Senecio Robotics has awarded US $ 12 million from the European Fee to assist combat mosquito-borne illnesses
Early-stage Israeli company, AI award winner Senecio Ltd., is developing a mobile automated mosquito factory to monitor and control mosquitoes.
Tel Aviv, Israel, December 16, 2020 / PRNewswire / – With more than 2,000 early-stage companies applying for the EU-EIC Accelerator Pilot May Cutoff, only 64 companies were selected after extensive due diligence on the company, patent portfolio, market, team and technology. The mixed investment includes both equity and grant components with the recently signed grant agreement.
Given that nearly 700 million people are infected with a mosquito-borne disease each year, as well as the increase in mosquito populations due to the warming climate, combating it using only traditional approaches is a massive and growing challenge.
Senecio Robotics automates the most environmentally friendly solution ever invented to control mosquitoes, sterile insect technology (SIT). While SIT has been widely proven for many tough insects like fruit flies, it has only been done on a relatively small scale with fragile mosquitos. Senecio has focused on addressing the biggest challenges to the widespread adoption of mosquito SIT that require automation to deal with the very large numbers.
According to the founder and CEO, Hanan Lepek“We are already in discussions with select health and local authorities, as well as prospective dealers who are all excited about the technology. We are currently looking for locations to create a fully functional demo site.”
Lepek: “We have worked hard over the past few years and believe that we have solved what is required for operators to take advantage of SIT on a large scale. Our portfolio includes the full range of solutions from monitoring and pooling (detection) of dead Mosquitoes testing for potential viruses) through to production and release, provided both as stand-alone modules to solve the individual requirements of the partners and as a turnkey mosquito factory that fulfills the requirements from end to end.
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“The first step in combating mosquitoes is understanding their occurrence. Until now, mosquitoes caught in traps have been counted individually and classified by experts. Senecio is developing an AI-controlled solution that automates important parts of the process and enables interested parties to do a quick and accurate Create an understanding of the local mosquito distribution The solution has also attracted interest from agricultural companies interested in monitoring insects that affect agriculture.
“Next comes the production of the sterile males, including automated feeding, larval counting and sorting. Within a few days, the larva develops into pupae before turning into sterile adult male mosquitoes that can be released.
“Currently, both Senecio’s automated doll sorter and AI-based adult sex separators and packaging are being validated at partner locations in the United States.
“The Senecio sorting solution includes image processing systems for the identification and extraction of adult women. At the exit of the factory, small transporters pick up the filled cartridges, which are ready for release in the city. The release technology was invented back in 2014 and tested on-site trials in 2015 as well Patents granted in multiple countries for the release of vans, drones, airplanes and hand releases. The release plan is managed by our mission planning algorithm, which is also an authorized patent and automatically integrates imported data from the surveillance solution.
“Partners can use their own method of sterilization as we don’t care. They can either use X-ray, Wolbachia, IIT, RNAi, CRISPER, or whatever option works best for them.
“Our automated monitoring solution as well as the second generation sorting and packaging of Senecio are expected to be delivered to our partners in the summer of 2021. The first full end-to-end demo site will be demonstrated before the end of next year. The regulatory work is already ongoing and has received positive feedback from regulators who are pleased with the use of our technology.
“In short, our partners will be able to incorporate every part of the solution into their current process, from automated monitoring or gender segregation to a full-fledged robot factory operating in their facility with a production capacity of millions per week to potential campaigns to support.” The solution is deployed over time for an initial setup fee plus subscription, making SIT affordable and accessible.
“This exciting milestone brings us closer to our bold vision of a world free from mosquito-borne disease.” says CEO Hanan Lepek.
Watch the Senecio video:
About the EU EIC Accelerator Program:
The EU’s EIC Accelerator supports world-class innovators and potential small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and bringing to market new innovative products, services and business models that could drive economic growth.
The EIC Accelerator is designed for innovators with breakthrough concepts that could shape new markets or disrupt existing ones Europe and worldwide.
Senecio Robotics is a pioneer in developing automated solutions for sterile insect technology on a large scale. From automated production to sorting and sharing, Senecio leverages AI and automation to create the most environmentally friendly solution ever to control mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases.
Senecio has won prestigious awards since its inception, including the BIRD Foundation’s program with its counterpart Dynamic Aviation from Virginia (2015), the Israeli Grand Challenge Award from the offices of the Prime Minister and Business (2018), the Israeli Innovation Agency grant for innovative programs (2020), first prize for AI startups in Israel (2019) and third prize in the international innovation competition, Life Science Track, China (2017) and participated in the prestige startup accelerator Creative Destruction Labs, Oxford (2020).
Senecio Robotics already has over a dozen patents pending, which are already approved in the USA. Singapore, Australia, Europeand others with the most comprehensive patent portfolio from trap surveillance and bundling to drones and vehicle clearance.
Senecio is supported by the following VCs:
Pamoja Capital is the investment company that runs the funds of the McCall MacBain Family and that of the McCall MacBain Foundation and is currently monitoring approximately $ 1 billion of assets. The company’s mandate is to explore opportunities in a wide range of topics and industries and to make investments that will have positive world benefits. The aim is to make long-term and socially responsible investments. The McCall MacBain Foundation is committed to improving human wellbeing by providing scholarships and other educational opportunities that fuel transformation leadership and by investing in evidence-based strategies to address climate change, protect our natural environment, and improve health outcomes.
Ocean Azul Partners is a Miami-based early stage venture capital firm run by ex-operators and investors who are passionate about helping entrepreneurs bring innovative technology solutions to market. Ocean Azul invests primarily in the US and Israel in B2B software and deep tech companies and works closely with their founders to help them grow their business and overcome challenges.
The project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 101009067
Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUyj3-NleG0
Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1386306/Senecio.jpg