A step forward towards a more sustainable chemical industry: bio-aromatics company Relement secures first capital investment.

Today, Relement BV has raised their first capital investment from the TTT Smart Industries Fund that is managed by Innovation Industries, a leading deep-tech Venture Capital fund. Relement BV is a spin-off from Dutch Research and Development institute TNO. The company is uniquely positioned as a manufacturer of ingredients for coatings and materials, for which there is no renewable alternative today. The investment will enable Relement to contract partners for scaling up sample production for customers and strengthen technological development. An important milestone in the realisation of a more sustainable chemical industry.

“Relement is very happy with the support from Innovation Industries. This is an important step in making the critical change towards a more sustainable chemical industry. Innovation Industries is known for investing in knowledge-intensive and deeptech companies. Relement is such type of company and welcomes visionary investors who understand the large opportunities that the chemicals market has to offer” comments Roger Blokland, CEO of Relement. “Relement is managed by a strong team of founders, has access to disruptive technology and impactful customers. This first investment will enable Relement to reach important milestones towards the realisation of greener chemicals, coatings and materials industry.”

Innovation Industries considers this impact investment as a way to support Relement in its journey to make the chemical industry more sustainable. “Relement has proven that it is possible to use inedible biomass instead of a fossil feedstock while making a product that has superior quality and durability. We have invested with our Technology Transfer Fund and are aware that our support is only a modest step towards a more sustainable world. We hope that our investment encourages other investors to support Relement and to join this round.” – according Harm de Vries, partner at the fund.

About TTT Smart Industries and Innovation Industries

The Smart Industries Thematic Technology Transfer (TTT) consortium is a cooperative alliance between the Technology Transfer Offices of TNO, the four Dutch technical universities and Innovation Industries. It aims to bring promising early-stage tech spin-offs to the next level. The Smart Industries TTT Fund is managed by Innovation Industries. Please visit www.tech-transfer.nl for more information.

Innovation Industries is a leading Netherlands-based venture capital firm focused on high tech, med tech and agri-food tech companies. Next to financial support, Innovation Industries provides operational and strategic support in order to optimally position portfolio companies for success. Innovation Industries has over € 250 million under management and invests across all growth and development stages. For more information, please visit: www.innovationindustries.com

Microsure raises € 2.7 million under new leadership for the further development and clinical roll-out of the MUSA microsurgery robot assistant

Son, The Netherlands, 28 April 2021Microsure, a leading Dutch developer of micro-surgical robotics, today announced the closing of a financing round of € 2.7 million, as an extension of the 2020 Series B round. The funds will be used to continue the initial clinical roll-out of MUSA, the first CE-marked and approved micro-surgical robot assistant. This round was led by Invest-NL, the other 50% of the funding came from the existing shareholders BOM Brabant Ventures and venture capital investor Innovation Industries, as well as from private investor Ten Cate Investeringsmaatschappij (TCIM).

MUSA is the world’s first clinically available CE-certified surgical robot assistant for microsurgeons. The device has been developed by a team of engineers and surgeons, creating a groundbreaking solution and compatible with current operating techniques, instruments and other operation room-equipment. MUSA seamlessly scales down motion and filters out tremor to keep a steady hand at any time throughout every microsurgical procedure. This can greatly improve clinical outcomes for various micro-surgical indications such as lymphatic-venous anastomosis, distal nerve repair, vascularized tissue transplantation and many other complex microsurgical procedures.

The initial planned clinical roll-out of MUSA was seriously delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, giving the company the opportunity to also further develop a number of improvements to the current MUSA system, which will be available on the market in the course of 2022.


In mid 2020, Microsure appointed Sjaak Deckers PhD as its new CEO, to lead the company into its next phase of market entry. Deckers is an experienced MedTech executive with broad product development experience, as CEO of two earlier MedTech startup companies, GTX Medical and Sapiens (Steering Brain Stimulation), and as venture partner at European Healthtech Builder NLC. He also held senior management positions at Medtronic, Philips Healthcare and Philips Research, where his latest role was Senior Director Business Development Healthcare.

Deckers is very pleased with the new funding to further advance the MUSA:

“Despite the Covid-19 restrictions, our engineers have made tremendous improvements to the current MUSA system, and our clinical team gained further adoption experience of microsurgery in the Netherlands with the MUSA system. Microsure has attracted strong interest from multiple key sites, and users from across Europe to further advance its unique robot assisted microsurgical technology platform. This investment will help us expediting our further clinical validation and adoption across multiple sites. It will scale up our business presence, addressing the unique clinical needs for microsurgeons.”

