn also advises SMEs not to be afraid for such processes; his experiences have taught him that organisations like the Top Sector or the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) are willing to help.
“The time and efforts invested in applying for the PPP Allowance of a project really fits the worthy outcome,” according to Vijn. “Since SMEs are short on time, an application process should be time and cost effective.”
Currently, Delft Imaging Systems provides software systems in 20 countries worldwide, including the latest additions Pakistan and South Africa. Their collaboration with the Radboudumc will continue in the future. With a recent NWO-TTW grant they will investigate if their products are applicable for a wider range of diseases.