Alpes Lasers SA is a Swiss SME, leader in the development of optoelectronic devices in the Mid- Infrared range. These light sources are of particular interest since almost all the substances have strong molecular fingerprints in the Mid-IR spectral region. For this reason, these sources are used for a large number of purposes from the clinical diagnostic to the environmental and industrial quality control. Many of these potential applications are not yet fully exploited and several multi- national partners, especially in the large consumer electronics, rely on us for the identification of the most suitable product development strategy and to help them set up the prototype fabrication and IP protection. Therefore, Alpes Lasers is characterized by a large R&D team of scientists with almost 300 years of cumulative experience on QCLs and microelectronics. Currently Alpes Lasers is involved in numerous research projects for both the European union and the US government. Alpes Lasers SA was also the first company to commercialize QCLs in the Mid-IR.
Key role(s) in the project: ALPES is coordinating the NUTRISHIELD project. In addition, ALPES is also responsible for the lasers sources development that will be used as light sources in the NUTRISHIELD spectroscopic devices (HM analyser, urine analyser, breath analyser). This development is prepared through WP4. From a technical perspective, ALPES collaborates closely with QRT, ARGOS, RADBOUD, CSEM and TUW, in order to gather initial technical requirements and test the light sources with the developed ancillary systems (WP2 & WP4). ALPES is involved in the integration activities, as well as in the validation of the concept (WP6 & WP7). In WP6, they will collaborate with the responsible partners for the software interfaces, in order to make sure that the end result is compatible with the laser operation. ALPES will also lead the dissemination and exploitation activities (WP8).
INTRASOFT International is a leading European IT Solutions and Services Group with strong international presence, offering innovative and added-value solutions of the highest quality to a wide range of international and national public and private organisations. The company employs more than 1,600 highly-skilled professionals, representing over 20 different nationalities and mastering more than 18 languages. With headquarters in Luxembourg, INTRASOFT International operates through its operational branches, subsidiaries and offices in 17 countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Cyprus, Greece, Jordan, Moldova, Morocco, Romania, Palestine, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, UK, UAE, USA and Yemen. More than 500 organizations in over 70 countries worldwide (Institutions and Agencies of the European Union, National Government Organizations, Public Agencies, Financial Institutions, Telecommunication Organizations, and Private Enterprises) have chosen the company’s services and solutions to fulfil their business needs. INTRASOFT International is a subsidiary of the ASE-listed INTRACOM Holdings, one of the largest multinational technology groups in SE Europe, with more than 35 years of experience and possesses a successful track record of delivering very large and complex IT systems, especially for the public sector.
Key role(s) in the project: INTRA is involved in the platform and data governance specification frameworks. INTRA is responsible for all platform integration activities contributing with bot Big Data and Continuous Integration established expertise. In addition, INTRA is actively involved in the impact generating activities and the exploitation of project results in collaboration with consortium partners.
In 1931, following the law enforcement of 1930 by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, the Swiss Vitamin Institute (SVI) was created with a branch in Lausanne and a branch in Basel. As the official competent authority, the SVI was responsible for the surveillance of vitamin enriched products in food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. In 1992, the legal obligation to perform the analyses of vitamin enriched products became obsolete. As a consequence, the Basel branch closed down in 1995. Since then the Lausanne SVI became a Swiss foundation for the benefit of the Public Health in the vitamin status and nutrition. The SVI maintained a key position in the analysis of vitamins to provide analytical services to hospitals, NGOs and companies and to assist them achieving their objectives and carrying their vitamin analysis and quality control to ensure compliance with national and international regulation.
Key role(s) in the project: The SVI will measure the relevant vitamins in breast milk samples in order to evaluate the impact of the nutritional intervention during the project. Appropriate analytical techniques will be used to determine soluble vitamins as well as vitamin E and D and a series of carotenoids.
