Hart op gebouw Heerlen

Beating corona through innovation

Smart ideas will help us get through the crisis

The coronavirus is having a major impact on everyone, and fighting it is forcing us to comply with restrictions the likes of which we have never experienced before. Innovation plays a key role in this fight, and not just when it comes to the virus itself, but also in taking a smart approach to designing the intelligent lockdown and plotting out the road back to “normal”.

Brightlands is naturally also contributing to this, from ensuring the smooth development of a rapid corona test, playing a role in finding solutions to the scarcity of surgical masks to smart ways of providing remote education and maintaining daily contact with family. Finally, it is also holding an online hackathon centering on the question of how we can exit the lockdown as intelligently and responsibly as possible.

Support measures for entrepreneurs

The government is doing its best to help entrepreneurs through this period with a variety of support measures. There is a special scheme for startups and scale-ups, companies that are in abundance at the Brightlands campuses.

Interested in finding out more about the support schemes?

Read more

Ondernemers
Support measures for entrepreneurs - Corona update
29 April 2020
News

Inspiring examples

Check out more inspiring stories of entrepreneurs and researchers from the Brightlands community who have devised solutions to cope with the impact of the coronavirus.

Marcel van Hoorn
Brightlands as seen through Marcel van Hoorn's lens
22 December 2020
News
Ondernemers
Submit your COL application before October 1
17 September 2020
News
BSSC_Newscovid19
Mind diagnostics during COVID-19
6 August 2020
Press release
BSSC forum COVID-19
Brightlands Smart Services Campus measures against COVID-19
28 May 2020
News
Laboratorium bij AMIBM
AMIBM surpasses all expectations
28 May 2020
News
Corona
How the coronavirus infects our small intestines
25 May 2020
News
schakel
NetwerkSchakel supports campus residents finding answers to business questions
10 April 2020
News
Ondernemers
Aanvraag mogelijk Corona-OverbruggingsLening (COL)
1 May 2020
News
Psylaris EMDR behandeling
Remote EMDR therapy
30 April 2020
News
CryoSol
Turbo-vriezer ontwikkeld in Maastricht helpt 'machinekamer' coronavirus te ontrafelen
21 April 2020
News
BSSC event
Help UM-students in dire financial straits!
13 April 2020
News
BSSC Right Origins
Worlds first talking chocolate bar campaign to satisfy the sweet tooth of heroic Limburg hospital workforce
7 April 2020
News
Hack the crisis
Grootste Nederlandse techspelers gaan coronacrisis te lijf met hackathon
2 April 2020
News
MUMC hulp
Make a difference at Maastricht UMC +
1 April 2020
News

Test

When it comes to fighting the coronavirus, PathoFinder, based at the Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus, has developed a test that can determine whether or not someone is infected with the coronavirus within two hours. The bio-tech company is able to produce 10,000 tests per week. Patients suspected of being infected are tested using a cotton nasal swab, combined with a test in a hospital laboratory. Using the results from this test, the doctor can determine whether the patient has an active infection and should be treated or isolated to prevent further spread of the virus.

BMHC_Pathofinder_news
PathoFinder develops corona test, results within 2 hours!
2 April 2020
Press release

Surgical masks

The shortage of surgical masks for health care workers has attracted a lot of attention.

Thanks to Sunny Jiang of the Brightlands China Center and her connections in China, a shipment of 12,000 surgical masks was sent from China to the Netherlands, which the staff at Maastricht UMC+ and Zuyderland hospitals were grateful to receive.

Chemelot Innovation and Learning Labs (CHILL) at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen was able to play a role in the production of surgical masks. When Zuyderland hospital saw how snorkeling masks could, with a minor adjustment, double as surgical masks, this led to the design of two prototypes by Zuyd University of Applied Sciences within 24 hours. Thanks to CHILL’s knowledge and assistance, a few companies ensured that 300 masks were made available within three days.

It was announced fairly recently that DSM Niaga, in cooperation with AFPRO and bed manufacturer Auping, are producing millions of surgical masks for Dutch health care institutions. The goal is to supply one million FFP2 masks every week to the government, which in turn will be responsible for allocating and distributing these to hospitals and care institutions.

In cooperation with the AMIBM institute at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus, the “Limburg Surgical Masks Team” will have the chance to become one of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ preferred suppliers, securing its position as a producer of high-quality surgical masks for the Dutch health care sector for the coming years. The unique expertise of the Aachen Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM) in the Netherlands is well-aligned with the initiative of the two Limburg entrepreneurs who have recently become active in this market.

Vitrojet

The innovations and activities are not always purely corona-related. Sometimes, an innovation cooked up in the Brightlands kitchen is also used to tackle corona. At the beginning of the crisis in China, razor-sharp images of the coronavirus quickly spread throughout the scientific world. Over the past two months several publications from all over the world followed in the hopes of using this knowledge to develop a better vaccine. These images were made possible in part thanks to the so-called Vitrobot, developed in Maastricht. Prof. Peter Peters and his team at M4I, together with CryoSol-World, the company that developed the prototype further to make it suitable for use as an industrial product, will soon be launching a successor, the Vitrojet at the Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus. The proteins that the Vitrojet rapidly freezes steer the body’s complete biochemical machinery. This innovation will also make it much easier to study diseases such as COVID-19, cancer, Alzheimer’s, tuberculosis and AIDS.

Face shield

Based at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus, the FAST Automotive Group has developed a face shield to be used in the fight against the coronavirus. This face protection shield is designed to offer a safer way for health care personnel, dentists and owners of driving schools to do their jobs. In cooperation with two other companies, FAST Automotive Group hopes to be able to produce 7,500 to 10,000 units per week.

Femly

An invention by the Heerlen startup Rementis attracted a lot of attention as a result. Based at the Brightlands Smart Services Campus, this company is simplifying remote video contact by supplying modified televisions that just require one press of a button to make video calls possible. Named Femly, this system is a godsend in times when contact with family members is only possible via remote connections. An app on the user’s phone also makes it easy for callers to contact the owner of the Femly. The app can also be used to send messages or photos to the Femly. The interactive TV was initially designed to help people with dementia live longer at home and to function independently. Nursing and care homes are already using the Femly.
Femly
Online leren
Boost in online education provides a wealth of data
1 April 2020
News
Psylaris EMDR behandeling
Remote EMDR therapy
30 April 2020
News
Christopher Sparks
Five-day online hackathon on the coronacrisis
27 April 2020
News

Cybercrime

The increase in digital collaboration and more routine in online traffic leads to a corresponding increase in the incidence of cybercrime. Cybercriminals are very quick to take advantage of this new situation. Working online means more email traffic, more frequent log-ins in work systems; in short, more digital traffic translates to more opportunities for cybercriminals. The Cyber Resilience Expertise Center (ECCW) at the Brightlands Smart Services Campus in Heerlen has put together a few extra, free webinars to provide entrepreneurs, particularly in the SME sector, with the most important information and tips in the fight against cybercrime.

Online werken

Heart

We can overcome corona through innovation. Innovation alone isn’t enough, however. It is also a fight that demands we look out for each other. Supporting and heartening others is a big part of this, particularly those working in the health care sector. This show of support is visible on the Brightlands pillar along the A2 highway, on the campus building in Heerlen, and in the campaign by startup Right Origins for the Zuyderland hospital. And in all of the other gestures, big and small. Looking out for each other, from the heart. This is also what Brightlands stands for.
Brightlands zuil