First runner up, Best Diagnostics project, and Best Supporting Entrepreneurship.


AptaVita: To date, an estimated two billion people worldwide suffer from hidden hunger, also known as micronutrient deficiencies. Hidden hunger is defined as a lack of vitamins and minerals and is most prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The consequences of hidden hunger are various health issues, often exhibiting generic symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose. Long-term and acute deficiencies can result in severe health issues, such as growth impairment and increased risks of infectious diseases. Moreover, micronutrient deficiencies may contribute to socioeconomic gaps within populations. Intervention with non-specific micronutrient supplements has shown to be inefficient. Nevertheless, data-tailored intervention programs can contribute to tackling hidden hunger


To tackle this problem, the AptaVita team created an aptazyme-based biosensor, with a deticated hardware for a quantitative readout, for the detection of vitamin deficienciencies from blood. When working on their solution, they also enganged with the relevant stakeholders and incorporated their advice and insights into the initial design. AptaVita aimed to raise awareness on the problem and provide an innovative solution.