Events / Healthcare and Life Sciences event at Sanquin

Healthcare and Life Sciences event at Sanquin

October 12, 2022
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

‘Incubating start-ups at the New-West Health & Innovation District’

Rogier van den Braak (MD Sanquin Health Solutions)
Elisabeth Huis in ‘t Veld (Founder AINAR)
Elsemieke Hackenitz (CEO Direct Diagnostics)

Wednesday 12 October 2022 at 18:30 CET

This event will introduce you into the newest life science campus in Amsterdam: The New-West Health & Innovation District (Hid), powered by Sanquin. Hid is established in 2022 on the premises of Sanquin, annex the Netherlands Cancer Institute and the former Slotervaart Hospital. At Hid start-ups, scale-ups, other businesses, and knowledge institutions collaborate to translate scientific research into solutions that will improve healthcare around the world and make it more affordable.

During this evening Rogier van den Braak, representing Sanquin, will elaborate on the background and business model of Hid and present its strategy, ambitions, and future appearance to us. Next, the founder of AINAR and the CEO of Direct Diagnostics, two start-ups located at Hid, will pitch their innovations and share their experiences being part of this new life science ecosystem. AINAR focusses on the widespread problem of needle anxiety amongst people. Direct Diagnostics facilitates extramural self-collection and analysis of customers’ blood samples.

18:30 Welcome at Sanquin, including soup and sandwiches
19:00 Opening by Thomas Calis and Theo van Iperen, SIG Healthcare & Life Sciences
19:10 New-West Health & Innovation District, by Rogier van den Braak
19:30 AINAR, by Elisabeth Huis in ‘t Veld, Founder
19:50 Direct Diagnostics, by Elsemieke Hackenitz, CEO
20:10 Discussion
20:30 Drinks

Register here

Date: Wednesday 12 October 2022, 18:30 – 21:00 hours

Plesmanlaan 125
1066 CX  Amsterdam


Rogier van den Braak: managing director of Sanquin Health Solutions since 2020 and responsible for all the commercial activities of the Sanquin group: The development of the New West Health & Innovation district, the valorization of IP within the Sanquin group and the management of a portfolio of life science companies and healthcare related participations. Before 2020 Rogier was acting as CFO and Finance Director of the Sanquin group.

Dr Elisabeth Huis in ‘t Veld: group leader Donor Cognition at the Department of Donor Medicine Research at Sanquin, and assistant professor at the Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence department at Tilburg University. Her research project resulted in the founding of start-up AINAR.

AINAR: focusses on the widespread problem of needle anxiety amongst people. An AI algorithm that can ‘see’ whether someone will react badly to a needle, can help people conquering their needle fear through a smart phone app that is being developed. This invention is now being commercialized by AINAR, with Sanquin and Tilburg University as its partners.

Elsemieke Hackenitz: health tech, innovation, and new business development enthusiast, passionate about entrepreneurship and (digital) healthcare innovations. She is responsible for the Direct Diagnosics since March 2022. Elsemieke has a background in biomedical sciences, a master’s degree in chemistry and business administration.

Direct Diagnostics: facilitates extramural self-collection and analysis of customers’ blood samples. It monitors customers’ health through blood biomarkers and in future wants to combine this with input from wearables. Hence, it aims to provide personalised recommendations to improve lifestyle choices and keep people out of hospital.

Theo van Iperen: founding partner of Giotto management consultants, experts in organizational transformation. Many of their clients can be found in the health care sector, among which Sanquin.