Extremely thin coating protects medical aids against dirt and bacteria.
Open to advice
The first step towards developing a product was taking out a patent in 2012. “Roy Kolkman, Manager Knowledge and Technology Transfer of Novel-T, advised me on the matter. He pointed out the opportunities and counselled me in the writing and submission of the patent application. From this moment on, you focus on valorization of your technology, which makes you more aware of what can be published and what cannot,” Jasper explains. Adviser and entrepreneur Alain le Loux from the Novel-T business development team supported Jasper in setting up his business. “A good match, because he is still involved in LipoCoat along with the business developer from subsidizing party NanoNextNL.”
Contact lenses with more comfort
“We opted for a relatively simple product to start with, so we will be able to enter the market quickly in order to learn and expand.” This first application is a coating for contact lenses that results in less pollution, optimal moistening and lower friction. “Meanwhile, the product development is complete, and we are working with a manufacturer to obtain approval for putting them on the market. We expect consumers to be able to wear the first lenses by early 2020.” At the same time, Jasper and his team are working on the next application of the technology: a coating for medical aids, such as catheters or prostheses. “Using this, we can prevent bacteria from attaching to medical products and try to lower the risk of a patient contracting a serious infection.”
Jasper knows exactly where he wants to be five years from now. “At that point, you’ll see our coating on contact lenses worldwide, the LipoCoat catheter product will be ready for introduction to the market and we’ll be developing prototypes for industrial applications of our coating. For example, in water purification, dairy production and maybe on hulls. There are plenty of technical challenges to take on. At the same time, we are looking for investors, so we can retain our competitive edge in the short term and continue to grow.”
Doubts about feasibility? Join the Early Business Development Bootcamp
Jasper van Weerd has a tip for other researchers: “Even a small part of your research can be interesting for valorization. And exploration of commercial opportunities does not have to stand in the way of your research. On the contrary, they can go together very well. All these aspects are dealt with in the Early Business Development course. I learnt an awful lot about entrepreneurship and valorization, and I was provided with tools and expert guidance.”
Roy Kolkman is excited about LipoCoat’s technology. “Jasper has unintentionally come up with a solution to a problem that he wasn’t researching. He saw the potential of the technology and asked for support in taking this to the market. It’s good to see how he’s developed himself in the past few years and built a committed team around him. He keeps his focus as a researcher and an entrepreneur and at the same time he is flexible enough to change track if something does not work. I expect LipoCoat to eventually become the number one specialist in bio coatings for numerous applications.”
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Photografie: Rikkert Harink Fotografie