Wouter van Westenbrugge, senior investment manager at Invest-NL adds:

“Invest-NL is a Dutch impact investor committed to businesses and projects focusing on making The Netherlands more sustainable and innovative. To that respect, Microsure’s activities and goals fit right in our TOPSS program and thus we’re thrilled to be able to support Microsure on their exciting journey to further improve micro-surgery systems. High-tech innovation in key technologies is critical for the Netherlands in the future and will improve people’s lives.”

Tom Schwarz, chairman of the supervisory board representing Innovation Industries comments:

“This investment round enables the Microsure team to continue with their clinical evaluations, and in parallel to further advance their next generation systems. We are looking forward to the fruits of their work in clinical practice over the coming years.”

EFFECT Photonics completes its Series-C funding round raising a total of $43M

Eindhoven, the Netherlands – 21st April 2021 – Today EFFECT Photonics, a leading developer of high-performance dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) optical components based on its optical System-on-Chip technology, announces the completion of its Series-C funding round, with an additional $6M from the Dutch impact investor Invest-NL, raising a total of $43M.

The first close of the investment round, was co-led by Smile Invest together with existing investor Innovation Industries Fund, exactly one year after announcing the tape-out of its Manta full photonic integration coherent PIC. Smile Invest are joined by existing investors including Innovation Industries Fund, Photon Delta, btov Partners, Brabant Development Agency (BOM) and individual investors. This new round of funding will be used to further expand the current product line of optical transceivers for among other things 5G networks, and to scale up production capacity. In addition, the R&D activities for the next generation of optical chips, with capacity of more than 400 gigabits per second, will also be ramped up.

(Integrated) photonics is a chip technology in which light signals (photons) are used instead of electrical signals (electrons). In a photonic chip, light signals can be generated, modulated, filtered, and detected. The chip technology developed in Eindhoven is the only photonics technology in which all these functions are combined on a single chip, which replaces a complete optical system. These photonic chips currently allow for high-speed data transfer over fibre optic networks, but the technology can also be used in highly sensitive measuring systems in the medical, automotive and the agri-food industries. It is expected that future quantum computers will also use photonic chips on a large scale.

EFFECT Photonics is a spin-off from the Eindhoven University of Technology. As a pioneer in the field, it is one of the first companies to successfully bring a product on the market based on the photonics technology developed at the university. The demand for internet bandwidth by end-users is growing exponentially every year. A trend that is being further accelerated by primarily by the roll-out of 5G, and the increase in working from home due to the Corona virus. EFFECT Photonics enables network operators to increase the capacity of their existing infrastructure without having to lay addition cables which is very costly. Upgrading the transceivers is therefore a more cost-efficient solution in address this need for additional bandwidth.

Boudewijn Docter, one of the founders and President of EFFECT Photonics: “As a company, we have come a long way to make the photonics technology market-ready. We are pleased that Invest-NL is joining our other investors in helping us scale up our production and enabling us to bring additional products to market quicker”.

Ruud Zandvliet, Senior Investment Manager at Invest-NL: “The Netherlands has a unique ecosystem for photonics technologies. EFFECT Photonics is a leading player in this field, capable of developing complex, fully integrated photonic chips. This offers the company the opportunity be a leading player as a manufacturer of the next generation of transceivers. By joining this investment round, Invest-NL contributes to the availability of financing for upscaling and future R&D investments. This is a good example of the role Invest-NL plays in increasing the strength of scale-ups and is in line with our objective of making the Netherlands more sustainable and innovative.

Innovation Industries investeert komende jaren €6M in medtech spin-offs

Technische innovaties zijn hard nodig om de zorg op de lange termijn betaalbaar, kwalitatief en bemensbaar te houden. De route naar de markt is voor medtech spin-offs echter zeer complex en lastig. De Kennis Transfer Offices (KTO) van TU Delft, TU Eindhoven, Universiteit Twente en Wageningen Universiteit & Research bouwen samen met de KTO’s van Erasmus MC, RadboudUMC en Maastricht UMC, en VC fonds Innovation Industries aan een nationaal en open programma.

Minder uitval en sneller naar de markt

‘Het initiatief voor deze aanvraag komt vanuit 4TU, met de Universiteit Twente als penvoerder’, vertelt Roy Kolkman, Manager van het KTO van de Universiteit Twente. ‘Met deze investering leggen we een uitstekend fundament voor de medtech spin-offs in Nederland. Door de voedingsbodem met de juiste kennis en expertise te verrijken, is de kans op uitval kleiner en wordt de time-to-market verkort.’

