Variolytics start-up − IGB scientists receive EXIST funding

Fraunhofer IGB News / August 09, 2019

Under the name "Variolytics", Dr.-Ing. Matthias Stier and his team are planning to set up a spin-off company in order to launch their real-time mass spectrometer developed at the IGB. They have applied for a grant from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) as part of the "EXIST − business start-ups in science" funding programme. With success: The application has now been approved and the project will be supported with over 1.5 million euros over a period of two years.

© Fraunhofer IGB
The Variolytics founding team (from left to right): Johann Barlach, Stephan Scherle, Steffen Görner and Dr.-Ing.

Mass spectrometers are used in industry to determine the composition of substances and monitor changes in them − but so far only for gases. A new development of the IGB opens up even more application possibilities, especially in the field of "Industry 4.0": The "Variolytics" mass spectrometry system developed by IGB scientist Dr.-Ing. Matthias Stier and his colleagues enables the simultaneous and real-time analysis of up to thirty different substances or components in both the gas and liquid phase. This is made possible by an innovative and patented inlet system.

"The system is so well developed at this point that we now want to bring it to market for the process industry," says Stier. "That's why we have decided to spin off a new company." In order to finance this, Stier and his team applied to the Project Management Jülich for the funding program "EXIST - Start-ups in Science". This program was set up on the initiative of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy specifically for the transfer of research and the establishment of companies from science. The total funding for the IGB project amounts to 1,655,050 euros, half of which comes from the federal budget and the other half from the European Social Fund. The project will run for two years − from August 2019 to July 2021.

In addition to Stier, his engineering colleagues Steffen Görner and Stephan Scherle are also involved, as well as IGB newcomer and Supply Chain Manager Johann Barlach.