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Shell LiveWIRE Netherlands Award 2013

The inventor of a special intravenous drip (IV) that improves the accuracy and safety of administering medication to babies that are being treated in incubators, has scooped the main prize in the 2013 Shell LiveWIRE Netherlands Awards.

Brechtje Riphagen received her top Shell LiveWIRE award of €10,000 Euro (US $13,600) in recognition of the impressive success of her business, Innofuse, and the impact it will have on improving the medical care of vulnerable babies.

On presenting Brechtje with her award, Bertholt Leeftink, Director General of Business & Innovation at the Ministry of Economic Affairs said, “We were mainly impressed with Brechtje’s passion and motivation. She clearly aspires to a higher goal and is keen to achieve a better world through the development of her innovation, which helps give the most vulnerable infants a healthy start in life.

“It’s great to see how a researcher can succeed in becoming an entrepreneur. In doing so, Brechtje has succeeded in surrounding herself with a group of people with complementary expertise. Brechtje’s ambition also appeals to the imagination. She aims to conquer the world with her IV drip line. Finally, the panel of judges was greatly impressed by the level of structure of her approach and plans.”

The panel of judges also included: Merel van Vroonhoven, NS and Topvrouw 2012; Kay Pierik, Mazars; Jan van den Ende, Erasmus University, Rotterdam; and, Rutger Betlem of the daily newspaper, Het Financieele Dagblad. They scrutinised the four finalist’s business plans for their innovation, entrepreneurship and growth potential. According to the judges, Brechtje distinguished herself on a number of those fronts with her medical innovation.

Speaking on receiving her Shell LiveWIRE prize, Brechtje said, “I can still hardly believe it. It’s a great token of appreciation for everyone involved in developing the IV drip line. Together with a subsidy granted earlier this week, I can put this to very good use to prepare for the clinical studies scheduled at the Utrecht University Medical Centre in 2014.”

In prototype test trials to date, Innofuse’s disposable IV drip has performed well in terms of reducing medicine dosage fluctuations, with an improvement of between 60-100%, and on the speed of dosage administration, where improvements of between 25-75% have been observed, which significantly improves patient care.

Said Brechtje, "At the moment we are busy with preparations for a clinical trial at the UMC Utrecht. If these are successful, I expect to launch the product in 2015.”

Highlighting the impact Shell LiveWIRE has had on her business so far, Brechtje added, "Shell LiveWIRE opened doors for me and brings me into contact with investors and fellow entrepreneurs."

Another medical entrepreneur, Simone Meeboer of Dovideq Medical, the developer of a fully automatic endoscope tester, won a special award after capturing 40% of the votes which had been cast by visitors to the programme’s website,

This year’s four finalists were selected from an entry of 13 companies by an expert panel of judges who assessed the entrepreneurs on their innovation, business acumen and growth potential. In addition to Innofuse and Dovideq Medical, the final four also included the manufacturer of a bio-degradable tent and smart street lighting.

Dick Benschop, President Director of Shell Netherlands commented, “Innovation and enterprise are key to the Netherlands’ economic success. We are contributing to this via the Shell LiveWIRE programme that supports the growth and development of more than 600 young entrepreneurs every year, including our two winners in 2013. Nowadays, a wider audience can find out about the passion for innovation of young entrepreneurs like Brechtje and Simone. A passion that we at Shell share with them.”

The Shell LiveWIRE Award is organised by Shell and Syntens Innovation Centre, supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs with sponsorship from Mazars accountants.

Piet van Staalduinen, Director of Syntens Innovation Centre and Member of the Transitional Board of the Chamber of Commerce added, “Innovation is the mainspring of the Dutch economy. The entrepreneurs presenting their innovations here today are heroes for our future. They help realise growth and prosperity. Shell LiveWIRE and Syntens Innovation Centre are particularly proud of the coaching and support we provide to more than 600 entrepreneurs every year on their paths to success.”

Kay Pierik, Partner at Shell LiveWIRE sponsors Mazars added, “Innovation and enterprise are what the Netherlands needs for the future. The LiveWIRE programme combines this very well. Advising fledgling entrepreneurs to negotiate the many challenges they face is part of our DNA. This way, Mazars works together with entrepreneurs to transform knowledge into opportunities.”

Shell LiveWIRE Netherlands helps innovative young entrepreneurs to develop their companies. By providing personal guidance and a professional network, the programme improves the resilience and likelihood of success of the entrepreneurs. Shell LiveWIRE focuses specifically on innovative young entrepreneurs, complementing the fact that innovation is the driving force behind the Dutch economy. Shell LiveWIRE is organised in the Netherlands by the Syntens Innovation Centre, supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, with sponsorship from Mazars.



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