Sweetbee® (SWB) originated from a concern about good information for diabetes patients. With the multitude of information from various angles, people sometimes can’t see the wood from the trees. That’s why Sweetbee® decided to compile clear and illustrated information. There was a definite need for a compilation of information. It had to be clear and scientifically founded. This is why the Sweetbee® was created. An information package about diabetes, a Diabetes Handbook, a unique food atlas, government information, diabetes products, discount vouchers for standard products, etc. Diabetes patients get this Sweetbee® information package free of charge thanks to the support of several partners.
Key role(s) in the project: SWB will be involved in the design and development of the NUTRISHIELD App & platform. It will capitalise on its experience from building the Platemate and Carbocounter applications, and will provide invaluable input to the project regarding the monitoring of dietary habits, as well as the end-user engagement, and public acceptance of App usage.
Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien) is Austria’s largest technological university with about 28.000 active students in eight different faculties and located in the very heart of Vienna. The University is led by the Rector and four Vice Rectors (responsible for Research, Academic Affairs, Finance as well as Human Resources and Gender), and supported by a senate of 26 members. The University Council acts as a supervisory board. The TU Wien places great emphasis on the inclusion of students in research programmes (research-based teaching), considering this an important criterion encouraging new generations of scientists. Development work in almost all areas of technology is encouraged, first, by the interaction between basic research and the different fields of engineering sciences at the TU Wien itself, and, secondly, within the framework of cooperative projects with other universities, research institutes and business sector partners. The TU Wien has sharpened its research profile by defining competence fields across all faculties and setting up interdisciplinary collaboration centres. Of special relevance for this project is the competence field Materials Science including chemical and physical material characterisation, as well as Quantum Physical and Optical Technologies. From TUW the research area on environmental and process analytical chemistry will take part in NUTRISHIELD. This research area is specialized in the development of new measurement concepts based on mid-IR quantum cascade lasers for improved analysis of liquids, gases as well as solids.
Key role(s) in the project: Based on the ample expertise in applying analytical chemistry with focus on laser based liquid sensing in the mid-IR range TUW will lead the spectroscopic method development. The key role of TUW will thus be the design and realisation of laboratory-based measurement set-ups for performing quantitative analysis of constituents in urine and human breast milk samples (mainly in WP2 & WP4), as well as their integration, testing and validation in clinical settings (WP7)
ARGOS is an engineering company with experience in developing, constructing and assembling analysers and electronics. Recent projects include O2, CH4 and CO2 analysers using spectroscopic and other methods.
Key role(s) in the project: ARGOS intends to construct and assemble a breath analyser for analysing marker gases indicative of certain metabolic conditions.
• Mask system for online measurements, guiding breath from mouth to analysis system
• Alternative sampling system for off-line usage
• Implementation of measurement methods for enhanced sensitivity and selectivity, e.g. using concentration devices
• Integration of laser sources from partner Alpes Lasers into a sensor system
• Adaption of control electronics for the laser system and other opto-electronic components
• Design and construction of application-specific gas cells
• Mechanical implementation of optical components, electronic control units and gas handling system
• Temperature stabilisation
• Data processing and evaluation
• Prototype software development
• Preparation of reference gases for functionality test
• Pre-evaluation of device performance with reference samples
• Support the validation and assessment of analysers
QuantaRed Technologies is a high-tech spin-off company from the Vienna University of Technology and was founded in 2008. Based on 9 years of R&D activities in the field of Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) technology, it was the first company world-wide to discover the technological advantages of QCLs in the measurement of liquids and the industrial potential of this technology. So far QuantaRed develops and distributes devices for liquid phase trace analysis in the market segments of environmental engineering and petrochemistry. QuantaRed Technologies was awarded with Gewinn Young Entrepreneur Prize in 2009, 2011 and 2013 and the Innovationprize Mercur of WKO in 2010. Further details on the innovative potential of QuantaRed Technologies are presented in a short movie on http://www.quantared.com.
