Startup with wireless targeted electrical stimulation for spine fusion raises $5M

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Intelligent Implants scores €4.5 million blended financing from EIC Accelerator (press release)

EIC funding will accelerate the completion of the clinical pilot trial and the preparation of the pivotal study of the SmartFuse® system

Swedish-Irish smart orthopaedics start-up, Intelligent Implants has been awarded €4.5 million blended funding from the European Union (EU) EIC Accelerator programme.

Spinal fusion surgery, one of the most expensive and invasive medical procedures, is the only option for a large population of patients suffering from chronic back pain. Unfortunately, after many decades of progress, roughly 18% of 1.5M worldwide annual spinal fusion surgeries still fail, leading to devastating complications and immense healthcare waste. A failed fusion impacts the patient, payer, and hospitals through continued impaired quality of life, overexposure of radiation, expensive revision surgeries with poor outcomes, and long hospital stays. The non-union rate is at least 18%. Despite this significant unmet clinical need, there has been shockingly little transformative innovation in the field of orthopaedics, and specifically, devices for spinal fusion.

Intelligent Implants SmartFuse technology is a wirelessly enabled orthopaedics platform that has been designed to remotely stimulate, control, and monitor bone growth. The goal of the SmartFuse system is to accelerate bone growth and provide remote monitoring of the patient to support real-time clinical decision-making. The first indication for the SmartFuse system will be for use in lumbar spinal fusions.

John Zellmer, CEO and co-founder of Intelligent Implants said: “We are excited to be one of two Swedish companies to receive the prestigious EIC accelerator funding. Being the flagship programme for SMEs its highly competitive. This funding from the European Commission and our previous Breakthrough Device Designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) endorses the large unmet clinical need and the disruptive potential with our approach.I would like to thank the efforts from members of our team, Zaz Ventures, partners, and the support from the community here at the AstraZeneca Bioventurehub in Gothenburg. “

About Intelligent Implants
Operating at the intersection of digital health and orthopaedics, Intelligent Implants is on a mission to provide solutions to some of the most pressing unmet clinical needs by developing products designed to accelerate bone healing, improve clinical outcomes and patient quality of life, and minimize the financial and human costs associated with the treatment of degenerative disc disease and other orthopaedic clinical problems. SmartFuse is not approved for human use or sale in any geography.
For more about Intelligent Implants, visit

About EIC Accelerator

The European Innovation council EIC Accelerator supports individual Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in particular Startups and spinout companies to develop and scale up game-changing innovations. In addition, EIC selected companies receive coaching, mentoring, access to investors and corporates, and many other opportunities as part of the EIC community. EIC Accelerator is included in Horizon Europe which is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion. The companies were selected following a two-step process. Applications are rigorously assessed by external experts and followed by an interview with a jury of experienced investors and entrepreneurs.


John Zellmer
Chief Executive Officer                   
+46 735 001409

Benjamin Hertzog
Executive Chairman