Innovation development in focus at the Humanities Theatre
For the third year in a row, Uppsala University Innovation has shined a spotlight on promising innovation projects in a festive event held during Nobel Week. This year, fifteen projects involving researchers and students from all disciplinary domains were awarded the distinction Attractive Innovation Project.
“It is important to call attention to and celebrate progress in innovation development from our research and education programmes. Here, researchers and students are developing solutions that can create value in many different sectors of society,” said Jonas Åström, Head of UU Innovation.
On Monday evening, it was time for UU Innovation's after work mixer, with awarding of the distinction Attractive Innovation Project. No less than fifteen projects were recognised with a diploma and flowers from the stage of the Humanities Theatre. The projects represent a wide range of new solutions, such as sustainable pesticides, new cancer therapies, and battery-free sensors. A common denominator for all the projects is that they are in an early phase and that they received funding during the year that further strengthened their development opportunities. The funding comes from a mix of public or private funders, from customers or collaborative partners, and is in the form of grants, investments or sales revenue. Another common denominator is that the researchers and students behind the projects have received support from UU Innovation.
“Funding is key to being able to further develop the innovation projects in a desirable way. Many have a relatively long journey ahead of them before use of their solutions becomes widespread, but the fact that they were able to attract funding shows that the projects are both relevant and full of potential,” said Jonas Åström during the evening.
Curiosity as driving force
In addition to celebrating promising innovation projects, the evening offered a lecture by Helena Danielson, the 2019 recipient of the Uppsala University Innovation Prize “Hjärnäpplet”. Helena is a professor of biochemistry, and co-founder of the company Beactica Therapeutics. Combining academic and industrial research and development is the golden thread running through her career. She discussed the importance of finding and following your own driving force.
“I have always been driven by curiosity and constantly exploring how my research can be utilised outside of academia,” said Helena Danielson.
How can you encourage this way of thinking?
“With the ‘professor's privilege’, Swedish researchers have a fantastic opportunity to combine research with actively creating benefit from the results. It is also a matter of contributing to a culture that promotes fresh thinking and innovation. Teaching in particular is an important aspect in this.”
World-class research environments will promote new solutions to societal challenges
The evening was rounded out with a “fireside chat” with representatives of research and innovation environments who received external funding during the year. In front of a roaring fire on the screen of the Humanities Theatre, UU Innovation's Jenny Nordquist invited Christel Bergström, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Pharmacy, Anders Karlén, Professor at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, and Anna Franzén, Collaboration Manager at UU Innovation, to chat about the activities of the SweDeliver and AddLife centres of excellence and the European collaboration COMBINE.
“We think this is a good opportunity to highlight environments at the University that have been granted external funding for application-oriented research in collaboration with industry. The funding granted to these environments is intended to both strengthen already excellent research and create conditions for innovation development within areas that are important for sustainable social development,” said Jenny Nordquist.
Christel Bergström is a project manager of the Swedish Drug Delivery Center (SweDeliver) centre of excellence, which, among other things, aims to contribute to the education of the next generation researchers and to the development of new innovative drugs for diseases for which there is currently no treatment. SweDeliver is one of three centres of excellent headed by Uppsala University. Each centre of excellence receives funding from Vinnova in the amount of SEK four to eight million per year over five years, maximum SEK 36 million.
Christel Bergström explained that fifteen companies are involved in SweDeliver, and that it is necessary to have the pharmaceutical industry involved in a long-term drug development venture in Sweden.
“We need to base things on the challenges in the industry, one of them being the competency management of tomorrow. For this reason, SweDeliver has a clear focus on education that meets future requirements for drug development expertise,” said Christel Bergström.
Anders Karlén, Coordinator for COMBINE, told us that, through COMBINE, Uppsala University is now expanding its already strong commitment by accelerating the development of new antibiotics. The six-year initiative, with a budget of 25 million euros, is headed by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) – a partnership between the EU and the EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations).
“COMBINE’s role is to offer support in a number of areas to strengthen the conditions for IMI to achieve the ongoing Antimicrobial Resistance Accelerator Programme initiative’s goal of developing ten new preclinical drug candidates within a six-year period, half of which should be ready for phase 2 studies,” said Anders Karlén.
