This report covers the 11th edition of the EU-funded MicroNanoBio Systems cluster annual MNBS Bioelectronics Workshop, which took place in Amsterdam at the Beurs van Berlage on 12th-13th December 2017 and was included as part of the International Micro Nano Conference 2017, of which the main topics were Microfluidics and Analytical Systems, Fabrication and Characterization at the Nanoscale, and Organ-on-a-Chip.

Finger touching electronics board

Leading Edge Research & Innovation on Smart Systems for Better Quality of Life

MNBS is a cluster of EU funded projects covering research, development and system integration across technologies such as micro-electronics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, biomaterials and ICT. Bioelectronics and micro-nano-bio systems (MNBS) activities draw together a diverse range of technologies to develop miniaturised (portable and wearable), intelligent communicating devices for bio-related applications. This technological integration is focused on a wide range of sectors and markets, from medical devices and health care to agriculture, food and the environment. The cross-disciplinary nature of MNBS opens a wide range of new possibilities for intellectual advance and competitive commercial development. The area can play a key role in the European agenda on digitalisation and open new opportunities for better quality of life.

The group, counting for more than 120 MNBS related projects and 500 M€ in FP7 and H2020, has been achieving breakthroughs in building blocks technology and system integration. The validation, so far, takes place mainly at the laboratory level. The majority of prototypes are not mature enough for integrating into real-world environments, with some remarkable exceptions in healthcare and wellbeing applications.

The aims of the annual MNBS workshops are tailored to the host conference to maximise potential participation and networking opportunities. In 2017 the focus of the workshop was to examine how MNBS was addressing the big societal challenges such as agriculture, food, health care and the environment with relevant innovations, which should be affordable, smart, autonomous, small, intuitive and connected. The workshop also built on previous editions, with attention to technologies and innovation, commercial landscapes and market development and was divided into four sessions over the two day period:

  • Day 1 concentrated on an overview of current MNBS projects and
  • Day 2 examined ecosystems, key MNBS innovation issues, future challenges and opportunities.

The main conclusions relate to suggestions and recommendations on how to address the main identified challenges, such as advancing Technology and Innovation, strengthening engagement with future EU research and innovation funding programmes and policy, seeking opportunities under the new European Innovation Council and developing a wider ecosystem approach involving a broader set of stakeholders.

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