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The KTH Innovation Award

The KTH Innovation Award aims to celebrate people from KTH who with creativity, grit and courage have contributed to solving society’s challenges with innovation. The Award was founded in 2020 and made possible by donations from Mathias Uhlén, professor at KTH and Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek. The monetary award is 500 000 SEK.

About the KTH Innovation Award 

For nearly 200 years, KTH has been home to people with skills and passion to solve some of humanity's greatest challenges. People from KTH have contributed to transforming entire industries and have together impacted millions of lives. The KTH Innovation Award will celebrate and recognize people from KTH who have contributed to a better society with their innovations.

For those who have taken on big challenges

A recipient of the KTH Innovation Award can be one or several individuals who are, or have been, affiliated with KTH through research or education. It is someone who has taken an active role in creating a brighter tomorrow. The following three traits will be rewarded: 

  • Creativity: to have shown an ability to think in new ways and take a different approach to solving established issues
  • Grit: to tirelessly and passionately have worked towards a vision
  • Courage: to have dared to take on big challenges to reach an important goal

The recipient shall also:

  • be or have been a researcher at KTH, or;
  • be or have been an employee at KTH, or;
  • be a student or have studied at KTH for a substantial time, or;
  • in another way have a strong connection to KTH;


  • have founded one or several companies, or;
  • have contributed to innovations in existing companies, for example with patents, or;
  • in other ways transferred or utilized knowledge in society

The KTH Innovation Award can be shared among a maximum of three recipients yearly. It cannot be awarded posthumously.

Drawing from the donation, the recipient of the KTH Innovation Award will receive a monetary award of 500 000 SEK. The Award will be handed out for a minimum of ten years, starting in 2021.

KTH Innovation Award Donors

Collage of portraits of Daniel Ek and Mathias Uhlén

The KTH Innovation Award was made possible by two generous donations from Daniel Ek, Founder and CEO of Spotify, and Mathias Uhlén, KTH professor and entrepreneur.

The Award Committee

The recipient of the KTH Innovation Award will be named by a prestigious award committee. Together, these five individuals bring diverse experience of academia, research impact, startups and innovation from a Swedish and international perspective. 

From the left: Sigbritt Karlsson, Paulina Modlitba, Klaus Hommels, Jane Walerud, Stefan Ståhl
From the left: Sigbritt Karlsson, Paulina Modlitba, Klaus Hommels, Jane Walerud, Stefan Ståhl

The Award Committee 2021

The 2021 members of the award committee are KTH President Sigbritt Karlsson, investor Klaus Hommels, KTH alum Paulina Modlitba, business angel Jane Walerud and KTH professor Stefan Ståhl.


Belongs to: About KTH
Last changed: Jul 02, 2021