UU Innovation’s Anna Franzén discussed the objectives of the AddLife (Additive Manufacturing for Life Sciences) centre of excellence, which is led by Cecilia Persson, Professor at the Department of Engineering Sciences.
“By working in the grey zone between materials technology and life science, AddLife's vision is to make Uppsala a node for 3D printing within life sciences. This relates to new 3D printing technologies for aims such as improved bioprocesses, more reproducible 3D tumour models, and faster optimisation of medication. The research will be conducted in close collaboration with the industry and healthcare sectors, which also play a key role in the centre’s ability to transform knowledge into useful solutions,” said Anna Franzén.
She was also asked about her own role in the centre.
“I will work specifically with issues related to new business models, regulatory aspects, and implementation in healthcare. These are aspects that are key to the new products under development being able to meet existing needs and being put into use in healthcare as efficiently as possible. On a more general level, I will monitor the projects that are started to ensure they have access to relevant innovation support.”
The event was concluded by Jonas Åström, who thanked the audience and everyone who participated in an evening that clearly demonstrated the innovative power found at the University.
Updates and stories
Intellectual property in research in focus in credit-bearing course
Learn how to identify, protect and make use of your intellectual assets. Sign up for the postgraduate course Intellectual property in research: strategies and practices, which starts in September. The course is provided by UU Innovation in collaboration with the Swedish Patent and Registration Office.
Nominate candidates for the Innovation Prize Hjärnäpplet 2021
Nominate your candidate between 22 March and 25 April 2021. All Uppsala university employees may nominate and contribute to the process of appointing this year's winner of the Uppsala University Innovation Prize - Hjärnäpplet.
Apply for IVA's 100 list 2021 with research that can contribute to sustainable crisis preparedness
The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, IVA, calls for research in engineering and economic sciences focused on sustainable preparedness for future crises to go on its 100 List 2021. The last day to apply is 21 March.
Equal opportunities - why bother?
On 8 March, Uppsala University Innovation in collaboration with Junior Faculty and the Society for Women Researchers in Uppsala invite you to an online event focussing on women's opportunities to fully engage in solving future challenges.
Five new projects collaborate on societal challenges
Five new projects have received funding within the framework of Uppsala University's Verification for collaboration program, VFS. The projects concern for example virtual learning and museums and the implementation of the Philani Mentor Mother Model in socially deprived communities.
Postgraduate course on intellectual property and commercialisation
UU Innovation invites doctoral students, postdocs and researchers to sign up for a new round of the course on intellectual property and commercialisation (3 ECTS). The course runs in March and is now open for registration.
Ny organisation av Uppsala universitets gemensamma innovations- och samverkansstöd
Den 1 januari 2021 gjordes en uppdelning av UU Innovations verksamhet och två nya enheter bildades med placering under rektor: UU Innovation respektive UU Samverkan. Syftet är att stärka universitetets gemensamma innovations- och samverkansarbete i enlighet med UU Mål och strategier.
Diversifying the past with digital technology
"We are all one humanity, so how do we use technology to communicate that?" asks Anna Foka in this short talk. The question clearly captures her focus and drive as a researcher.
Researchers need to support the implementation of new knowledge
As a professor of social medicine, she has the entire population as her patient. Anna Sarkadi's research concerns societal interventions to prevent child and parent mental health problems and promote wellbeing. She sees her research group as a resource that can have an influence on the national arena and she firmly claims that it is simply not enough to publish scientifically, not if you, like her, work with applied research. As a researcher, she thinks it is important to work to ensure that the knowledge that is produced is also implemented. Even so, she knows from her own experience, which includes parental support in preschool environments and methods in child health care, that implementing research is not easy.
“Implementing evidence-based practice is a huge challenge for our welfare society,” says Anna in this interview.