Key role(s) in the project: QuantaRed will develop QCL based infrared systems for a) urea analysis and b) the chemical analysis of breast milk. NUTRISHIELD developments will start with requirements analysis. The main work will be the implementation of analysis methods from TUW into functional prototypes including:
• Development a sampling method for breast milk samples
• Handling system for liquids
• Implementation of measurement methods for enhanced sensitivity and selectivity
• Integration of laser sources from partner Alpes Lasers into a sensor system
• Adaption of control electronics for the laser system
• Design and construction of application-specific measurement cells
• Mechanical implementation of optical components, electronic control units and liquid handling system
• Temperature stabilisation
• Data processing and evaluation
• Prototype software development
• Preparation of chemical samples for functionality test
• Pre-evaluation of device performance with reference samples
• Support the validation and assessment of analysers
The Radboud University (Stichting Katholieke Universiteit) is one of the leading academic communities in the Netherlands. The research group is embedded in the Institute of Molecules and Materials (IMM) with its excellent and unique spectroscopic facilities (NMR, High Field Magnet, Free Electron laser Facility, Scanning Probe Laboratory, Trace Gas Facility). The IMM maintains a running budget of about 20 M€ and has 50 scientific staff members, around 30 postdocs and 115 PhD students, and 50 supporting staff members. Within IMM, the Trace Gas Facility (TGF) develops state-of-the-art laser spectroscopic methods for the detection of trace gasses, relevant for environmental and (bio)medical sciences.The TGF (especially the Exhaled biomarkers group) is applying these technologies on various research areas in collaboration with other RU centres, such as Radboud University Medical Center and since recently with Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. The Donders Institute is a world-class research centre devoted to understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of human cognition and behaviour in health and disease. The Institute is home to more than 600 researchers from 35 countries who share the common goal of contributing to the advancement of the brain-, cognitive- and behavioural sciences through investigator-driven research, and improving health, education and technology by applying advances in this field. One of the current programmes is Food & Cognition, where research addresses societal issues that focus around the complex interplay between nutrients, eating behaviour, brain development and disease.
Key role(s) in the project: RU will lead WP4, performing the laboratory tests in collaboration with ALPES and ARGOS for demonstration and validation of the integrated EC-QCL based sensor for detection of biomarkers in exhaled breath (WP4). Furthermore, RU will contribute directly in tasks of WP2 regarding the definition of the validation scenarios for the prototype, spectroscopic identification of the fingerprint IR band of the selected analytes and testing the integrated system for breath analysis, respectively. Ru will participate in WP7 in validating the breath analyser in assessing the influence of nutritional status on neural development of spatial cognition together with Donders Institute and be responsible for collecting complementary data next to breath analysis for cross validation analysis in the same WP.
Founded in 1984, CSEM is a Swiss private non-profit organisation providing access to technologies by carrying out applied research, product research and development, feasibility studies, product engineering and production of special devices. CSEM has both participated and coordinated many projects in the FP6, FP7 and Horizon2020 programmes. The project NUTRISHIELD will be carried out mainly at the CSEM Center in Landquart. The focus of the Centre is the development and integration of innovative nano- and bio- technologies into product platforms addressing relevant problems in healthcare, as well as the development of integrated optoelectronic systems. The Centre has a considerable experience in the development of sample preparation and analysis methods for biosensors, nanoparticle analysis analysis, as well as in the development of point-of-care devices for diagnostics and health monitoring based on optical or electrochemical detection methods.
Key role(s) in the project: The main role of CSEM will be the interfacing of the samples (specifically urine) with the spectroscopic instrument developed by NUTRISHIELD. A microfluidic interface for sample preparation, concentration and enrichment will be realized. This work will be mainly carried out within WP4, dealing with development of devices & techniques for biomarkers analysis, based on state-of-the-art technologies, of which CSEM will be WP leader. If required, CSEM will work on the development of a tailor-made pH sensor for urine analysis. CSEM will actively contribute to the integration of the developed components, as well to the device testing and validation activities in WP4, mainly in laboratory setting, and by supporting the validation activity in an application environment in WP7. CSEM will also be involved in WP2 dealing with the preparation of the system requirements and with its conceptual design. CSEM will also actively participate in the dissemination and exploitation activities (WP8).
