02 April 2019

Three innovations from Linköping University are included on the IVA Top 100 List: Translating Knowledge to Competitiveness. “An important signal and a great honour”, says one of the prize-winners.

Patrik Thollander. Photo credit: Mikael Sönne

Three professors from LiU

Professors Stefan Stenfelt, Fredrik Gustafsson and Patrik Thollander – these are the three LiU scientists who have been selected for the IVA list of research that may form the basis for business development and – in the long run – new products, services and companies.

Stefan Stenfelt. Photo credit: Thor Balkhed

Stefan Stenfelt has developed the simulation system LiUHead to evaluate hearing aids, communication equipment and the effect of blows or impacts against the head. Fredrik Gustafsson is conducting research into sensor fusion, in which, for example, virtual sensors can be used to create evermore refined information.

Fredrik Gustafsson. Photo credit: Thor Balkhed

Patrik Thollander is architect of the digital energy-management platform Nead, which is used to measure and evaluate energy consumption in various contexts.

“For me, the IVA list and everything associated with it have enormous value as signals. It endorses me and other scientists working with innovations that can in the long-term create employment opportunities and increased tax revenue. It’s a great honour, and receiving the award has given me a huge boost”, says Patrik Thollander.

Time with the minister

The IVA Top 100 List was recently presented at an event at the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA), where Minister for Enterprise Ibrahim Baylan and several heavyweights in the Swedish business world participated. Nead was one of six innovations that were presented at the meeting. Patrik Thollander and Oscar Spinos from Nordic Energy Audit, the start-up company that markets Nead, were also granted a brief conversation with the minister.

Nead is based on a combination of a database and analysis tools, and is used to follow up energy consumption. It can analyse different measures, not only those already carried out but also those planned. The analysis is carried out more rapidly than was possible with traditional evaluation methods, and the system suggests several measures that can reduce energy use.

The digital platform can lead to huge savings in energy, and in this way be a great benefit to society. The company operates as a spin-off from LiU with 13 employees, two of whom are full-time.

“I’m a scientist, and haven’t been trained in doing business. It’s important to have people with such expertise also in the company, and we have, for example, employed a managing director from outside”, says Patrik Thollander, who functions as head of development for the company.

“We target both industry and the public sector, and we’re hoping to start marketing on a broad front in the coming 6 months.”

Potential for commercialisation

IVA is planning to publish a new Top 100 List every year, to promote research with a potential for commercialisation. The topic for the summary this year was digitisation.

The list is part of the Research2Business (R2B) project, a 10-year initiative to promote collaboration between scientists, the business world and society. Its objective is to strengthen Sweden’s competitiveness in a sustainable and international perspective. The project is a collaboration between Vinnova, PRV, the Association of Swedish Engineering Industries, Swedish industry, the Knowledge Foundation, and Sweden’s institutions of higher education.