Develops new tool for profiling potential perpetrators of violence
Which people are interested in using peaceful methods and which are prone to resorting to violence to accomplish something? And how can we measure risk indicators for extreme behaviors? These are questions of great interest to Nazar Akrami, associate professor of psychology, in his research on prejudice and attitudes linked to personality. Together with research colleagues at his own department and the Swedish Defense Research Agency, FOI, he has developed a tool that, with the help of algorithms, will help find potential perpetrators of violence, as well as terrorists. The tool can automatically and quickly analyze large amounts of text online based on a range of psychological variables and focuses on assessing the risks of violent and terrorist acts. The tool has aroused great interest among analysts at police authorities around the world and is now being tested by the FBI.
“The interest is there and it comes from different places so there is probably a need, we absolutely believe so,” says Nazar Akrami in this interview.
The tool has been named Dechefr, which is a clear flirtation with the word "decipher" and is now being developed commercially within a company that the researchers started for that purpose.
Sharing is caring
Louise von Essen is a professor of caring science and program director for U-CARE - a strategic research initiative for psychological care via the Internet. At U-CARE, Louise and her research team are developing innovative treatment programs to improve the mental health of people suffering from diseases such as cancer, dementia and heart problems, for both patients and their loved ones. Involving those affected by the research is a natural course of action for Louise and her colleagues and something she thinks more people could be better at. The knowledge that researchers at U-CARE have now built up over 10 years also includes how to design studies to be able to conduct valuable and relevant research. Presently, her thoughts are occupied with how the knowledge of conducting relevant clinical research can be packaged and disseminated to others.
Susanne Bredenberg is new business advisor at Uppsala University Innovation
She has experience from working as a researcher within academia and the pharmaceutical industry, and she has built a company from the ground up. Now she is looking forward to helping other researchers make use of their results outside academia. Uppsala University Innovation welcomes Susanne Bredenberg as a new business advisor.
Gör verkstad av avancerad maskininlärning
Scaleout Systems är ett uppstartsbolag med fokus på att hjälpa organisationer att ta avancerad maskininlärning till produktion. Företaget, en avknoppning från Uppsala universitet, är på frammarsch och har nyligen blivit både partner till den nationella satsningen AI Sweden och tagit sig in på listan över framstående startups inom AI och datavetenskap.
Want to solve problems that affect people
His projects always start in some practical problem that arouses his interest. And they always end up with him wanting to see how the solution actually works. The step to application comes naturally to Alexander Medvedev, Professor of Control Engineering at the Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University. Rarely does he need to look for problems to study and solve, they are always there. One that affects us all right now is Covid-19 and he is part of the Crush Covid project which is a collaboration between Uppsala University and the Uppsala Region.
“If you want to overcome an epidemic, you have to use automatic control,” says Alexander in this interview.
Medical challenges are particularly interesting to Alexander and one of his goals is to be able to contribute to a solution that has a major impact.
Collaboration drives improvements
Åsa Cajander embraces the great breadth of her field of research with great enthusiasm. She is a professor of Human Computer Interaction at the Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University, and has explored the area in many different settings, not least within healthcare. Collaboration runs as a common thread through both her research and teaching. It becomes a means of creating new ideas and driving improvements that can make a real difference for both organisations and individuals.
“I’m into trying to rescue the world. That’s my mission,” Åsa says in this interview.
The two sides of collaboration
Anneli Häyrén is not alone in thinking that research-based knowledge is important when engaging in activities to increase gender equality at the work place. On the contrary, as a gender researcher and gender equality expert, she is often contacted to contribute her knowledge in these processes. Collaborating with organisations outside academia is part of her daily life as a researcher. She also states that it has its clear advantages, such as funding and increased quality in research. The question is whether there are any downsides, not least from a gender equality perspective?
Collaboration that combats antibiotic resistance
"How can we bring about systemic change to improve the use and availability of antibiotics?" This is an issue that engages Enrico Baraldi, professor of industrial technology and project manager for PLATINEA - a collaborative platform between academia, healthcare, industry and government. PLATINEA is basically a step in combating antibiotic resistance, but what is the role of the university in such a context? Could the university have the role of an enabler for critical collaboration and, in the long-term, societal benefit?