The Department of Nutrition and Dietetics which is established in the School of Health Science and Education in Harokopio University completed in 2017 twenty-five years of scientific activity. The aim of the Department is to improve health through research, teaching and leadership in human nutrition including basic nutritional sciences and clinical, socio-cultural and community aspects of nutrition. It consists of three laboratories, i.e., the Laboratory of Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics, the Laboratory of Chemistry-Biochemistry-Physical Chemistry of Foods, the laboratory of Biology, Biochemistry, Physiology and Microbiology, while research in biostatistics, biometry, bio-informatics, health economics and nutrition research also takes place. Academic staff is comprised of 23 scientists in various fields, including clinical nutrition, chemistry, biology, metabolism, biostatistics, epidemiology, public health etc. Through research programs, as well as its extensive ERASMUS educational exchange program, the University has built an extensive network of co-operation with other academic and research institutes and the private sector in Greece, Europe and worldwide. According to statistics on publications as reported by the National Documentation Center, Harokopio contributes to the scientific output of Greece. Research and development grants received by faculty members for the period of 2000-2011 totalled more than 7 million euro, from different funding sources ( Government, the European Union, Foundations such as Daskalopoulos and Latsi, Pharmaceutical companies such as Novartis, Roche Hellas, Pharmaserf Lilly AEBE, professional athletic organizations, food companies) supporting 95 research programs. Harokopio University is placed very well among the leading institutions using this calibrated scale. (SIR World Report 2010).
Key role(s) in the project: HUA is a key partner involved in NUTRISHIELD in respect with nutritional assessment and meal planning. HUA will assist in the initial requirements analysis (WP2), as well as in the development of the required devices (WP4) and methods for stress factor analysis (WP3). HUA will undertake the psychological and socioeconomic analysis aspects of nutrition in NUTRISHIELD under WP3. In addition, HUA is leading the efforts in meal planning algorithm development (WP5). HUA will also be actively involved in the integration of the NUTRISHIELD App with the algorithm. Finally, HUA is involved in the clinical validation trials of NUTRISHIELD, and will ensure that all aspects of the stress factors analysis are met during the validation phase. During this phase, HUA will also actively optimise the personalisation algorithm, according to the feedback and measurements performed during the clinical trials.
OSPEDALE SAN RAFFAELE SRL OSR
Ospedale San Raffaele (OSR) is a private research hospital recognized by the Italian Ministry of Health. It comprises clinical, research and training activities, conducted in a highly specialized and qualified campus with 1,318 beds, around 1,600 basic, clinical and translational scientists, and almost 3000 students. OSR is one of the leading private scientific research institutes in Italy and performs cutting-edge science and aims at advancing the knowledge about human diseases and novel therapies through basic and translational research. OSR can count on 15 Clinical Areas, 5 Research Divisions, 4 Research Institutes and 3 Research Centers (http://www.hsr.it/research/). In particular OSR expertise-excellence areas are: Oncology; Neuroscience; Metabolic and Cardiovascular Sciences; Regenerative Medicine, stem cells and gene therapy; Immunology, Transplantation and Infectious Diseases; Genetics and Cell Biology; Genomics, Bioinformatics and Imaging technologies; advanced technologies for Health and Wellbeing. OSR integrates its research with the education and training activities conducted within the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University (USR), which comprises the faculties of medicine, psychology and philosophy and provides specialized post graduate courses, residency programs in various medical specialties, and international PhD programs. The relationship between OSR and USR is managed by a Master Agreement. A common campus hosts all teaching, basic, translational and clinical research activities in a large infrastructural compound. Therefore, OSR offers the opportunity to work in a unique environment where basic, translational and clinical research Units, hospital Departments and teaching activities effectively interact on a daily basis. The Diabetes Research Institute of the San Raffaele Hospital (DRI-OSR) is internationally recognized as a Center of Excellence for Research in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. It covers all aspects of diabetes research, from basic to translational clinical research. The DRI-OSR has a large cohort of diabetic patients including children affected by T1D and T2D and has a strong research network with international academy and industrial partners and is part of TrialNet, a network of world-leading experts in diabetes research who are dedicated to learning how T1D can be prevented in people with high genetic risk (https://www.trialnet.org/).
