Commitment. Excellence. Know-how.
bNovate Technologies SA was founded in 2011 with the goal to be the best in the field of automated cells analysis. The company is based at the Innovation Park of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL).
We started our activities with a few people. Today, bNovate Technologies SA has grown into a strong team of scientific experts and managers who can address the challenge of developing the most demanding, fully automated analysis instruments.
We develop instruments for clients, but we also created our own cell detection instruments for drinking water that we distribute through partnering companies.
At bNovate Technologies, we believe that the heart and soul of the company is creativity and innovation.
Dr. Simon Künzi, CEO and founder
After working in the innovation department at TECAN in Zürich for several years, the entrepreneurial spirit of Simon led him to found and become CEO of bNovate Technologies in 2011.
With a one year stay at Carnegie Mellon University in USA and 6 months at UNSW in Sydney, Simon holds a Master’s degree in theoretical physics from the EPFL and a PhD in life science in the field of implantable glucose sensors for diabetics.
For the past 15 years, his work, and his passion, have been focused on life science innovations. Especially on the automated and rapid detection of bacteria in water. His ambition is to bring a game-changing, fully automated bacteria monitoring family of products to the market . The objective is to reduce the current detection time, from days to a few minutes to improve the safety of drinking water.
Dr. Luigino Grasso, CTO
With over ten years of experience in bioanalytics and biosensor development, Luigino leads the Innovation and R&D department of the company with a special focus on the advancement of the core technology towards the specific and automated detection of pathogens in water.
Luigino holds a Master in Chemistry and a PhD in Biophysics form the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). His work, recognized through an innovation grant, laid the basis for an entrepreneurial venture in MedTech on the development of a unique blood test for early diagnosis of breast cancer.
Before joining bNovate, Luigino served at AC Immune, a biopharmaceutical company focused on neurodegenerative diseases, as R&D scientist in charge of assay development activities for drug discovery and preclinical studies.
Céline Jaeger, CMO
Céline has spent many year in the laboratory weighing solution industry. Her career started as Product Manager where she successfully introduced several lines of innovative instruments.
From market analysis to product phase-out, the complete life cycle of a product holds no secret for her. Céline also spent 3 years in the field as Sales Engineer to better understand the market and customer needs.
In 2013, she relocated to Singapore where she broadened her responsibilities with business development, key account management and customer seminars as Regional Market Manager for South East Asia. Back to Switzerland, she joined bNovate technologies to complements the teams with her extensive marketing know-how. Céline holds a Master degree in Micro-Engineering from EPFL.
Georges Schmidt, Sales Director
After more than 15 years in successful sales development, Georges became a product manager for a Fortune 500 company. He then led an extensive portfolio of high-tech instrumentation for industry processes and labs. He conducted this activity for more than 18 years, from daily product life cycle management to new product development and go-to-market activities.
Georges joined bNovate in 2019 with extensive expertise in direct and indirect sales in markets such as drinking water, WWTP, pharma, power, semiconductors, beverage and emissions monitoring.
Georges holds a master’s degree in thermal processes from the EPFL.
Board of Directors
Prof. Dr. Peter Ryser, Chairman of the board
Peter was a Professor of Microengineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne for 16 years. He taught product development, industrialization and technology management. His research topics were in low cost manufacturing, microsystem packaging and new product concepts.
He was previously a Director at Siemens Building Technologies, a $1000M revenue division, where he was responsible for product innovation and patents. From 2004 to 2011 he served as an independent director at the board of Tecan AG, the worldwide leading laboratory automation company. He also founded Sensile Technologies AG.
Peter holds a Ph.D. in applied Physics from the University of Geneva, a Masters degree in Experimental Physics and an MBA from the University of applied sciences in Lucerne. He is also member of the Swiss Academy of engineering sciences.
Dr. René Lenggenhager
René is an experienced CEO, group leader, and general manager with a successful career in world-leading technology companies (Comet Group, Bruker BioSpin, Mettler-Toledo, Siemens Building Technologies, Cerberus, and Landis+Gyr).
He is experienced in marketing & sales, international business, digital business strategies, and lean management.
René holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in physics from ETHZ, where he did ground-breaking work on CMOS silicon microsensors for flow measurement, infrared detection, and other applications. He also holds an executive MBA from the University of St. Gallen.
Lic. Iur. Ralph Sigg
Ralph is running a law and notary office in Hergiswil/NW since 1994. He has remarkable experience in advising clients on corporate law, business succession, inheritance law, and construction law.
Ralph Sigg is a board member of Schurter Holding AG and various other companies, subsidiaries of foreign companies, and family offices.
Ralph holds a degree in law from the University of Zurich, a notary patent in the canton of Nidwalden, and was admitted to the Lucerne bar in 1990.
Ralph also serves the public as mayor of Hergiswil/NW.
Scientific Advisory Board
Prof. Dr. Thomas Egli
Prof. emer. Dr. Thomas Egli was Head of the Department for Environmental Microbiology and leader of the Research group Drinking Water Microbiology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag). He was teaching at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) where he was appointed as a Titular Professor for Environmental Microbiology, and at the Universities of Basel and Zurich. After his retirement in 2012 he founded “MICROBES-IN-WATER GmbH” that consults on microbiology and hygiene in aquatic systems, particularly drinking water.
Educated as a Biotechnologist at ETH Zurich and a Post-Doc in the UK, he joined Eawag in 1982. His research was focussed on biodegradation of organic pollutants and microbial growth at very low nutrient concentrations. 2003 he moved into drinking water microbiology and developed with his group flow cytometric methods for the fast detection of microbial cells and pathogens in water.
He is author of >200 peer-reviewed scientific publications and some 20 book chapters (SCI H-index: 52). He was given the Mülheim Water Award in 2010 for developing the flow cytometric total cell count method. He was as a Swiss Delegate for the OECD, was appointed as an Ambassador of the International Society for Microbial Ecology and served on many scientific boards.