Betere proposities
‘Door bundeling van krachten tussen UMC’s en TU’s komen we tot sterke proposities’, zegt Thijs Spigt, KTO-directeur van Erasmus MC. ‘De kennis en ervaring binnen het consortium zorgt voor snellere validatie en een betere business propositie. Hierbij is uitgebreid aandacht voor de klinische vraag, technische haalbaarheid en business ontwikkeling.’

Uitbouw koppositie
‘Nederland is koploper in het ontwikkelen van nieuwe technologieën. Het naar de markt brengen is echter een grote uitdaging. We investeren in dit consortium samen met RVO en doen er alles aan om dit te laten slagen. Naast kapitaal leveren we met onze kennis, ervaring en netwerk een belangrijke bijdrage’, aldus Pleuni Hooijman, fondsmanager bij Innovation Industries.

 Thematische Technology Transfer

De Ministeries van OCW en EZK trekken in totaal € 24 miljoen uit om kennis uit onderzoek beter naar de samenleving en markt te brengen. Met de tweede tender van de Thematische Technology Transfer kunnen de komende jaren enkele tientallen nieuwe kennisintensieve bedrijven van de grond komen op basis van excellent onderzoek van universiteiten en andere kennisinstellingen. Het geld wordt verdeeld onder drie consortia van kennisinstellingen en een durfinvesteerder rond de thema’s MedTech, Artificial Intelligence en Sustainable Water Technology. Zij krijgen ieder € 8 miljoen. De Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland en de Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek hebben de consortia geselecteerd.

Axign raises more than $10M to develop the next generation audio technology and accelerate expansion

March 22, 2021 – Axign BV, a Dutch based fabless semiconductor company, specialized in audio controller components, raised more than $10M in a venture round led by FORWARD.one. The existing investors (Innovation Industries, KBC Focus, Oost NL and Axign Founder & Business Angels) also participated in this round, as well as the Dutch governmental organization RVO who granted an Innovation Credit.

This investment round is a clear proof point of the strong commercial traction as well as an underpinning of the recognized potential of the core technology of Axign. The funding will allow the company to accelerate commercialization further and to develop their next generation audio chip for battery operated products, including earbuds and smart speakers. Axign technology will disrupt the fast-growing volume markets of earbuds by offering its unique Active Noise Cancellation technology and will bring voice control of smart speakers to a next level. Next to that Axign will use the funding to strengthen its worldwide commercial and field application organization to drive the fast-growing customer pipeline of high-volume A-brand audio players.

“Axign has transformed into the revenue growth phase by being selected by multiple high-volume customers for products like online audio streaming, active speaker party speakers, soundbars and voice controlled smart speakers. We are proud to see more and more Axign enabled audio products for sale across the world” said Axign’s CEO Paul Sandberg.

“FORWARD.one is very excited about the Axign technology which greatly improves sound quality of smart audio devices while making them more energy efficient and cheaper to produce. Together with a very capable commercial and highly skilled technical team this results in strong commercial traction that Axign sees in a fast-growing market and which makes Axign a good fit for our high-tech fund” said FORWARD.one partner Arjan Göbel.

“We are supporting Axign again in this funding round as we are convinced that its unique and patented ‘Digital Loop’ technology brings an extremely cost-effective solution combined with a ‘best-in-class’ audio experience to consumers in the mainstream audio segment. Axign operates in a really booming market and multiple leading audio brands are embracing the Axign technology with several products entering the market right now” said Rudi Severijns, Investment Director at KBC Focus Fund.

EFFECT Photonics secures additional funds to accelerate its growth

Eindhoven, August 21, 2020 – On Friday 7 August, EFFECT Photonics, a leading developer of high-performance dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) optical components based on its optical System-on-Chip technology, completed its Series-B funding with an additional 8 million Euro. The investment round, led by independent venture capital fund Innovation Industries, secured continued participation from btov partners, Innovatiefonds Brabant BV, Beek Capital and Optiverder BV, and attracted PhotonDelta as a new partner.

The superiority of EFFECT Photonics’ technologies in the key growth market of integrated photonics has been a major factor in attracting diverse investors who see the unique value of the company and its impact on the industry. According to the company, making photonics applications universally accessible, affordable, and sustainable calls for the development of long-lasting partnerships that promote the sharing of knowledge and experience.

Sophie De Maesschalck, CFO at EFFECT Photonics, comments: “This investment will not only support EFFECT Photonics by accelerating the sales and marketing effort, but will enable further improvement in time-to-market for our range of optical communication products, and in particular those developed for the 5G network.”

