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Pollen meter from Lucerne helps allergy sufferers
It was with great pride that the start-up company Swisens AG was able to accept the 1st prize on Startup Day 2017. The young company with Erny Niederberger, Reto Abt and Philipp Burch is a spin-off of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts - Engineering and Architecture and develops innovative measuring instruments for the identification of pollen in real time.
Pollen allergy sufferers today notice that pollen is in the air because of the symptoms. Then it is already too late, because they have already come into contact with the pollen. It is desirable to warn those affected as early as possible so that they can take measures to minimise contact with the pollen and alleviate the symptoms. Thanks to the innovative Swisens pollen measuring devices, it will be possible in future to measure regional pollen levels in real time, making pollen forecasts much more reliable. The symptoms of pollen allergy sufferers can thus be reduced and their quality of life improved. Reto Abt sees great potential for Swisens: "Currently, our focus is on the automatic detection and identification of pollen, as over 20% of the Swiss population is affected by such allergies. We won't be able to make the pollen disappear, but real-time measurements will enable us to make a precise pollen forecast and thus provide early warning. In this way, they help affected people to avoid polluted areas or to take timely countermeasures.
In a feasibility study, the three engineers were able to prove that the measuring method they had developed worked. Now field-ready prototypes are being developed. These will be tested outdoors under real conditions, for example at Meteo Schweiz. The development and test phase is expected to last two years. After that, the three entrepreneurs want to industrialise the devices. By 2025, 25 full-time positions are to be created in Central Switzerland.
In addition to a cash prize, the winning team Swisense won a three-year free genisuisse coaching session. The genisuisse coach supports the young team with his experience as a successful entrepreneur. He supports the founding team with his network and knowledge and offers the team a professional outside view.