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Alfons Carnicero

CEO and co-founder of ABLE Human Motion

A health entrepreneur who has participated in different courses on entrepreneurship and acceleration programs, Alfons Carnicero earned his Master’s in Industrial and Biomedical Engineering from the UPC. He later worked in the MedTech industry in the areas of product development, clinical evaluation and manufacturing. In 2018, he co-founded ABLE Human Motion, where he is currently the CEO.

“Leaders must have an optimistic vision to influence their teams and together overcome adversities”


ABLE Human Motion is a spinoff of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) which designs, develops and helps commercialize robot exoskeletons to augment and improve human mobility. His Barcelona-based company has created a lightweight, user-friendly, economic exoskeleton to allow individuals with paraplegia to get out of their wheelchairs and walk again. ABLE was one of the European projects chosen to participate in the 1st edition of CRAASH Barcelona, the Biocat program organized in conjunction with CIMIT (Boston), which is one of the bootcamp programs run by EIT Health.


Why did you want to be an entrepreneur?

Ever since I was young, I’ve been fascinated by two things: technology and sports. While studying, I applied the knowledge I gained to improve athletes’ performance. Still, when I was finishing my degree in Industrial Engineering, my father had two strokes, which shifted all my interests: at that point, I decided to dedicate my career to creating technology that could improve people’s health. So, after studying Biomedical Engineering and working in the medical device industry, I and two other engineers decided to create ABLE Human Motion, a company with a clear mission: to enable everyone to be mobile.


What is the most important strategic decision you’ve made so far?

Knowing how to surround myself with the right people and organizations, in terms of teams, advisors, partners and investors. The team is a company’s main asset, and it’s what I’m personally the proudest of. We have managed to recruit the right people to fill the most critical roles in the company (technology, regulatory, clinical, quality, etc.), and we now have a team of 10 young people working extremely efficiently.


What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

That you always have to see the glass as half-full. Being an entrepreneur is like a roller coaster, where successes (and failures) are frequent, and you have to know how to manage and dispatch with them quickly. That’s why leaders must have an optimistic vision to influence their teams and together overcome the adversities that you find along with way (and there are plenty of them). Everything is possible with dedication, effort and passion. And I think that this message is even more important in these difficult times. When everything seems dark, we have to be able to look at the future with hope and focus more on solutions than problems.


And now what? What milestones do you want to achieve in the short term?

The company’s next major milestone is starting a multicenter clinical study which we will conduct in October at two international hospitals that are benchmarks in neurorehabilitation, the University Hospital of Heidelberg (Germany) and the Institut Guttmann (Barcelona). The objective of the study is to evaluate the safety, feasibility and usability of the exoskeleton in 30 patients with spinal cord injuries in a hospital environment. The data from this study will be used to earn CE certification of the exoskeleton as a class IIa medical device next year. In terms of financing, the next milestone will be to close a Series A investment round a year from now.