VITO collaborating with Dutch diagnostic company Helia Biomonitoring

In May 2019, the Safe-N-Medtech initiative kicked off in Bilbao, in a meeting hosted by Osteba, the HTA Unit of the Health Ministry of the Basque Country (Spain) in collaboration with BIOPRAXIS-BIOKERALTY. The project is coordinated by TECNAN (an SME from Navarra, with excellent experience in Nano products) together with BIOPRAXIS-BIOKERALTY (the research branch of the global health companies Keralty and Praxis).

The Project is part of the Open Innovation Test Bed (OITB) initiative from the European Commission, a new and challenging approach towards upscaling the use of nanotechnologies in Europe and beyond. It represents an investment of 18 M€ for 4 years, concretely receiving 15 M€ from the European Commission.



More than 50 people gathered in Bilbao, coming from 28 entities from 13 countries to refine the basis of the collaboration, and set the scene for the first years of the Project.Ambition and strategy.

Ambition and strategy

Society and clinical practice pose a growing demand on novel biomaterials, ICT, micro and nanotechnologies for innovative medical devices and in vitro diagnostics (Medical Technologies - MTs). In addition to the challenge of time, the new technologies are subjected to other demands such as qualification, regulation, cost, biocompatibility and the need to be applicable worldwide. In the most recent years, it is obvious that nano-enabled MTs can be applied in nearly every medical area, with a major presence and increased importance in cancer, regenerative medicine, advanced therapies, neurology, cardiology, orthopaedics, and dentistry. 

SAFE-N-MEDTECH will build an innovative open-access platform to offer to companies and reference laboratories, the capabilities, knowhow, networks and services required for the development, testing, assessment, upscaling and market exploitation of nanotechnology-based Medical and Diagnosis Devices. 

SAFE-N-MEDTECH will offer a multidisciplinary and market-oriented innovation approach to SME´s, Healthcare providers and Industries for the translation to the market of MTs, based on a deep understanding and knowledge of the nanomaterials’ properties, their advanced use and applications in MTs, and other aspects involved in MTs safety (electric compatibility, electromagnetic properties, etc).

Who’s in?
There are 28 partners in Safe-N-Medtech, a great challenge for management, but a huge opportunity to address all the key challenges to come ahead. Research Institutes, Small and larger companies, Associations, Health Technology Assessment experts, Hospitals and Care centres are amongst the partners, and ensure the project can cover all the relevant aspects of the translation of nano-enabled medical technologies.

VITO is leading technical partner for diagnostic test case provider Helia Biomonitoring, a spin-off company of the Technical University of Eindhoven. In this role, VITO will provide its nano- and biotechnology expertise for assay development on Helia’s particle mobility-based biosensing platform for continuous monitoring of biomarkers.

What’s next?

SAFE-N-MEDTECH starts its journey by ensuring its validity with four test cases. During the first years of the intitiative, the partners will develop their services and test them, so that in four years from now, it becomes a self-sustainable and competitive services platform for companies to test and ensure their nano-enabled MTs are safe to use!

More info on the project

Coordinator: Tamara Oroz, TECNAN  (
Scientific Lead: Angel del Pozo, Biopraxis –Keralty (
Communication: Anaïs Le Corvec, Aura Costa (
VITO Technical Lead: Inge Nelissen (


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