TechTrans Magazine Your research matters
Technology Transfer in pracTice
more innovaTion? yes please!
2 TechTrans Magazine
TechTrans Magazine 3
PEOPLE AND GOOD IDEAS
PEOPLE AND GOOD IDEAS Welcome to NTNU Technology Transfer (TTO). We are 20 people dedicated to explore and Welcome to NTNU Technology Transfer (TTO). We Approaching are 20 peopleusdedicated to explore and realize ideas, research results and inventions. means having an experienced realizeteam ideas, research resultswith and inventions. Approaching us means having an experienced working together you. team working together with you.
CAPTURING YOUR IDEA CAPTURING YOUR IDEA We need to fully understand your technology. Your idea might have a great potential. We need to fully understand your technology. Your idea might have a great potential. When that is the case, we will allocate more resources and ramp up the pace. We operate in a When that is the case, we will allocate more resources and ramp up the pace. We operate in a confidential environment where e.g. patent protection and external relations are important. confidential environment where e.g. patent protection and external relations are important. We will always prioritize your publication needs. We will always prioritize your publication needs.
PATENTING AND FINANCING
PATENTING AND FINANCING Together we will design the road to success.
Together weidea will is design the roadinvention, to success. If your a patentable we will consider to file a patent application. If your idea is a is patentable weyour will consider file where a patent Financing a vital partinvention, of realizing idea. We to know toapplication. go. Financing is a vital part of realizing your idea. We know where to go.
PROOF OF CONCEPT
PROTOTYPING The best way to demonstrate your idea could be to develop a prototype. The best wayof toConcept demonstrate your idea could be tofor develop a prototype. A Proof will enable a momentum discussions with the right A Proof of Concept will enable a momentum for discussions with the right industrial partners and potential investors. industrial partners and potential investors.
WE´RE IN BUSINESS WE´RE IN BUSINESS
Another way is to look for an existing company that is interested to WE´RE INcommercializing BUSINESS When your idea, there are several roads to follow. Another way is to look for an existing company that is interested in When commercializing your idea, there are several roads to follow.
your idea. Experienced TTO employeesto will negotiate One way isyour to establish a new company together. You have the Another waycommercialize is to look for an existing company that is interested WhenOne commercializing idea, there are several roads to follow. commercializing your idea. Experienced TTO employees will negotiate way is to establish a new company together. You have the a license agreement and make sure you get best deal possible. invention, wenew know where to go. The You sky is thethe limit! commercialize your idea. Experienced TTO employees willthe negotiate One way is to establish company together. have a license agreement and make sure you get the best deal possible. invention, we knowa where to go. The sky is the limit! a license agreement and make sure you get the best deal possible. invention, we know where to go. The sky is the limit!
TechTrans Magazine YOUR RESEARCH MATTERS
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TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER IN PRACTICE
MORE INNOVATION? YES PLEASE!
Te ch Tra n s ma ga z i n e 20 1 2 Editorial officE Eivind Andersen, Åshild Sørbø, Steinar Kvam Tel +47 73 55 11 79 rEPortEr Anne-Lise Aakervik Mediekompaniet i Ilsvika translation and English Editing Amesto Translations AS Photo Geir Mogen illustration/collagE NTNU Technology Transfer, Steinar Kvam dEsign Engasjert Byrå AS, Tone Engberg NTNU Technology Transfer, Steinar Kvam Print Fagtrykk Trondheim AS EcolabElling Ecolabelled paper Cover: Multiart gloss 170 gr Content: Multiart Gloss 120 gr ECF, FSC, PEFC og EMAS. www.tto.ntnu.no
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Technology Read more about our Transfer in practice: tto.ntnu.no/hva-kan-vi-gjore-for-deg Technology Transfer in practice:
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innoVaTion in The heaLTh seCTor
MORE INNOvATION? YES PLEASE! Innovation in the health sector is very important to maintain and improve health services. This is one of the reasons that Helse Midt-Norge recently invested in NTNU Technology Transfer AS.