Collaborations keep the dialogue going
Solar cell researcher Charlotte Platzer Björkman sees a bright future ahead when it comes to solar energy. In her research, she develops thin film solar cells that use less material and energy in production than conventional solar cells. She is also looking for new solar cell materials that are inexpensive, environmentally friendly and highly available. New materials can lead to new applications, allowing even larger use of solar cells to meet global electricity demands. Nevertheless, as a researcher it can be difficult to know when you have an idea that can be commercialised. Collaboration with industry is a way to create an understanding of challenges and needs, as well as identifying opportunities for students.
Far from the eye of the hurricane
Life is anything but calm for Gabriele Messori. He is an associate professor of meteorology and his main research interests are extreme weather and atmospheric predictability in current and future climates. In the spring of 2020, he received a large research grant from the Research Executive Agency (REA) and the project planning is in full swing. The project includes several companies and there is a clear focus on bringing research findings into practical use. His interest in finding ways for his knowledge to make an impact and be of use in society is also the primary reason for his participation in UU Innovation's Mentor4Research programme.
Returning to the lab with new knowledge
Gustaf Gredebäck is a professor of developmental psychology and director of the Uppsala Child and Baby Lab. His drive to understand what promotes young children's development is as strong as communicating that knowledge to parents and preschool staff. Among other things, Gustaf is involved in the creation of a preschool center in Uppsala. By working closer together with preschools, he brings new knowledge to the lab and enriches the preschool environment.
He wants to create meaning in life - for himself and others
Mamduh Halawa keeps himself busy. With just one year left of his studies at the Psychology programme at Uppsala University, he has already published a book and developed a mobile app that is soon ready for launch. The Zeeds mobile app is based on the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) method, which Mamduh describes as a young branch of cognitive behavioral therapy. The app will help its users create a more meaningful life by playfully stimulating more of the concrete behaviors that create joy and meaning for each individual.
"You are outside but in"
Malin Eriksson is soon finishing her doctoral studies in developmental psychology. In the spring of 2020, she has worked together with Heby municipality in a project that concerns young people who neither study nor have a job. Collaborating with an external actor can be somewhat challenging, but at the same time very rewarding for everyone involved. “Relationships are important and building them take time,” Malin states.
The team is everything
A good team is key when it comes to the opportunity to develop as a company and overcome setbacks. These are the words of Stergios Efes, who together with a friend started the company nonoGroup in parallel with his studies as a language technologist at Uppsala University. nonoGroup is developing a search engine service tailored for companies. Others things he has learned during his incipient journey as an entrepreneur, is the importance of sharing your ideas with others and listening to, and learning from, feedback.
Mats Falk joins UU Innovation
“I’m looking forward to working with researchers, giving guidance on how to commercialise innovative project and product proposals,” says Mats Falk who is new business advisor at UU Innovation.
UU Innovation strengthens its team with a new collaboration manager
Therese Fagerqvist is a new collaboration manager at UU Innovation and she brings with her many years of experience in project management and process development.
"This is something I myself really missed during my time as a researcher."
The last day to apply for Mentor4Research 2021 is approaching. The programme provides PhD students and researchers from all subject areas the opportunity to partner with a mentor from outside of academia and develop a broader network both within and outside the university.
Företagens frågor i fokus på årlig materialdag
Samverkan kring industrins materialfrågor. I oktober är det dags igen. För trettonde året i rad bjuder Uppsala universitet in företag till AIMday Materials som i år går av stapeln i digital form den 22 oktober.
What intellectual assets hide in your research project?
Learn how to identify and make use of your intellectual assets. Take the course on intellectual property and commercialisation provided by Uppsala University Innovation in collaboration with the Swedish Patent and Registration Office. Registration for the course is open.
Finansiering till tre innovativa uppstartsbolag med ursprung från Uppsala universitet
Vinnova delar ut totalt 42 miljoner till 141 uppstartsbolag med innovativa affärsidéer. Bolagen får ett bidrag på upp till 300 000 kronor och tre av dessa är avknoppningsbolag från Uppsala universitet.
Uppsalas vattenutmaningar i fokus
Vilka utmaningar står Uppsala inför i vattenfrågan? Kom med och lyssna och diskutera på Accessdagen den 3 juni då frågan kommer att belysas ur flera perspektiv. Du kan delta på Zoom.
Uppsala University Innovation starts open-coaching on Zoom
Hello there ... Björn Ingemarsson, advisor at UU Innovation, who will answer your questions during Innovation hour.
