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By Biocat

Tarragona-based company iMicroQ won the EmprenedorXXI Award in Catalonia, with a €5,000 grant, awarded by "laCaixa" and the National Innovation Company (Enisa). This award recognizes innovative start-ups with the highest potential for growth in Spain.

Created in 2010 by a research group from Rovira i Virgili University (URV), iMicroQ focuses on developing technology and products for food safety and clinical diagnostics. Their main product currently in the development phase is a kit to quickly detect salmonella, reducing the time needed to 14 hours from the time the sample is taken.

In addition to the grant that comes along with the award, the Catalan biotechnology company will be able to participate in two international training experiences: the Ignite Fast Track course, given by the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), and a technology bridge to Silicon Valley. Additionally, they will automatically be entered in the nation-wide contest, which will be held in October and in which the winners from the autonomous communities compete to win the €20,000 national prize.

In Catalonia, where the initiative is organized by Barcelona Activa, 127 companies submitted projects to this edition, 59% more than in 2011. The other two runners-up were biotechnology firm Sagetis and consultancy MBA&co.

iMicroQ was a runner-up in the 2010 edition of the BioEmprenedorXXI awards, which recognizes the best innovative business start-up plan in the life sciences sector and is promoted by "la Caixa", Barcelona Activa, Biocat, Genoma España and the Barcelona City Council.

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