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...and the winner is

KTH Innovation Challenge Tech for the Global Goals

Published May 25, 2018

In April we challenged you to come up with an idea that could contribute to one of the global goals. We got a record amount of submissions, many with truly innovative ideas on how to solve some of the largest problems today. After intense discussion in the jury, we can now finally reveal the winner!

KTH Innovation’s business coaches have been busy in the past weeks. After a record amount of submissions, they had a large task ahead of them to pick the winner of the KTH Innovation Challenge Tech for the Global Goals. But now, they’ve finally picked a winner!

A seatrout suffering from Saprolegnia parasitica. Picture credit: Velela

Vaibhav Srivastava, Researcher at KTH, and Sanjiv Kumar, Postdoctoral Fellow, take home the KTH Innovation Challenge for SUSTAIN, their project to prevent disease in farmed fish. The team behind the winning innovation comes from the School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health, from the Division of Glycoscience, Department of Chemistry.

Disease control in aquaculture

Every year, around 10% of global annual fish production is lost because of diseases caused by fungal-like micro-organisms. One example is the fish pathogen Saprolegnia parasitica, which severely affects fish farming by infecting fish eggs as well as fish. There is currently no safe and effective chemical control against the infection.

Zero hunger and Life Below Water

The team behind SUSTAIN is currently screening, designing and testing different drugs that are safe and environmentally friendly, against the pathogen. By using molecular, cellular, biochemical, chemical and biophysical techniques, they are also characterizing the pathogen.

- We believe SUSTAIN could have significant long-term impacts on disease control by protecting fish and contributing to food security, says Vaibhav Srivastava. In this way, it is directly related to the United Nation’s sustainable development goals of Zero Hunger and Life Below Water.

He continues:

- Fish and fishery products play a critical role in global food security and also nutritional needs (e.g. animal proteins) of people around the world. Also, the livelihood of many millions of people around the world is dependent on fisheries and aquaculture. Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing food sectors and is of great economic and social importance in the world. Thus, reduction in fish diseases is vital to the future success of the aquaculture industry. Better control of the disease will result in higher productivity for fish farmers and potentially reduced costs for the consumer.

Great potential impact

Daniel Carlsson, Business Coach at KTH Innovation expands on the motivation behind choosing SUSTAIN as the winner of the Challenge:

- SUSTAIN addresses a huge problem in fish farming. Today, a large part of global fish production comes from farmed fish, and solving the issues of pathogens attacking farms would have great positive impact.

The 50 000SEK prize came at the right time for the team behind SUSTAIN. They will spend it on experiments to test the effect of selected drugs on infected fish and fish eggs.

- To continue working on our innovation we needed financial support, so the KTH Innovation Challenge came at the right time. We thought we would give it a try! We would like to thank the whole KTH innovation team for selecting us for this award.


For more information about the KTH Innovation Challenge Tech for the Global Goals, follow this link! 

Belongs to: About KTH
Last changed: May 25, 2018