We help create impact from scientific research.

We are commercializing research, build links with industry and train the next generation of scientific entrepreneurs.

Introduction to xista innovation

“At ISTA, we are committed to ensuring that our research creates meaningful impact. With xista innovation we have created a dedicated company to drive the commercial impact of ground-breaking scientific discoveries.”

xista innovation is a company set up by the Institute of Science and Technology Austria specifically to support the commercialisation of technologies and know how developed at the institute. We work closely with researchers to establish strategies for transferring technologies to industry, whether in the context of collaborations with established companies or by out-licensing technologies or by setting up new spin off companies.

Current Innovation
Projects and Spin-Offs

Innovation comes in many forms, we believe the most effective is often the formation of a new spin off company, with dedicated management in place with grit and focus on translating science into products and solutions. We equally support joint projects with industry including outlicensing of technologies developed at ISTA.


Neurolentech was co-founded in January 2021 by Carsten Pfeffer, ISTA Professor Gaia Novarino and Christoph Bock. Neurolentech establishes and deeply characterizes patient-derived cellular models of neurodevelopmental disorders to create novel insights for drug development, leveraging a strong network of clinical collaborations and patient representatives.

Ribbon Biolabs

Ribbon Biolabs was founded by one of ISTA’s first postdocs. It has established a novel method to automatically synthesize long strands of DNA, a key building block in the field of synthetic biology across a wide variety of industries from pharma to chemistry and food production. The company, led by Harold de Vladar, has started out at xista science park, successfully raised a Series A round in 2022 and is currently completing its production facilities in Vienna.


Solgate is a startup company aiming to develop novel therapeutic small molecules targeting solute carriers (SLCs) across a range of clinical indications. Solgate uses a proprietary discovery platform that combines metabolite-inspired fragment libraries and proteomics to efficiently identify SLC binders under physiological conditions. The company was co-founded in July 2020 by a team of researchers from CeMM and ISTA (Prof. Gaia Novarino).


Syntropic is a spinoff company that originated in the laboratory of neuroscientist Prof. Sandra Siegert, where researchers were studying physiological changes in anaesthesized mouse brains. This led to the discovery that pulsating light at 60Hz frequency induces a state of temporary neuroplasticity, which can be harnessed to “re-wire” the brain. The aim of Syntropic is to test this innovative treatment approach in humans, and ultimately to bring a medical device to market to treat mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression.

Tulon Photonics

Tulon Photonics is a promising spin-off project focused on creating ultra-narrow linewidth lasers for the coherent optical devices industry. These lasers are built using a unique stabilization technology called SquashLock, which was developed from research by the Hosten research group at ISTA. One of the major advantages of Tulon’s lasers is their ability to achieve lower frequency and phase noise compared to the current industry standard, the Pound-Drever-Hall method. Furthermore, Tulon’s lasers offer full frequency tunability over their entire operating range, making them an unprecedented product for the industry. This is especially important as the former design parameter is a limiting factor for many contemporary optical telecommunication systems. Tulon’s lasers are a maintenance-free, commercial product that will soon be available to the industry.

Chia Network

Chia Network is a blockchain and cryptocurrency company that aims to address some of the environmental concerns surrounding traditional proof-of-work cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. The centerpiece of Chia’s technology is a new consensus algorithm called “Proof of Space and Time” co-developed by Prof. Krzysztof Pietrzak at ISTA. This algorithm allows users to “farm” Chia coins by allocating unused hard drive space instead of competing for computational power, which consumes a lot of energy. The company has gained significant attention due to its eco-friendly approach, and its cryptocurrency, Chia Coin, has quickly become one of the most valuable new cryptocurrencies on the market. Chia has also partnered with several hardware companies to produce hard drives specifically designed for Chia farming, which has caused a surge in demand for high-capacity hard drives.

Neural Magic

Neural Magic is a Boston-based startup that is revolutionizing the field of deep learning with its unique approach to AI model optimization. The company was founded by a team of MIT researchers, including now ISTA Prof. Dan Alistarh, who discovered a way to run deep learning models on commodity hardware, without the need for specialized hardware such as GPUs. Neural Magic’s software platform, the “Neural Magic Engine”, can optimize models up to 100x faster than traditional methods, allowing for real-time AI applications on even the most basic hardware. The company’s technology has garnered significant attention from investors, including leading venture capital firms and major tech companies. Neural Magic is poised to disrupt the AI industry by democratizing deep learning, making it accessible to businesses of all sizes and industries.