Nard Sintenie, a partner at Innovation Industries, says: “We continue to support EFFECT Photonics because we firmly believe in the strength of the technology in the short term, as well as its disruptive impact in the longer term, and we see an organisation that is capable of delivering on that promise.”

Ewit Roos, CEO of PhotonDelta, adds: “EFFECT Photonics has always been an important partner for PhotonDelta. They are a frontrunner in the development of complex integrated optical products in a high-volume market. Since their products are supported by many other companies within the integrated photonic scene, we believe that consistently supporting this partner’s growth ambitions will have a positive effect on the entire supply chain of integrated photonics in the Netherlands.”

SMART Photonics secures €35M new funding

Eindhoven, The Netherlands, 30 June 2020 – SMART Photonics, the independent foundry for photonic integrated circuits, today announced a €35M Series C investment from a Dutch consortium led by Innovation Industries.

The company, founded in 2012, will use the funds to expand its capacity for wafer manufacturing at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, accelerate the development of its photonic integration technology and firmly establish the technology in the marketplace through its valued customers.

Lead investor Innovation Industries is one of Europe’s most active independent photonics investors and holds numerous investments across the photonics value chain. The funding includes a contribution from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy of The Netherlands through the Brabant Development Agency (BOM), as well as participations from KPN Ventures, PhotonDelta and existing shareholders, thereby reaffirming the position of SMART Photonics as the central player in the European photonics ecosystem.

SMART Photonics’ ambition is to be the leading independent foundry for photonic integrated circuits, which provide small-scale integration and high performance combined with low energy consumption. Photonic integrated circuits will play a key role in our lives by enabling new and radically improved applications that make our world better, greener and safer. SMART Photonics’ integration technology allows its customers to design chips for a variety of next generation communication and highly accurate sensor applications in telecoms, healthcare, smart mobility and sustainable industrial processes.

Since its inception in 2012, SMART Photonics has attracted a truly global customer base, consisting of leading US, European and Asian customers as well as a range of scale-up companies that develop applications using integrated photonics.

“We are very excited to have the new consortium on board and to be able to bring our foundry to the next level thanks to this investment. This will allow us to scale up our volumes as we support our customers in bringing their first commercial products using photonic integration technology to the market” comments Chief Executive Officer, Johan Feenstra, adding: “I am very grateful for the tremendous support we received from our investors, PhotonDelta partners and our long term R&D partner the Eindhoven University of Technology in making it happen.”

Nard Sintenie, General Partner, Innovation Industries, comments: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to lead this investment in SMART Photonics, as the company is perfectly positioned as Europe’s leading independent foundry for integrated photonics through its flexible production process of photonic integrated circuits, proprietary process design kit and tremendous know-how. We are truly impressed by the quality of the team and believe that they will successfully lead the company through its next phase of growth.” He continues: “In order for Europe to maintain a leading position in the development of new technologies for the rapid-growing photonics industry, we believe it is essential to invest in infrastructure. We are confident that SMART will contribute to a strong and healthy photonics ecosystem that will drive cutting-edge technology development ensuring continued formation of exciting start- and scale-ups in this attractive industry.”

Miriam Dragstra, CCO of the Brabant Development Agency (BOM), which played an important role in the deal sourcing, emphasizes the strategic importance of the deal: “Recognized as one of Europe’s key enabling technologies, Photonics has the potential to drive economic growth and provide solutions to some of the most pressing societal and environmental challenges of our time. SMART Photonics allows Dutch technology companies to play a leading role in the development of this promising technology. Therefore, BOM is committed to supporting the financial and strategic development of this game changer.”

PhotonDelta CEO Ewit Roos explains: “SMART Photonics fulfils a key function within our growing European photonics ecosystem and are of utmost importance as the fabrication of photonic integrated circuits enables innovative products in many application domains. Thus, the growth of SMART Photonics has a profound impact as it leverages the scale of activity and innovation of the entire supply chain of integrated photonics in Europe. We are thrilled to participate in this round as the national growth accelerator for the Dutch integrated photonics industry.”

Samir Ahmad, Investment Director at KPN Ventures explains the strategic value for KPN: “In order to keep up with the immense amount of data generated at a very high speed by advancing technologies like IoT, AI, augmented reality and autonomous driving, there is a need for a new generation of photonic integrated circuits that can transport data faster, cost-effective and more sustainable (less energy consumption). Therefore, we see a unique, strategic opportunity for KPN to be closely involved in the development of photonic integration technology with SMART Photonics to continue to serve our customers in an optimal way.”

