Royal visit to KTH Innovation
How to go from research results to innovations and new companies was the topic in focus when HM King Carl XVI Gustaf & HRH Prince Daniel visited KTH Innovation on Monday.
King Carl XVI Gustaf became interested in KTH Innovation during a visit to KTH earlier this year. Therefore, KTH Innovation arranged a roundtable discussion with King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf, Prince Daniel, the President of KTH Sigbritt Karlsson, Head of KTH Innovation Lisa Ericsson, and Philip von Segebaden, Head of Development Office.
- It was great to welcome the King and Prince Daniel to KTH Innovation, says Lisa Ericsson. They showed real interest in how research results can create impact and benefit society and they had interesting questions and thoughts about how innovation support works in practice. We had a crash course in research commercialization, so to say.
Met at Teknikringen 1
The visit took place at Teknikringen 1, the meeting place for innovation and entrepreneurship at KTH, where KTH Innovation has our base of operation. The house was buzzing with life, with students preparing for the evening's workshops, researchers in meetings with their business development coaches, teams developing innovations, and students studying for the next exam.
After an introduction from Sigbritt Karlsson, Lisa Ericsson, head of KTH Innovation and CEO of KTH Holding AB, gave an overview of the Swedish innovation system, focusing on how we work with innovation at KTH, the prospects for new innovations to grow in Sweden, and what is important when bringing new advanced technology to the market.
Unique for Sweden is the professor’s privilege, which means that researchers at Swedish universities own the right to commercialize their own findings. Lisa Ericsson also presented KTH Innovation’s support system for researchers and students at KTH.
Met three research-based startups
The finale of the visit was visits from three research-based start-ups founded at KTH that have chosen different paths to the market.
The first company, MycOligo, is a newly formed company that KTH Innovation currently supports. MycOligo produces molecules from fungal biomass, which can be used, for example, for diagnostics or to help the immune system in the event of an infection. The founders Lauren McKee and Amparo Jimenez Quero are both researchers at the Department of Glycoscience at KTH.
Fitness tracker for industrial machines
The delegation then heard from Károly Szipka and Andreas Archenti, founders of iPercept Technology. They founded their company in 2018 based on the commercialization of five years of research at KTH. In collaboration with the industry they have worked to find a solution to the problem linked to unpredictable wear and tear for machine tools, industrial robots, cranes, and more. The solution is a “fitness tracker” for industrial machinery, providing high-quality measurement data and tailor-made algorithms that give the customer early and tangible guidance if a machine or robot deviates from its normal course.
- Meeting the King and Prince Daniel is a lifelong memory, and of course an acknowledgement for the whole team at IPercept, says Károly Szipka. Their interest and in-depth questions made the discussion very inspiring and gave more energy to the continuous innovation work. As a Swedish startup, it’s a huge honor. Now, we are looking forward to delivering our technology for the benefit of all of Europe, and the world.
Revolutionary recycling technology
The final team, Renewcell, is a listed company founded in 2012 by researchers at KTH. The company is based on a patented process for recycling cellulose-based textile waste, such as cotton clothing, into a high-quality new material called Circulose, designed to meet the sustainability challenge in the fashion industry. In 2020, H&M released its first collection with the material Circulose, and since then several other well-known brands such as Levi’s have started using the material on a commercial scale.
- We are proud to show how researchers from KTH successfully create impact and contribute to creating a better society and to Sweden's new industrial revolution, Lisa Ericsson concludes. Sweden is at the forefront in this area, and KTH and KTH Innovation have great potential to contribute to us continuing to be at the top.
Text: Lisa Bäckman