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Dynaxion, a start-up from Eindhoven, helps America to tackle the drug problem. Dynaxion, supported by HighTechXL and the Eindhoven Startup Alliance, has been chosen to take part in the Opioid Detection Challenge. Five U.S. agencies including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Postal Inspection issued the Opioid Detection Challenge. This competition is a collaborative effort to solve America’s opioid crisis. Officials know that much of the drug traffic flows through the mail service. The goal of the Opioid Detection Challenge is to fund promising solutions for accurate, non-intrusive detection tools that will help find illicit opioids in international mail. The total prize pool for the companies that can develop the technology to better detect illegal drugs is $1.55 million.

CERN’s technology for drug detection

Dynaxion is the youngest start-up of the eight companies that the Opioid Detection Challenge selected for an initial award of $100,000, and it is one of two finalists that come from outside the United States.

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Dynaxion uses CERN’s particle accelerator technology for far more accurate material identification than X-rays. The applications of this technology include scanning mail, parcels, luggage and freight. Dynaxion’s technology detects neutrons and gamma rays passing through parcels and analyzes the energy spectra produced. That gives highly accurate results down to the atomic level.

“Dynaxion’s competitive advantage is its versatility,” said Joost van de Griendt, Dynaxion CMO. “We detect explosives, ivory, money, drugs and other dangerous materials. We can distinguish between milk powder and cocaine, maple syrup and nitro-glycerine.”

Prototyping accelerator stage

Dynaxion and the other selected companies now advance to a 14-week prototyping accelerator. After this, there will be multiple development stages toward a final submission on 4 October. The company with the winning solution receives $500,000. The second-place team will receive $250,000.

“We are honored to have been chosen to join a group of august companies, some of which have long and impressive track records as innovators,” said van de Griendt. “As a new company, we believe our technology is at the cutting edge of illicit-material detection, and we’re grateful for this opportunity to develop it to the next level.”