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gunnar bovim CEO Helse Midt-Norge
innoVaTion in The heaLTh seCTor
– We have 16,000 employees whose “antennas” see opportunities for improvement every day. We want to bring these ideas forward and provide opportunities for them to develop, says gunnar Bovim, the Ceo of helse Midt-norge (Central norway regional health authority). The health services are facing great challenges in a number of areas. For example, there will be fewer staff per patient, yet the quality of services must be maintained. This means that we must find new ways of organising our work. at the same time, norway’s population is spread out over considerable distances from south to north, and all inhabitants must have access to equally good health services wherever they live. We are also seeing increasing levels of chronic illness. This means that the health services need innovation in many areas to solve the challenges we face in the years ahead. From my point of view, this is not limited to technology. not just tEchnology gunnar Bovim emphasises that innovation for the hospitals and health authorities is also about improving patient processing through new routines, as has been done for hip replacement patients. While they were previously hospitalised for eight days and spent another four weeks at an in-patient 12 TechTrans Magazine
TTO’s role is therefore going to be to nurture the ideas from 16,000 employees rehabilitation clinic, they now spend three days in hospital and receive follow-up in their homes. This is, after all, where they will have to manage on their own. This patient group is doing a lot better after these changes were implemented. “To us, this is innovation. We will not receive a patent for it, but we are receiving a lot of positive health results”, he notes. Bovim emphasises that for him, innovation in the health service includes more than technology, electronic gadgets, and patents. “For us, commercialisation is when a procedure is developed that the neighbouring hospital also starts using, or when we save money by implementing a change and thus free our employees to focus on what they do best.” smart solutions gunnar Bovim is aware of a lot of excellent projects and innovation taking place in the regional hospitals. With its location and
university hospital status, st. olav’s hospital has some advantages in relation to research and development that the other hospitals do not share. “But a lot of exciting things are happening that i want to bring forth so that others can share in the smart solutions. TTo’s role is therefore going to be to nurture the ideas from 16,000 employees and participate in further refining these into something that will work for the entire health region.” long-tErm agrEEmEnt helse Midt-norge plans to spend five million kroner annually on innovation activities organised through TTo. What does Bovim expect to get back? “as a co-owner in TTo, my expectations have increased exponentially”, he says. “i expect TTo to enter the outpatient clinics, introduce themselves and actively participate in development and innovative projects in the health authorities. Together with innomed, which already works on innovation in the health sector, the 16,000 antennas must know that there is somewhere they can go to discuss their idea and have it evaluated. it is important to have a good system for good ideas. We have a lot of room for growth in that area. The innovation prize in helse Midt-norge shall be used to highlight innovations that others also should benefit from and use, whether these are changes to routines, systems for
medication or new procedures. When one department identifies improvement potential, we want this improvement to be distributed everywhere; everyone should get to share in the improvement.
It is important to have a good system for good ideas a changing hEalth sErvicE “in ten years, the health services will look very different than they do today”, Bovin notes. “indeed, the health services look very different today than they did ten years ago. Fewer and fewer people are dying from heart and cardiovascular diseases, and the disease profile of the population is undergoing dramatic changes. The need for health services will increase because the population is ageing, but the health sector cannot solve this issue through growth alone. We need to work smarter and focusing on innovation is therefore crucial in order to stay ahead of the curve. it is in this context that i want the collaboration with TTo to be fruitful”, gunnar Bovim concludes. TechTrans Magazine 13
CoMPUTer-BaseD Pain DiagnosTiCs
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CoMPUTer-BaseD Pain DiagnosTiCs - provides a more precise picture of the patientâ€™s pain related problems, enabling a more targeted palliative treatment. An innovation from NTNU and St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim University Hospital will improve communication between doctor and patient.
TechTrans Magazine 15
CoMPUTer-BaseD Pain DiagnosTiCs
stein Kaasa is head of the Department of oncology at st. olavs hospital, Trondheim University hospital. he is also an international expert on palliative care, which is the treatment of patients with incurable disease. This is a type of treatment that tends to be started too late, often after other treatments have been completed. Kaasa believes this to be the wrong approach: palliative care must be pursued in parallel with other treatment. This is also the message CancerWorld magazine relays by putting Kaasa on its front page. his views on diagnostics and palliative care are receiving international attention.
We want to develop a standard format that makes communication between doctor and patient easier from PaPEr to ElEctronics Kaasa has spent a lot of time thinking about electronic tools that make it easier for both patient and doctor to take pain and other distressing symptoms seriously. “We are still using a questionnaire on paper. it does not provide us with a sufficient overview of the situation, and also fails to advise the doctor regarding the type of treatment the patient might benefit from. The doctor receives the paper form at the same time as the patient enters, which leaves the doctor very little time to evaluate the responses and think of a treatment that will work for that particular patient. available technologies are now so advanced and user-friendly that we can take a new step.” Together with the head of Departmentof the oncology outpatient Clinic, doctor sunil Xavier raj, Kaasa has 16 TechTrans Magazine
Simply put, I want to develop a product and tool that ‘does the trick’
care. These guidelines are updated regularly, and thus the programme also ensures that the doctor always has the latest guidelines available. Both Kaasa and raj know that current guidelines are neglected by doctors, which may harm the patient care.
started to develop CoMBaT, a programme that will make palliative care significantly easier for both patient and doctor. They aim is to develop a commercial product that can be used on iPads or similar tablets. “We want to develop a standard format that makes communication between doctor and patient easier, more reliable and with an enhanced attention to patients concerns”, says raj.