Key role(s) in the project: The Experimental Diabetes Unit of the OSR will provide the required expertise to collect relevant clinical and nutritional data from diabetic patients that are instrumental for implementation of the Nutrishield platform. In addition, OSR will provide infrastructure and expertise in clinical trials to validate the Nutrishield platform as a preventive and therapeutic approach in obesity and T2D.
REM Analytics is an ambitious SME focused on the development and deployment of novel measurement tools in molecular biology. Its main competencies lie in the analysis of complex systems. REM has developed a series of proprietary technologies that include:
- Molecular biology devices: Through building of its own prototypes, or re-modeling existing hardware, REM has a set of unique analytical devices that it can deploy to understand complex systems.
- Analytical protocols: Several rounds of optimization have led to a series of unique and highly optimized protocols.
- Enzymes and chemistry: As part of the optimization, REM Analytics has developed its own set of chemical recipes and enzymes for use in its projects.
- Software: A major component of all analysis is the analytical software. REM has developed its own set of software’s that include user apps, for the digital acquisition of clinical data. As well as proprietary statistical models that are specifically tailored to the analysis of complex systems. It also has its own database of genetic sequences with matching bio-informatic tools that have been developed in-house.
REM Analytics offers a research service in the area of Nutrition and Consumer health. Deploys its unique set of tools to empower its customers to develop innovating products. Within the area of nutrition, a special focus is placed on Microbiomes as well as food origin and safety.
Vertoyo is a technology development and software service provisioning Group with experience in the design and implementation of integrated advanced technology services in the domains of: Digitalization World, Cloud Computing & Hosting, System Integration & Professional Services, E-Commerce & Campaign Marketing Solutions and Wifi Integrated Solutions. Vertoyo is considered one of the fastest growing Digital/IT companies and has local presence in Athens and Cyprus, Sales and Partner Offices in Milan, Dubai and London. The Vertoyo Digital Platform (VDP) is its flagship product and supports standard commercialization functionalities such as identity management, usage metering, billing and alternative pricing methods. Vertoyo Limited is the youngest member of the Vertoyo Group with a clear market orientation in vertical EMEA market segments. VERTOYO has a clear focus in Food Chain Solutions and has won R&D grants for new ICT solutions in the Food Markets.
Key role(s) in the project: Vertoyo will be responsible for the integration and development of the NUTRISHIELD Mobile App (WP2 and WP6). VER will actively participate in the definition of the business requirements, the demonstration and piloting of the NUTRISHIELD mobile App (WP7).
Cranfield University (CU) is an exclusively postgraduate university in technology and management. CU’s vision is to develop outstanding transformational research that meets the needs of business, government and wider society. It is our aim to provide innovative, business-engaged research that is underpinned by academic staff recognised as thought leaders and high impact, highly cited research outputs. Critical intellectual mass is provided through Cranfield being organised around eight major themes, Environment and AgriFood being one of them ; which graduates 25% of all agricultural-related postgraduates in the UK. CU’s Environment and AgriFood theme has a strong international research profile in plant sciences and is committed to expansion and investment of facilities for understanding and exploiting interactions between plant and soil. The theme hosts two Centres of Agricultural Innovation with ~£8M investment in the Cranfield campus in 2016. Last year, the UK Government announced a multimillion pound investment in three new Agritech centres as part of its Agritech strategy. As partners in two of these, Agri-EPI and CHAP, CU is at the heart of the delivery of this Agritech strategy. The Bioinformatics Group in Agrifood is formed of an entirely computer-based research team which includes the Group Head (Dr Fady Mohareb), four bioinformatics PDRAs from a mixed background (biology, mathematics, data science, and IT), four PhD students, and 22 MSc students.
Key role(s) in the project: Cranfield University will be responsible for developing a genotyping database integrating confirmed SNPs and InDels reported to be linked to Diabetes Mellitus (type I&II) as well as [other deceases]. Genetic materials collected during the first year of trials (WP3 & WP7) will be sequenced using Illumina platform with at least 10x coverage per sample. Raw sequenced data will be mapped against the latest version of human genome, before SNPs and InDels are called and intersected with markers identified with the database. SNPs and InDels will be categorised further according to their impact, particularly those related to and/or affected by nutritional habits and diet. Cranfield University will also be responsible for developing machine learning and pattern recognition models linking identified genotyping markers with clinical data collected during this study (WP7).
