Deep technology is the general term used to describe any technology founded on tangible engineering innovation or technological advances. It covers technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, blockchain, and quantum computing.
Europe is trying to boost companies in the sector to compete on the international stage. In the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Euronews Next spoke to three companies in deep tech worth watching.
IDUN Technologies: reading your mind
The Swiss startup is working on an algorithm that analyzes facial expressions, like eye movements and jaw clenching through earbuds. This device is located on the back of your neck. It transmits the signals to a tiny box connected to the device.
The Internet of Humans technology uses its closed-loop system that converts brain waves into electrical signals and then uploads the data to their cloud. When processed, these signals could reveal a lot about our mental state, levels of fatigue, and other aspects of brain activities.
These health data are examined and could help build an understanding of different mental health conditions, which can help people listen or rest better.
The company collaborates with Japanese pharmaceutical giant Takeda and evaluates the technology to detect sleep-onset neuron markers.
The startup is in the final stages of its seed phase and is a business-to-business firm. Still, its goal is to offer its products to consumers so that they can be utilized in various scenarios, like choosing your music playlist according to your mood.
It is being developed, and health regulations are required.
“People can look back 100 years and declare that they died of perfectly treatable diseases simply because they didn’t know about it.” IDUN Technologies chief executive officer and co-founder Simon Bachman told Euronews Next.
“I realized that we must be better at preventing health and to improve your health preventatively. You need technology that is available to health-conscious people,” He said.
He also stated that one of the significant problems in the Medtech and healthcare sector is that regulations create a massive obstacle to entering the industry.
Bachman said he’s a fan of regulation, and it has its committee on neuroethics that examines the issue of sharing data. Bachman also stated that the company is active in discussions about how the field of neurotechnology can be or should be regulated and has been in touch with policymakers.
Being a European startup, Bachman said there “is absolutely no disadvantage.”
“Europe is the ideal place to be since we live in a globalized world. Also, you should know that the talent is in Switzerland are particularly impressive, however, are also found in Europe”.
Oxford Quantum Circuits: the supercomputer
Quantum computing is another area that is gaining momentum in Europe. It utilizes quantum physics to design innovative ways to compute.
Quantum computers generally outperform regular ones when there are various combinations because they can think about these in parallel.
Quantum computing is utilized across a range of sectors, including by companies for risk analysis, government agencies for cybersecurity, and the pharmaceutical industry.
One company located within the United Kingdom making progress with the technology used is Oxford Quantum Circuits.
“We operate as a true-to-play quantum computers service provider which is basically to construct quantum computers and put them into the hands of our customers to ensure they can tackle some of the most difficult issues using quantum technology to create the quantum-enabled future we want,” Ilana Wisby, co-founder and CEO of the company, told Euronews Next.
The company started its launch this week Amazon Web Services’ Amazon Bracket, which means they can announce that for the first, quantum computing is now accessible via the public cloud through Amazon Bracket in Europe.
Wisby stated that this was “incredibly important ” because many of their customers have access to quantum computing. However, they aren’t getting European hours of uptime and haven’t had European data security.
“So these are the services that we now can offer,” she said, saying that they’ve had private customers interact directly with them, which opens up a more extensive marketplace for their services.
MAGOS” magic gloves
The Greek startup MAGOS is working on an innovative hardware and software system to transform how users in the digital world. It has created an exoskeleton glove that allows users to feel and touch within your virtual environment.
The wearable glove product is linked to the PC and digitizes the movements within your hand, with a high precision of how fingers move. Clinicians in training to execute procedures precisely as they would in real life.
The company has its sensors attached to each joint and records every motion and sensation. The technology can be used by clinicians who train to carry out procedures remotely and provide information to health professionals at a distance. This could change the way hand rehabilitation is performed.
“We know that the computers of the future will be headsets that use TED model displays that allow for Augmented Reality and any other product that the existing hardware will be able to evolve into,” Magos CEO and founder Greg Agripolous told Euronews Next.
While the technology is innovative, he added that it’s hard to compete with European startups.
“We have some competition from the US. The market is more corporate and mature and has a more significant technology investment.
“And the money is readily accessible in the US for more than Europe, so we are having a difficult time.”
But, Agripolous noted despite those issues, the startup has been able to secure EU Innovation funds and has also attracted clients from the US.
Can Europe remain competitive?
Europe is trying to boost its technology ecosystem to match China and the United States, and China with the launch of a new initiative.
The European Start-up Nation Alliance (ESNA) was first revealed during the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of Europe in November this year.
ESNA is responsible for developing a new norm for startups throughout the continent and will collate the most effective practices and provide technical support and track the development of startups.
States have made commitments to ESNA and France that have agreed to facilitate the establishment of up to 20 investment funds at the late stage that has at the very least EUR1 billion under management and the development of deep-tech finance.
Europe’s startup companies join forces.
In the Mobile World Congress, the economic and digital ministers of Spain, Portugal, and Austria were able to discuss how ESNA could transform the startups of the bloc.
Too much fragmentation is an additional problem the alliance is trying to address.
“There are 27 members and frameworks for legal law (…) different from the single market in the United States,” said Andre de Aragao Azevedo, Secretary of State of Portugal’s Office in charge of Digital Transition.
Pere Duran, the director of the platform for startups 4YFN (four years from today), stated that data protection was a significant concern for the bloc.
“I think there are a lot of challenges ahead that must be addressed, one of which is being able to compete against ecosystems like China or the US which may not have the same amount of regulations as we do in our own country on tax zones and data protection,” he told Euronews Next.
However, Duran stated that the startup scene within Europe is “really flourishing” and that investment in startups across the continent has reached new heights.
“More than 100 million dollars was invested in European tech in the last year, which means it’s a great time to become a digital entrepreneur within Europe,” he told Euronews Next.