somEthing that doEs thE trick Both Kaasa and raj are driven by a dedication to providing the best possible care for the patients. They also find it interesting and rewarding to develop something new that will improve the daily life of cancer patients. “We are witnessing rapid developments in computer technology, and the health sector has yet to fully benefit from these. But this is about to change”, says sunil X. raj.
ntnu tEchnology transfEr is an imPortant PartnEr “TTo has been an important partner. They have helped us to develop the content and the layout for the project as well as find the best collaborators for the project.” Professor stein Kaasa is very clear in his summary of the role that TTo has played in the development of CoMBaT. “i would say that they have given the project a real energy boost and renewed the enthusiasm for the project”, says sunil Xavier raj. The oncologist is a dedicated iT user, and enjoys using available technology to develop something new. CoMBaT is built on algorithms, which means that the questions posed are adapted to the answers provided. The programme uses a tablet or iPad. The form also includes a functionality in which the patient can indicate where s/he feels pain. once the patient completes the form, it is available on the doctor’s computer. The computer then evaluates the responses and provides the doctor with treatment suggestions. guidElinEs The programme complies with national and international guidelines for palliative
– “simply put, i want to develop a product and tool that ‘does the trick’. This is something i want to achieve. i do not want to lose this race”, says stein Kaasa. he is well aware that other developers are working on similar products. Kaasa is an impatient soul. “We have a window, and we should use that. it is therefore important that we secure funds now that will enable us to continue.” Kaasa expects TTo to contribute to this process. as part of his doctoral degree, raj will be trying out the concept in the oncology outpatient Clinic where he works. “We hope and believe that this will give the patient greater control of their own illness and pain profile. We already know that patients often underreport pain, and that doctors often do not sufficiently consider the pain that patients do report. Using a tool like CoMBaT ensures that doctors must consider the pain that patients have reported.” This is of course a new way of communicating, but Kaasa and raj are not worried that it will be too impersonal.
morE targEtEd trEatmEnt Professor Stein Kaasa and medical doctor Sunil Xavier Raj
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thE foundErs Lars Andre Solberg, Jonas Moræus Aamodt and Håkon Skjelten
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Aptomar supplies safety equipment to maritime operations world-wide. Lars Andre Solberg got the idea behind the company in 2003. Working with TTO, Solberg and two fellow NTNU students have journeyed from the initial idea to establishing a company.
TechTrans Magazine 19
Lars andre solberg got the idea for a stabilised searchlight that would be unaffected by the movement of the vessel while holding a summer job in halden. Today, the company he started is called aptomar. it has 30 employees and is represented in 10 countries. “We still have some way to go to achieve our goals, but we would not have reached where we are today without the collaboration with TTo”, solberg says as he sits across from us in the meeting room of aptomar’s Trondheim Main office. This is where the technology that compensates for the movement of the boat and the tool that locates and visualises objects in the water, are developed and improved. For example, when used in oil spill preparedness, the tool can determine the thickness of the oil slick. – There were three of us who pitched the idea to TTo in 2005. We quickly found out that as technologists we were best at just that: technology development. however, we were clueless about business development. in contrast, that is just the skills that TTo has. after being presented with the idea, TTo chose to support aptomar with funds, hours and a dedicated staff member. “For us, it was important to be challenged and face opposition”, says solberg. he describes TTo as a conversation partner, a guide, and a source of labour power for all facets of the business 20 TechTrans Magazine
development process: writing a business plan, applying for financing and developing a management structure. “They have the knowledge and networks necessary to establish a company. They know which buttons to push at what time, and they work
We still have some way to go to achieve our goals, but we would not have reached where we are today without the collaboration with TTO in a structured way to help us develop the business, determine pricing models and submit patent applications.” oftEn undErEstimatEd “Technology developers often underestimate the importance of the external factors that are part of developing a business based on a very good idea. These include start-up and development of the company, and of course securing funding from investors. good ideas are not enough if you cannot
engage people and convince others to join the team or invest money. The road from a patent or good idea to a market-ready commercial product is very long”, solberg notes. comPEtEncy transfEr “in contrast to consultants whose work is short-term and who take their competencies with them when they leave, TTo is engaged in competency transfer. They stand by us in thick and thin the whole way, and make sure to transfer their knowledge to us so that we are prepared for what lies ahead. as a manager, i really benefit from that. There is no doubt that i am a very different manager today than i was at start-up in 2005”, says solberg. he goes on to note that, “as an entrepreneur it is important to remember to be open to receiving advice, critical questions and suggestions. entrepreneurs must also be humble and realise that others may know things they do not. it is important to learn about your own strengths and weaknesses and find others who complement these. Without such complementarity, things are even more difficult.” from mEntor TTo’s most important tasks are to have faith in the team and our product, and ask critical questions that force management and the company to think carefully about the decisions and choices we make. They have stayed with us on the roller coaster journey that an
Good ideas are not enough if you cannot engage people and convince others to join the team or invest money
entrepreneurial company undergoes. For me, the people in TTo are its most important resource. They are genuinely interested in development, and it seems that everyone who works there are an entrepreneur at heart, which makes them really effective and enthusiastic about their jobs. to board mEmbEr Today, TTo has a professional board member in the same way as the other investors in the company. it therefore also takes on a
different level of responsibility than previously. “We really appreciate that. all success is about relations. however, at aptomar we must still prove that we have staying power”, says solberg. We are already the world’s largest supplier of tactical solutions for oil spill preparedness. Today, everyone who do offshore safety operations have equipment from aptomar. in this way, we participate in changing how companies evaluate dangers at sea and how they cooperate between land, sea and air.”
