Four Take-off grants for academic entrepreneurs in the social sciences and humanities

13 December 2018

In the ninth Take-off funding round three feasibility studies and one early stage route have been awarded. A total of 22 feasibility studies and 9 early stage routes were honored in all Take Off clusters.

Three academic entrepreneurs receive a maximum of 40,000 euros to perform a feasibility study of the commercial application of innovative ideas and the start of activity on the basis of knowledge innovations from the social sciences and humanities. One academic entrepreneur receives a maximum loan of 250,000 euros in order to kick-start his innovative company.

With the Take-off instrument, academic entrepreneurs can bring their innovative research results to the market. Knowledge utalisation in the social sciences and humanities have had a new boost.

Awarded projects

The projects in the social sciences and humanities that will start soon:

Grant: Take-off Phase 1 - Feasibility studies

Project: Smart Mapping
Applicant: Govert Schoof, University of Groningen
Over the past five years, the geological service of the University of Groningen has independently and in collaboration with various professors from the University of Groningen worked on scientific research that has led to the development of various IT solutions for complex geographical information issues. The knowledge that has emerged from these solutions has resulted in a conceptual framework that has given rise to a smart mapping method with a specific source code. This source code is the intellectual property of the University of Groningen. The intended company Mapling BV aims to convert this conceptual framework, together with source code, into a game-changing technology for indoor wayfinding. However, numerous questions remain, especially in the area of market, service concept, earning model and commercialisation, that will need to be answered before the decision to start a business is taken. The aim of this feasibility project is to find answers that can be used to produce a sound business plan for the intended company Mapling BV.

Project: Fitsurance - Health is Wealth
Applicant: Sauvik Das Gupta, VU Amsterdam
Health costs in the Netherlands are rising faster than the GNP. The rise in costs is partly due to the lack of sufficient daily activity, poor dietary choices and in some cases lack of knowledge about general health. As a result of this, the incidence and prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer is increasing with a concomitant substantial rise in health costs as a result. To tackle this problem, the population needs to live more healthily and this can be realised by increasing the general awareness of health. We want to achieve this by offering individuals a health check-up linked to a consultation about exercise and nutrition. The consultation will be offered through a mobile application that will also monitor the daily activity. Not only the population will benefit from this, but also companies (decrease in sick leave), health insurers (decrease in costs and incidence of illness) and the government (healthier population).

Project: “Meta-grip”: monitoring grip force to minimize hand injuries and improve climbing performance
Applicant: Dr Dominic Orth, VU Amsterdam
Sport climbing has grown worldwide into a popular and frequently practiced sports activity. The functional gripping power of the hands and fingers is an important factor for determining the performance, but at the same time it forms an important source of injuries (about 40% of all injuries among climbers are hand or finger related). Consequently, there is an urgent need to objectively monitor the functional gripping force as evidence-based support for preventing and treating hand and finger injuries. We have therefore developed the “meta-grip”, an innovative tool to measure climbing-specific gripping force on various types of grip and slope angles. With the meta-grip, we want to help climbers to monitor their progress, balance their training, prevent or treat injuries and to improve their performance.

Grant: Take-off phase 2 – Early phase trajectory 2018

Project: Scitodate Market Landscape: Using AI for mapping out addressable markets for manufacturers of scientific research equipment.
Applicant: Dr Mehdi Farzanehpour, VU Amsterdam
Scitodate was founded to make scientific knowledge easy to find and understand. Our strategy to take such an ambitious vision on is to explore the severely underused wealth contained in academic literature. The new wave of AI has very recently made it possible to extract complex information from scientific literature at a global scale, and we found ourselves at a privileged position to make it happen.

Obviously, this is a long-term vision, so we have decided to focus on a single stakeholder and on a single value proposition to help establish healthy foundations to our business during the first 3-5 years. We currently help research instrument manufacturers find their ideal customers. Experimental research is done with expensive highly specialized equipment, so their producers face the challenge of selling to a niche and sparse global market.

The Scitodate Market Landscape shows the whole addressable market of a research instrument manufacturer at a glance. It leverages academic literature to help producers get the most out of their conference trips and offers an alternative scalable source for highly qualified sales leads.
Scitodate is a proud alumni of the Rockstart Accelerator, the Amazon AWS Startup Program and the Google Cloud Startup Program.

More information on Take-off

Take-off, the funding instrument of NWO (TTW, SGW) and ZonMw, encourages activity and entrepreneurship within the Dutch knowledge institutions. It is financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Take-off finances startups and feasability studies.

Take-off is open for applications from all scientific fields. Granting rounds are twice a year. For the eighth round an amount of 1 mln euros was available for the feasability studies en 2,4 mln euros for start-up loans.

Source: NWO


Science area

Social Sciences and Humanities




Facilitating knowledge utilisation (2011-2014)