iTEAMS Program


COMMERCIALIZING CREATIVITY | The iTEAMS program brings together multi-disciplinary teams of students and scientists to explore the commercial potential of groundbreaking university research.
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Students working in a team

About

The iTEAMS program was developed at the University of Cambridge, based on a program from the MIT. It is designed for students and scientists to explore, identify, and analyze the commercial potential of emerging, breakthrough technologies developed at TUM. Participants from different disciplines form teams to explore further steps to turn the assigned technology into a commercially viable product. In weekly lectures and workshops the underlying knowledge is transferred, e.g. Communication and interview skills. The team meetings offer the opportunity for the participants to develop and discuss the practical implementation of their skills in the project.

During the program you will ...

  • learn how to turn a lab technology into a commercially viable product.
  • work in a team to determine suitable markets and further technology development for a nominated University research project.
  • discuss the technology with real target customers in relevant industries.
  • be supported by the team mentor, the responsible University researcher and the iTEAMS Orga Team.
  • learn in talks/workshops about communication, product innovation, patents, presentation skills and a lot more.

If you want to know more, or want to see how it went in recent years in Cambridge, also visit iteamsonline.org



Structure of the program

iTEAMS structure

The participants will have weekly meetings on Thursdays at 6 pm with an input session followed by updates to the group about interesting findings or hurdles.

The teams will show their results in a ...

  • mid-term presentation on 14 Dezember 2023 on technology, market areas, possible customers.
  • final presentation on 1 February 2023 with Q&A to pitch and defend the conclusions.
  • handover meeting with the technology inventor (detailed documentation with the final results).

Our Projects in winter semester 2023/24

The participants will form multi-disciplinary teams. Each team is assigned to one of our three technology projects:

  1. Identifying the commercial viability of a high-speed analytic innovation in biotech
  2. Exploring the market for microarray chips used in diagnostic testing
  3. Market options for a revolutionary Vitamin B Test Kit

Detailed Project Descriptions

1. Identifying the commercial viability of a high-speed analytic innovation in biotech

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy stands as a pillar in the world of analytical techniques, offering unparalleled insights into the molecular structures and dynamics of biological samples. Its precision and robustness have made it an indispensable tool in biotechnology research and applications. However, the primary limitation has often been its current sensors, which permit analysis of only one sample at a time. This constraint restricts its potential for high-throughput investigations, making large-scale studies or rapid screenings cumbersome and time-consuming. Quantum Total Analysis Systems (QTAS) has developed a new technology for hyperparallelized NMR spectroscopy. The innovative approach uses quantum technology to allow the measurements of > 1000 samples at a time, enabling high throughput screening with NMR spectroscopy. Combining NMR spectroscopy's precision and the high throughput approach could revolutionize enzyme development and single-cell screening.

The primary goal for the iTEAM is to identify and analyze the best markets for this innovative analytical method.

2. Exploring the market for microarray chips used in diagnostic testing

The inventors are developing microarray chips for chemiluminescence immunoassays, which are for example used for the detection of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and other diseases. These rapid point-of-care test can produce an accurate result within 4-7 minutes from human whole blood samples, with a similar specificity and sensitifity to commercially available test systems. The aim is to produce microarray chips for a test that can be run directly from patient samples with no sample preparation needed. Therefore, the inventors can offer various base materials for the microarry chips as well as costum assay design according to customer requirements and a measurement service.

Due to the high risk, the inventors have not yet decided to enter the medical device market with their invention. Instead, the research market would also be a potential option for them. In general, the inventors are looking for a wide range of applications for the first version of their test kit including their microarray chips.
In principle, the used method allows potential test kits to be very wide-ranging and test for a variety of biomarkers, from small molecules, antibodies, DNA/RNA to bacteria/cells.

The task for the iTEAM would be to investigate possible applications of such a test kit and identifying promising markets worldwide. Where would the availability of these tests have the greatest impact, and what applications are realistically feasible for a new start-up company?

3. Market options for a revolutionary Vitamin B Test Kit

B vitamins play a crucial role in maintaining overall well-being, supporting brain function, and promoting a healthy nervous system. Currently, evaluating various vitamin B statuses, including B1, B2, B6, and B12, typically necessitates a healthcare professional's visit often involving expensive laboratory equipment. This lack of a convenient assessment solutions leaves many individuals unaware of their vitamin B levels and are only recognised when health issues have already emerged. This delay in assessment can lead to deficiencies or imbalances that impact one's health and vitality.

The inventors have developed a Vitamin B Test Kit that employs advanced technology to analyze a small blood sample, providing users with instant feedback on their vitamin B status. The technology behind this kit is a pilot diagnostic platform for vitamin B6 level determination in human blood. Furthermore, the platform has the potential to expand its capabilities to assess other essential B vitamins based on a familiar lateral flow format (known from COVID testing). This advancement in point-of-care diagnostics holds significant potential for addressing diseases associated with vitamin B deficiencies.

The challenge for the iTEAM is to investigate the market potential of the Vitamin B Test Kit BVitAlyzed by engaging with relevant stakeholders. They will identify the most promising market segments and determine which specific B vitamins hold the highest market potential. The insights gathered from the market analysis will offer valuable guidance to the inventors regarding the project's next phases.


Apply · until Oct 29, 2023

The program is open for every TUM student, doctoral student or post-doctoral researcher. No starting knowledge required! Register if you are interested in technology development and commercialization. The number of places is limited.
A Portrait of Doctor Sarah Jessl.

Your personal contact · Dr. Sarah Jessl · sarah.jessl@tum-venture-labs.de

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