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ELDICO ED, Shaping the Future of Crystallography - The First Pure Electron Diffraction Equipment for Nano-Crystallography

Project description

Determing crystalline structure with the first-ever pure electron diffraction equipment

Before being patented and marketed in the pharmaceutical industry, compounds must have their crystal structure fully characterised. However, drawbacks in conventional X-ray diffraction methods make the characterisation of most crystalline substances impossible. Electron diffraction overcomes these limitations, enabling the analysis of nanocrystalline systems, but there are currently no commercial instruments used exclusively for this technique. To solve this problem, the EU-funded ELDICO ED project aims to market the first-ever commercial equipment designed to perform electron diffraction. The equipment can generate higher quality structural data faster and at a lower cost, overcoming X-ray diffraction limitations. The project's technology will help to characterise a vast number of potential new drugs, shorten time to market, save billions in testing and increase revenues for the pharma industry.


Crystal structure determination is still a key issue in pharmaceutical industry. Any compound requires its 3D atomic structure to become “fully characterized” for patenting and marketing approval. However, only the structure of the 10% of all crystalline substances can be determine. The reason: Conventional X-ray diffraction methods are limited because they require crystal of a minimum size of 10 x 10 μm2 and high quality to be measured, which are often time consuming or even impossible to produce. For example in drug discovery the 90% of known, but not fully characterized crystalline compounds, could be rapidly screened for their scientific or commercial potential. Although electron diffraction technique overcomes the limitations of current techniques and allows investigations on nano-crystalline systems, currently there are no commercial instruments dedicated exclusively to electron diffraction.
With ELDICO ED we bring to the market the first equipment (patent pending) designed to perform electron diffraction. We offer an electron diffractometer for the analysis of solid compounds enabling crystallographers entering the sub-µm regime for structural analysis of hitherto unmeasurable nano-crystalline particles. That way, they produce important structural information faster, with better quality and at lower cost, overcoming the limitations of X-ray analysis.
We are opening up a new market segment: Pure Electron Diffraction. Our technology will impact the pharma sector by unlocking the characterisation of the 500k existing potential new drugs in their libraries, shortening time-to-market by 10%, saving €9-18bn per annum for testing and increasing revenues of up to €310M per annum for every new drug that comes to the market. Similar impact in key sectors like research institutes, agrochemicals and Advanced Nanomaterials is expected.
With ELDICO ED we forecast generating revenues of €25.3M (ROI: 11.84) and incorporating 15 employees to our company during 2022-2024

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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Nordwestschweiz Aargau
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00