Sumitomo Chemical Invests in an Israeli Startup: Aiming to Create New Health Care Businesses Using Scent Recognition Platform
Dec. 3, 2019
Sumitomo Chemical has invested US $2 million in Nanoscent, a startup company in Israel that develops a high-precision scent recognition IoT platform. Through this investment, Sumitomo Chemical will work to deepen its strategic and technological collaboration with Nanoscent and create new healthcare businesses.
Nanoscent is a spin-off company from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Israel. It is developing a scent recognition sensor with a chemiregistor* and an IoT platform using the detected data. Nanoscent has already developed prototypes both of a portable device that can detect multiple scents in real time and an information infrastructure that accumulates and analyzes the detected data in the cloud and enables various devices, such as smartphones, to display the results. By applying machine learning to detected scent patterns by AI algorithms, the scent recognition platform could detect complex conditions, such as changes in a person’s physical condition, in addition to simply detecting scent.
Sumitomo Chemical aims to achieve the visualization of people’s physical condition, which is a key to a next-generation healthcare platform, in cooperation with Nanoscent. Sumitomo Chemical is planning to conduct field trials in order to develop a system useful for health management, where fecal scent data can identify changes in physical condition and signs of disease, and propose solutions (food, medicines, lifestyle changes, etc.) suitable to a person’s physical condition on a particular day. In addition, applicable fields of Nanoscent's technology, which can accurately detect scents or mixtures of various volatile chemical compounds, are not limited to healthcare, but are highly varied, including the detection and monitoring of hazardous substances in industrial plants and cities, and the determination and management of scents in cars. Therefore, concluding that it would contribute to the creation of next-generation businesses, Sumitomo Chemical decided to make this investment in Nanoscent.
Under its Corporate Business Plan for FY2019 to FY2021, Sumitomo Chemical has identified accelerated development of next-generation businesses as one of its basic policies, and is currently building its own innovation ecosystem to create new businesses in all four of its priority areas, which are healthcare, environmental impact reduction, food, and ICT. Sumitomo Chemical will continue efforts to gain access to unique outside technologies through open innovation-oriented interactions with start-ups, academia and others, and then combine such technological expertise with its proprietary technologies to develop new technologies or create new business domains that will help achieve a sustainable society.
* A material that changes its electrical resistance in response to the nearby chemical environment, such as adsorption of substances. It can be used as a sensor that detects various substances. Generally, materials utilizing nanotechnology (technology to develop characteristic materials by manipulating substances at the atomic and molecular levels) are used.
Conceptual Diagram of the Healthcare Platform
Established in 2017. Based on the concept of Scent Recognition as a Service, Nanoscent is developing not only scent recognition hardware but also software. In January 2019, the company received the CES Eureka Park Climate Change Innovators Award in the Climate-Change Sector at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the world's largest consumer electronics trade show. This company is highly evaluated by the industry for its technologies.
For more information: https://nanoscentlabs.com
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