SMART Photonics PR contact
Geert Appeldoorn
Director Commercial Development
+31 611278256

Venture capital fund Innovation Industries closes €175 million fund. Rabo Corporate Investments participates as investor

Innovation Industries has successfully closed its fundraising for its second fund with the participation of Rabo Corporate Investments and several other investors, including the four Dutch technical universities and TNO. Apart from Rabo Corporate Investments, the fund’s leading investors are the pension funds PME and PMT. Innovation Industries currently holds a total of €250 million under management for investments in Dutch technology driven companies.

Since 2017, Innovation Industries has built a portfolio of 16 Dutch companies that are active in high-tech, med-tech and food & agri tech. In the coming years, the fund plans to add around 15 new companies to its portfolio. With investments of up to €25 million per company and in-depth knowledge and experience in the fields of technology, high-tech industry and financing, the fund is able to accelerate companies from the start-up phase to profitability.

With the participation of Rabo Corporate Investments, Innovation Industrie brings in a professional investor with sector-specific knowledge and experience in the field of food & agri. This increases the abilities of Innovation Industries to help entrepreneurs in the food & agri sector with their international growth ambitions.

“As a team, we are very happy with Rabo Corporate Investments joining our fund. Just like Rabobank, we see a lot of potential in the Dutch high-tech sector and share the passion to help companies that are active in this sector to grow into international players in a sustainable way. We are not only working on a financial return for our investors, but also on a better high-tech ecosystem in the Netherlands,” says Harm de Vries, partner at Innovation Industries.

“By participating in Innovation Industries, we stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation in the Dutch high-tech sector. Our commitment to this fund fits well with Rabobank’s strategy to provide broader support for the start-up and scale-up ecosystem in the Netherlands. Rabobank is currently providing this support with its start-up and scale-up teams in Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Delft and Enschede. The prominent presence of Innovation Industries in Eindhoven also fits nicely with Rabobank’s ambition for Brainport Eindhoven. The venture capital fund’s experience with high -tech hardware investments is a good addition to Rabo Corporate Investments’ focus on food & agri,” said Francis Quint, Global Head of Rabo Corporate Investments.

Note for the press

About Innovation Industries

Innovation Industries is an independent venture capital investor that provides accelerator capital and strategic support to Dutch High Tech, MedTech and Agri&Food Tech businesses with innovative proprietary scientific and engineering technology, solving real-world problems in identifiable markets. Innovation Industries uses a market-driven approach to create long-term value in high technology start-up and scale-up companies.

For further information about Innovation Industries’ portfolio please visit:

About Rabo Corporate Investments

Rabo Corporate Investments, the investment vbranche of Rabobank, has invested over € 1.4 billion in food & argi tech world wide. These investments vary from growth captial for start-ups and scale-ups to (co-)investments in larger companies and funds.

For more information please visit:

ARION producer ATO-GEAR completes investment round led by Innovation Industries to accelerate commercial rollout

ATO-GEAR has developed ARION, ultra-thin pressure sensitive insoles and motion tracking pods which drive unique biomechanical models and algorithms that analyze the performance of runners and running shoes. ARION’s AI, incorporated in the product’s software, is able to provide coaching guidance and real-time feedback assisting runners to adjust their running technique to help reduce injury risk and improve performance. In stores or at events, ARION can help customers to select running shoes based on their personal running profile. Furthermore, ATO-GEAR’s data is used to build software and provide services to shoe manufacturers and other industry partners to facilitate and support brand engagement, product development and serve new and innovative markets.

ATO-GEAR has been steadily executing its ambition to become the most comprehensive platform offering expert insights into human body movement. The recent investment will be used to scale up the organization to enable an accelerated commercial rollout. In parallel, ATO-GEAR’s biomechanical models and algorithms will be improved and expanded to broaden their potential in new application areas.

“Innovation Industries is a fund that understands and embraces technology and IP-driven companies, we are delighted to have them on board as they share our vision of the development of our platform” says Andrew Statham, CEO of ATO-GEAR. “With the support of Innovation Industries, we are able to accelerate growth and make cutting-edge exercise sciences accessible to many more sports enthusiasts around the world.”

Nard Sintenie, General Partner at Innovation Industries comments: “We are excited about our investment in ATO-GEAR, who is at the forefront of the analysis of the performance of runners and running shoes. We look forward to working with the management team on scaling up commercially and developing new applications.”