HULAFE is a non-profit organisation that carries out the scientific and research policy of the "La Fe" Health Department and Manises Health Department. The research of excellence carried out at the HULAFE is patient-oriented and was accredited as a "Health Research Institute" by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation in 2009. The HULAFE offers scientific and technological services and has more than 10,000 m2 of clinical and research laboratories to undertake research programmes based on state-of-the-art biomedical science, which aim to promote our five priority research areas: 1. Organ Transplants, Artificial Tissues and Implants; 2. Cancer; 3. Genetics, Genomics and Translational Research underlying disease mechanisms; 4. Experimental-Clinical Research in Neurology; 5. Clinical, Epidemiological and Pharmacological Research; 6. Technological Research in Biomedicine and Health. The HULAFE comprises multidisciplinary and complementary research groups with consolidated expertise in cellular and molecular biology, cell culture, functional analysis imaging, "omics" and clinical research. All groups have a solid scientific background, critical mass, organization and sustainability by competitive national and international calls as well successful interactions with the private sector. The accredited research groups have a unique combination of biochemists, cell and molecular biologists, clinicians, surgeons and patient care personnel capable to tackle a complex research objective in the biomedical sector. Specifically, Manises Health Department has the capacity of 221 single rooms, 104 of which can be converted into doubles if required, reaching 325 hospital beds. The department has a large team of 1,500 professionals, many of whom are renowned and have a complete portfolio of specialties with highly specialized services such as Neurosurgery, Thoracic Surgery, Heart Clinic Area with Cardiac Surgery and a unique service in Spain of Reconstructive Surgery.
Key role(s) in the project: The team of HULAFE will be mainly involved in WP 7 (validation & impact assessment). Furthermore HULAFE will participate in WP 2 (Requirements, use case definition and design of clinical trials) and WP3 & WP4 (Biomarkers and stress factors analysis & monitoring; NUTRISHIELD Novel monitoring devices). HULAFE will support the project management (WP1) and communication, dissemination and exploitation (WP8). The team of HULAFE are experts in clinical metabolomics of paediatric study populations (WP3) and will provide requirements for the determination of stress factors in urine as well as input for the definition of the clinical validation settings of the Human Milk study (WP2). During the development of the tasks concerning urine and breast milk analysis within WP 4, the HULAFE team will be responsible for providing access to human biofluid samples necessary for testing the prototypes as well as for obtaining all necessary permissions for biomarker determinations in human biofluids and reference analysis for analytical validation of the prototype will be carried out at HULAFE. WP7 foresees the clinical validation of the NUTRISHIELD project. HULAFE will have a key role in establishing the selection criteria of the study population. Recruitment of milk donors, lactating mothers and their infant’s as well as collection of biofluid samples and all necessary ethical approvals will be within our competencies. Untargeted urinary metabolomics experiments will be conducted. Measurements with the provided prototypes will be carried out at HULAFE. During WP7 HULAFE will also be in charge of biomarker analysis in urine and milk samples which will be used as reference values for confirming the results obtained from the prototype.
The multidisciplinary Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS) was created in 2003 as an independent entity within the Faculty of Law & Criminology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. With more than 30 researchers at all levels of experience, LSTS has become a prominent European research institute in the area of technology regulation. VUB-LSTS is devoted to analytical, theoretical and prospective research into the relationships between law, science, technology and society.
Key role(s) in the project: VUB-LSTS will provide the legal analysis in the project, focusing in particular on all relevant personal data protection and ethics issues. The project involves substantial personal data processing, and indeed of sensitive date. EU legislation, in particular the General Data Protection Regulation, provides explicitly for the rules and conditions for such processing to take place in a lawful manner. VUB LSTS will provide guidance and assistance to project partners while planning and executing personal data processing under the Project, will warrant compliance with all applicable legal frameworks, as well as, develop a set of best practices for similar personal data processing operations.