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May 29, 2024

Annual results 2023 - Working sustainably on transitions

Today LIOF presented its 2023 results. LIOF aims to use its activities to make a positive contribution to the transitions: energy, circularity, health and digitalization. In 2023 the greatest impact was made on the health transition. In addition, important steps were taken to make the region sustainably future-proof. But there is still work to be done.

Solutions for the long term
Jeroen Walraven, managing director a.i.: "The succession of crises threatens to create a primary focus on short-term thinking and action. But we must continue to focus on long-term solutions for the social transitions. From LIOF we are pulling out all the stops to support start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs in this. We do this with innovation programs and funds, but we also actively seek cooperation with partners in the region and beyond. Because only together can we tackle the big challenges."

Collaboration transitions health and digitalization
In 2023, 76 innovation projects and 16 investments impacted the health SDG. One case that was guided from the core tasks of innovation and investment was Ceriter. Ceriter is a startup focused on developing, manufacturing and selling a smart insole, the Stride One. This insole detects abnormal gait patterns and generates customized audio feedback via a smartphone to avoid or correct Freezing of Gait (FoG) in patients with Parkinson's. This is important, as Parkinson's patients can easily fall down due to FoG with all its risks. LIOF supported the development of the first prototype with an innovation grant and then stepped in with a loan from the Limburg Startup Capital Fund (LSCF) to bring the "smart sole" to market.

Impact on circular and energy transition
Multiphase Dryers developed a drying technology that uses low-grade waste heat to dry and upgrade (food & beverage) waste streams in an affordable way. This removes an important hurdle for the biobased and circular economy: biobased raw materials and food & beverage waste streams contain a lot of moisture and are therefore perishable and difficult to upgrade. Drying with a conventional dryer costs a lot of high-grade heat and is costly and environmentally unfriendly. LIOF invested from the Limburg Early Phase Fund to enable the further development of the prototype into a condensing dryer and the validation of its commercial feasibility.

Annual emission reduction of nearly 25,000 tons of CO2
Two projects that concluded in 2023 were the Joint Corridor Off-road project and the From Waste 2 Profit project. During the three years the Joint Corridors project was implemented for the Logistics Top Sector, over 370,000 containers were moved from road to water or rail. This has led to 70,0000 fewer truck movements annually and an emission reduction of about 17,000 tons of CO2. 
The Euroregional From Waste 2 Profit project focused on reducing waste and, where possible, converting residual waste into circular material streams. The overall project resulted in an annual reduction of 7,400 tons of waste, 224,000 kWh of energy consumption, 8,700 tons of CO2 emissions and 184,000 m3 of water consumption.

Project Einstein Telescope
In 2023, the National Growth Fund project Einstein Telescope led by LIOF was launched. A valorization program for high-tech companies to stimulate innovation and accelerated development of new technologies for the Einstein Telescope. LIOF is leading nationwide and working closely with the ROMs in Brabant (BOM), South Holland (InnovationQuarter) and East Netherlands (Oost NL). Part of this program is a R&D scheme with a budget of over €12 million that focuses on five technologies relevant to the Einstein Telescope but which can also be used in other application areas. Such as aerospace engineering or the semiconductor industry. Low-vibration cooling, for example, will also become important in electric flight. In 2024, the focus is on forming consortia for the various technologies and strengthening the ecosystem to increase the candidacy for the possible arrival of the Einstein Telescope.

"Positive operating results are combined with negative financial results. This reflects the difficult economic situation of several industries. The Supervisory Board endorses LIOF's long-term vision in this situation and its continuous focus on transitions. In this way entrepreneurs can (continue to) work together with LIOF on a smarter, more sustainable and healthier Limburg," said Hans Jennissen, Chairman of the Supervisory Board.

More information in the annual report (in Dutch)

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Hortense Janssen
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