The fast and cost-efficient detection of pathogens is highly important in many sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, and food industry. However, current technologies are limited, and significant advances are required to develop low-cost (<10€) detection assays that can detect a few bacterial cells (<10 cells/ml) within less than one hour. In the FET-Open project MARA, which is the basis for MARILIA, we have developed novel technologies and tools that have a high exploitation potential. Thus, we have initiated the follow-up project MARILIA, which aims to exploit these results and realise a new detection concept for the fast, low-cost identification of human pathogens in water samples. In MARILIA, we will increase the technology readiness level (TRL) of our novel detection concept from TRL 2 to TRL 5. A well-balanced consortium has been established, comprising an applied research institute as coordinator (AIT, coordinated also the MARA project), a university (UZ), a basic research institute (RBI), an SME (D1, acting as business incubator) and a large company (IREN, representing a potential future customer). If the MARILIA detection assay meets the requirements defined by IREN, a start-up will be founded to commercially exploit the innovations in the post-project phase.