Microscope tech maker SiriusXT secures €3m H2020 funding

10 Aug 2016

SiriusXT, an Irish start-up producing the first commercial lab-scale soft x-ray tomography (SXT) microscope of its kind, has secured €3m in funding as part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.

Founded in 2015 by Dr Kenneth Fahy, Dr Fergal O’Reilly and Dr Paul Sheridan, following 10 years of research into SXT technology, the company’s telescope allows researchers to illuminate whole single cells or tissue samples and produce 3D images that are impossible to produce otherwise.

Now, the start-up has confirmed that it secured this €3m in funding as part of the latest round of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2 funding.

Future Human

With this new funding, SiriusXT has revealed that it plans to take its technology from a current prototype to a first product, with a pilot system to be trialled by an early adopter in the UK in 2017.

The University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out currently has eight staff on its books, who are mostly scientists and engineers, and it was last year named Best Early Stage Company in Ireland at the final of the InterTradeIreland All-Island Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition.

Tony McEnroe, CEO of SiriusXT, said of the funding announcement: “Our main target market are the thousands of worldwide research laboratories that are focused on disease research and drug discovery.

Sirius SXT100

SiriusXT’s novel soft x-ray tomography (SXT) microscope.

Nuritas also funded

“Our SXT microscopes have a similar engineering complexity and price tag to an electron microscope, and our goal is to make them as ubiquitous as electron microscopes in our target market.”

He continued: “For a start-up company, just a year in existence, this win not only funds a significant part of our product development costs but it also validates the quality of the company’s business plan.”

Also included in this round of funding was Nuritas, an Irish start-up whose founder, Dr Nora Khaldi, spoke at this year’s Inspirefest.

As a biotech company, Nuritas combines IT and life sciences expertise to mine DNA and protein data from plant materials in the hope of discovering new food components to help prevent, manage and possibly even cure disease.

Last May, it was revealed that Nuritas had received €2m in funding from investors, including Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff.

A total of 19 Irish SMEs have been granted Phase 2 funding under the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument since it launched in 2014.

Microscope slide image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic