iMiCROQ obtains € 1.2 million to develop an automated device that integrates rapid detection of pathogens, DNA and food allergens

24 Jun 2019

iMiCROQ has raised 1.2 million euros of European funds to develop the first platform that combines in a single solution different tests to detect pathogens, DNA, viruses, allergens and mycotoxins in food.

The device, that is scheduled to begin testing in 2020, allows automatize tests and identify in just 24 hours the presence of bacteria and in a matter of minutes the presence of viruses or allergens that affect human health.

The solution of iMiCROQ, which is addressed to companies in the food industry and quality control laboratories, automates the analysis of food to facilitate the identification of substances that pose a risk to humans and prevent them from causing infections or diseases. The platform integrates in a single equipment different types of tests to detect infectious or pathogenic agents such as salmonella or listeria bacteria, or viruses, as well as allergens such as gluten. The solution includes DNA tests and immunoassays, among others, that analyse samples of food, water, dust, environmental or animal faeces.

The objective of iMiCROQ, which will be developed within the framework of QSEIF project, is to identify risks to human health at different points in the food chain. Foodborne diseases cause 420,000 deaths each year, while infectious diseases account for 16.2% of total deaths per year. Therefore, detecting infectious agents quickly and reliably is a matter of public safety.

With the integration of the different tests in a single automated device, it also facilitates the reduction of the investment necessary for these analyses, the workspace in the laboratory and the time of staff dedication, which up to now was done manually, or using different high cost equipment.

QSEIF project aims to raise awareness among companies to increase these analyses in their products and improve food safety. The applications that can be carried out in the device will be continuously growing thanks to the activity of iMiCROQ R&D Department, bringing higher versatility and providing a greater benefit to its users.

iMiCROQ is a spin-off of the Rovira i Virgili University of Tarragona created in 2010 and currently has 20 employees. The company expects to begin pilot tests of the platform during 2020 with potential user companies. iMiCROQ is in expansion, seeking investors to strengthen its international development and distribution network, currently in different countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

iMiCROQ appreciates the support of ACCIÓ – the agency for the competitiveness of the companies, which depends on the Department of Enterprise and Knowledge of the Generalitat of Catalonia -, to achieve the 1.2 million euros of aid from the SME Instrument of the European Commission.

QSEIF Project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 849973.