With each of our innovator stories, we get a chance to meet the people behind EU-funded ideas, which have the potential to change our future for the better. 


For this edition, we had a short conversation with Jordina Arcal, deputy CEO of mjn-neuro. The Spanish startup develops a medical device that aims to improve the quality of life of people with epilepsy. 

Epilepsy is a worldwide chronic brain condition affecting approximately 50 million individuals. The primary concern is the sudden, unforeseen seizures that can cause serious accidents, particularly challenging for drug-resistant patients. The company mjn adress this global issue with a wearable medical device. mjn-neuro won the Innovation Radar Prize 2023 in the Female-led Innovation category.   


Jordina Arcal Cunillera is an engineer, innovator and serial entrepreneur. She has been an executive officer in several endeavours creating meaningful solutions, boosting companies and ideas, and guiding teams solving uncertainty and complexity. Jordina was awarded as MIT Innovator Under 35 Spain in 2016. She was also EU Top 50 award in 2017 as one of the most promising startup young founders in Europe. Jordina was also awarded in 2015 as one of the best social entrepreneurs in Spain, and she was rated as digital innovation leader in 2016 and one of the most promising entrepreneurs in 2017. 

Could you tell us more about your innovation?

At mjn we have developed the first product available on the market that is able to predict seizures, therefore also preventing accidents. It is a portable EEG, so we monitor the electric brain activity through the ear canal, and we send the information to a mobile phone app for which we created an artificial intelligence algorithm that is able to assess the risk of suffering a seizure. With that, we can set an alarm to users one minute before the seizure strikes, so they can put themselves in a safe position. There is also the possibility of setting an alarm for caregivers. 


What is the biggest impact EU funding has had on your journey so far?  

There were two main milestones. The first milestone was getting funding from Horizon 2020, which helped us to obtain the CE mark, the key milestone for every medical device. This helped us a lot. We proved the technology and we were able to start our sales, which was amazing. The second milestone was getting the EIT Health Accelerator programme. With the EIT Health Accelerator, we are running real-world clinical trials which are helping us to demonstrate the health economics and the impact that our technology can have on quality of life. Therefore, I would say that we achieved the two big milestones a medical device company can have thanks to EU funding opportunities. 

Why did you apply to the Innovation Radar Summit and how important was it for you?  

For me and for the company it was a recognition of excellence. If we were able to win this prize, it means that the European Commission trusts that we are one of the best projects in all Europe. We think it will help us to accelerate the company and it will help us to accelerate the obtention of the funding we need. This Prize is awarding the company by saying “hey guys, this is not a normal startup, it is a startup with a high potential – you should look at this one!”. 


Article published by EurA AG.

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