Collaboration funding for four new projects
The assessment practice of schools, the Internet of Things, food knowledge, and new technology for concentrating sunlight. These are the areas in focus in four projects that received funding at the start of the year through Uppsala University's Verification for Collaboration (VFS) programme.
Välkommen på kvartssamtal med UU Innovation
Vad är en innovation? Vem är innovatör? Vad gör ett innovationskontor? UU Innovation lanserar nu ett nytt format för att skapa en dialog kring dessa och andra närliggande frågor. Häng med på kvartssamtal med UU Innovation två gånger i veckan under maj och juni via Zoom.
Mikrosensor för lokalisering av smärtkällor bland finansierade samverkansprojekt i utlysning från innovationsprogram
15 projekt som verkar för en bättre hälsa får dela på 36 miljoner kronor i innovationsprogrammen Swelifes och Medtech4Healths gemensamma utlysning. Ken Welch, professor vid institutionen för materialvetenskap vid Uppsala universitet, leder ett av de utvalda projekten.
Uppsalaforskaren Sara Mangsbo utsedd till en av Sveriges mest innovativa entreprenörer
Sara Mangsbo, cancerforskare och serieentreprenör har utsetts till en av Sveriges tio mest innovativa entreprenörer 2020 av Stiftelsen ÅForsk och branschorganisationen Swedish Incubators & Science Parks, SISP. Hon tilldelas ÅForsk Entreprenörsstipendium om 200 000 kronor för läkemedelsutvecklingsprojektet IMMGAP.
Time to nominate candidates for the Uppsala University Innovation Prize 'Hjärnäpplet' 2020
Now is the time to nominate your candidate for Uppsala University's Innovation Prize Hjärnapplet. The prize consists of a diploma, a sculpture and SEK 50,000. Nominate your candidate by 26 April.
UU Innovation grows stronger with new IP advisor
She thrives in entrepreneurial environments and wants to help make the important, but sometimes tricky, intellectual property rights easier. Since early March, Thorunn Grenmark has been serving as a new advisor at UU Innovation, bringing with her almost 30 years of experience in the field of intellectual property rights.
EIT Health program 'Start-ups meet Pharma'.
Here is a grand opportunity to collaborate with pharmaceutical companies on your innovative solution. Researchers and students with a registered company can now apply for joining the EIT Health program 'Start-ups meet Pharma'.
Pursue your healthcare innovation - apply for Headstart funding
Are you a researcher or student who have registered a company to pursue a business within the health care area? You can now apply for up to 50 000 EUR in Headstart Funding from EIT Health to validate your idea, product or service further.
Four reasons for Uppsala University PhDs and researchers to take the course on intellectual property and commercialisation
Are you curious of commercialisation? Would you like to increase your understanding of the various intellectual property (IP) tools that are out there and how they play an important role in the utilisation of research? In that case, Uppsala University Innovation’s course on IP and commercialisation can be something for you. Here are four good reasons to register for the course.
Entreprenörsstipendium till Anders Ajaxson Persson och Sara Mangsbo
Årets pristagare av Peter Egardts stipendium för Uppländskt entreprenörskap är Anders Ajaxson Persson och Sara Mangsbo, forskare inom mikrosystemteknik respektive immunonkologi vid Uppsala universitet.
3D-printing allows production of environmentally friendly radiation absorbers
A new high-technology polymer composite for radiation shielding applications has been launched by the Uppsala University spin-off company Additive Composite Uppsala AB. The material is optimized for 3D-printing which makes it easier for industry and big science facilities to replace toxic materials.
Course on intellectual property and commercialisation now open for registration
24 December 2019 - Charlotte Platzer Björkman
23 December 2019 - Elisabet Nielsen
22 December 2019 - Mats Utas
21 December 2019 - Roger Herbert
20 December 2019 - Marika Nestor
Funding for five new collaborative projects
Five new research collaborations with external parties have kicked off after receiving funding through the University’s Verification for Collaboration initiative (abbreviated VFS in Swedish). Purification of stormwater, municipal activity responsibility, and women’s influence in religious communities are three examples of focus areas.