The Winterthur-based start-up Scewo has been named as the winner of this year’s Swiss Medtech Award. It was recognized for its stair-climbing power wheelchair BRO. “With creativity, technology, a lot of work and entrepreneurial spirit, Scewo has created an innovation that could potentially conquer world markets”, comments Jury President Mirko Meboldt from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) in a press release issued by Swiss Medtech, the association of Swiss medical technology. BRO is already available on the market in Switzerland, Germany and Austria.
The award ceremony took place on Wednesday in Bern as part of the Swiss Medtech Day. This is the most important event for the Swiss medtech sector, with more than 600 people taking part on the day. The award comes with prize money of 50,000 Swiss francs and is sponsored by the Lichtsteiner Foundation, the Straumann Group and Ypsomed.
In terms of the company history, Scewo started out life in 2014 as a focus project of a Bachelor degree program at the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering at ETH Zurich and the Zurich University of the Arts. Today, BRO is the world’s only power wheelchair that combines driving on two wheels with stair-climbing ability owing to its caterpillar-like crawlers.
Users are able to control the wheelchair via a mobile phone app or joystick. For this, Scewo wrote the software itself in full. In this way, BRO can be continuously improved and equipped with new functions, according to the press release. BRO also has a seat lift, which helps to raise users up to reach high shelves or to be at eye level with another person.
Two companies from the canton of St.Gallen also made the list of finalists: GalvoSurge Dental AG, with its system for the cleaning of dental implants, and Icotec AG, which has developed non-metallic and therefore radiolucent implants for the treatment of spinal tumors.
Greater Zurich Area - Europe's leading medical technology location
It is no coincidence that the Greater Zurich Area is home to so many world-class patents for medical technology as nowhere else in Europe. Technology leaders such as Roche Diagnostics, Zimmer Biomet, Stryker, Hamilton, Sonova, Cardinal Health and DePuy Synthes (Johnson&Johnson) operate headquarters or research and production facilities here. They value the large pool of international specialists, the R&D collaborations with leading universities and start-ups, the protection of intellectual property and the business-friendly environment. Would your medtech company also like to write a success story in Switzerland?