Provincial Council of Alava promotes Advance Pharma Development project by UPV/EHU and TECNALIA
29 October 2021. TECNALIA research and technological development centre won the second European Innovation Award for its innovative contribution to neurological rehabilitation processes. This functional electrical stimulation technology is aimed at people who need rehabilitation of upper and lower limbs due to neurological problems.
This technology is currently being marketed as two products through Fesia, which is a spin-off established by TECNALIA with the support of the FIK initiative aimed at the development, manufacture and marketing of innovative medical devices based on FES technology to offer support during rehabilitation for brain injuries such as strokes, cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis, to name a few.
The award was given to TECNALIA this week in the “Impact Delivered” category, by EARTO, the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations, the highest European association in the field of innovation. This category recognises the best practices for applied technology in Europe and, for the fifth consecutive year, TECNALIA has managed to secure one of the top three places. The award was announced during the annual Innovation Awards ceremony, which was held online this year.
Technology for people
180 million people all over the world currently suffer from motor problems, paresis, spasticity and other pathologies caused by central nervous system disorders. These patients have conditions that affect their motor skills, but their muscles and nerve endings are not damaged.
In this context, FES activates the nervous system and helps patients to activate their muscles and even relearn functions thanks to neuroplasticity. This kind of rehabilitation, however, is quite difficult to apply because FES experts are required, and solutions currently available are not flexible and easy to use and are too bulky.
With this in mind, TECNALIA developed FES technology that is flexible, modular, light and easy to configure, and it can adapt the rehabilitation treatment to the specific needs of each user. Furthermore, the integrated algorithm assesses patients’ progress and activates the electrodes that are needed to improve rehabilitation, based on how muscles react to the impulses.
In order to market this technology, TECNALIA, with the support of the FIK initiative and TECNALIA Ventures, its deep tech venture builder, established the spin-off Fesia in 2016, which already markets two products in 16 different countries: Fesia Walk, a gait neurorehabilitation device; and Fesia Grasp, a hand neurorehabilitation device.
The company estimates a turnover increase of 80% compared to last year. Fesia also has two patents granted and an international patent application, and estimates a potential market of over €30bn in clinic and home rehabilitation. Experts estimate that the neurorehabilitation market will grow by up to 23% in the next few years.
In this context, Fesia is currently in a Series A financing round, in order to consolidate its leadership in Europe in terms of FES, improve its products for rehabilitation clinics, and launch a specific product for home use.
About EARTO European Association of Research and Technology Organisations
Founded in 1999, EARTO, the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations, groups over 350 Research & Technology Organisations from 20 countries and since 2009 awards the EARTO Innovation Award, to reward the best innovations from its members and showcases their role in a modern innovation-based European economy.
TECNALIA is the largest applied research and technological development centre in Spain, a European benchmark and member of the Basque Research and Technology Alliance. TECNALIA works with companies and institutions to increase their competitiveness, improve quality of life of people and achieve sustainable growth. This is possible thanks to people who are passionate about technology and committed to building a better society.
Its main areas of action are: digital transformation, smart manufacturing, energy transition, sustainable mobility, urban ecosystem, and personalised health.
Through TECNALIA Ventures, its deep tech venture builder, TECNALIA works towards identifying and rolling out business opportunities with commercial possibilities, through its advanced technology asset incubation programme.