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Press Release


ClearDetections wins Venture Challenge Spring 2010

New detection method for pathogenic worms clinches 25,000 prize money

The Hague, June 18, 2010
Start-up company ClearDetections is the winner of the Venture Challenge Spring 2010, as was announced during the LifeSciences@work kick-off event
in Utrecht on June 17, 2010. ClearDetections, a spin-off from Wageningen University and BLGG AgroXpertus (The Netherlands) has developed a new method to efficiently detect nematodes minute worms in the soil that cause approximately $80 billion damage annually to agricultural crops worldwide.

"ClearDetections convinced us with the clarity of their plan, which addresses a real need in the market. Moreover, they offer a validated solution", said Alie Tigchelhoff, president of the Venture Challenge jury. "Combined with the quality of the team, ClearDetections delivered the best performance all around."

"Because we target the agricultural market and our idea is relatively simple, I did not expect us to win, even though I know we have a strong team and a strong technology", said Renske Landeweert of ClearDetections and senior researcher at BLGG AgroXpertus. "It is great to able to couple scientific knowledge to practical applications. With the prize money, we plan to take the next step and have potential customers test our system to use their feedback for further development", she continued.

The selection of the Venture Challenge winner following a final pitch to the jury by all six contestants and the prize ceremony took place at the kick-off event of LifeSciences@work a new, coherent start-up support programme offering a variety of support activities for (aspiring) life sciences entrepreneurs. LifeSciences@work is set up by the Netherlands Genomics Initiative and next to new activities teams up with existing start-up support programmes where relevant.


For more information:
Jiske Krommendijk | Netherlands Genomics Initiative |
Dr Renske Landeweert | BLGG AgroXpertus |
Dr Hans Helder | Wageningen University |

About ClearDetections
Causing an annual damage of approximately $80 billion to agricultural crops worldwide, minute soil-born worms (nematodes) pose a huge problem. Sustainable disease management requires efficient pathogen detection methods, but so far, inspections are based on microscopic examinations, which are laborious, expensive and lack the required resolution. Building from the world's largest nematode DNA database developed by Hans Helder at Wageningen University and the expertise of BLGG AgroXpertus, the Netherlands' leading agricultural service laboratory, ClearDetections will commercialise molecular detection methods for all major pathogenic nematodes.

About the Venture Challenge
The Venture Challenge offers advice and coaching on essential elements of setting up a life sciences business. In two 3-day workshops, participating teams are continuously challenged by the facilitators and each other to streamline their business plan and improve their 'pitch'. The team with the best business plan and pitch is awarded 25,000 to further develop their venture.

The Venture Challenge is one of the Netherlands Genomics Initiatives activities aimed at stimulating and supporting Life Sciences researchers in translating their inventions into viable business ideas.


Contact: Netherlands Genomics Initiative | t +31 70 344 0850 |