facTs abouT apTomar aptomar was founded in 2005 by lars andre solberg, Jonas moræus aamodt and håkon skjelten, who all still have central positions in the company. besides the founders and other employees, statoil venture, proventure seed, investinor and TTo are shareholders of aptomar. for the first five years of the company, focus has been on the product securus. aptomar and securus has won several technology and start-up awards. The securus system is a preferred and unmatched safety solution for navigation aid, vessel safety and security, environmental monitoring, and sar (search and rescue). invested to date:
Turnover in 2011: 70 mnoK web site: www.aptomar.com
TechTrans Magazine 21
WaTer anD gas seParaTion
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ARGENTINIAN ExPRESS Maria Fernandino and Carlos Alberto Dorao, an Argentinian couple working at NTNU, have already been awarded a prize for their invention.
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WaTer anD gas seParaTion
By using centrifugal force, Fernandino and Dorao have managed to remove liquids from gas flows in a highly efficient manner.
after having completed their Master of science degrees in argentina, the couple was looking for two PhD positions in europe. as they both work in the same sub-field, it was not easy to find a place for both of them. yet in 2002, two positions became available in norway. “norway? We did not know much about the country, and had not been considering it when we started looking for positions. however, we decided to give it a go. We were right to do so”. Maria laughs. in addition to their doctorates, the couple have been granted two assistant Professorships, a Professor title, and a child. They also have another child on the way. as if all this was not enough, they are in the process of developing an entirely new method for separating oil and gas. Fernandino and Dorao does everything at express speeds, and are still only 35 years of age. in 2008, they started as assistant Professors in the Department of energy and Process engineering. at the same time, they began to ask questions about some of the established truths about the separation of gas, oil and water. They knew this was topical issue, and believed it could be done simpler and cheaper. 24 TechTrans Magazine
“at nTnU we had time to work on our idea”, says Carlos. he was recently made Professor in the Department of energy and Process engineering. “We knew what the issue was and what the market is like, and were able to come up with possible solutions.”
NTNU Discovery, FORNY, Innovation Norway and TTO have taken risks over the past few years that have enabled us to reach where we are today. good nEws Fernandino and Dorao knew about Technology Transfer offices from argentina, and realised that nTnU had to have something
similar. But where? in time, a memorandum landed on a desk at nTnU Technology Transfer (TTo), and the ball started rolling. it picked up speed once sondre K. Jacobsen started in TTo in october 2008. From his background in the oil and gas industry, he realised that Fernandino and Dorao had a viable idea. The investigation that was undertaken in connection with the patent application reached the same conclusion. “We were told to create a prototype that demonstrated that our theory worked”, says Carlos. Using abrasive cleaning pads, a drill and some help from the workshop staff at nTnU, they created the “first prototype” that demonstrated the principles. Using one million kroner from nTnU Discovery, Fernandino and Dorao are now developing the prototype further. institutional suPPort “We must note that the institutional support has been, and continues to be, great. We have been given time to do research, access to the laboratories, and to laboratory staff. They are very good at their jobs, and we have received help to build all our prototypes here”, says Maria Fernandino. “since the project is related to the Department, we have also involved Master’s students in some
Maria Fernandino and Carlos Alberto Dorao
parts of the research.” –“We have received so-called Proof-of-Concept funding from the Forny programme, which is an extension of what we did under the nTnU Discovery project”, says Jacobsen. “This funding is only awarded to approved TTo projects. We now have noK 2 million that we will use for prototype 2. This prototype will show that the idea works on a large scale and in the manner described.”
compared to the tanks currently in use,” says Carlos Dorao.
to small and simPlE By using centrifugal force, Fernandino and Dorao have managed to remove liquids from gas flows in a highly efficient manner. The patented technology will likely reduce the volume and weight of separators by 80-90 percent compared to current units, and the new unit is also extremely compact. “We have managed to separate water and gas in a small tank. This will save a lot of volume
additional funding from innovation norway has enabled the couple to create a company called innsep as. TTo will also be a shareholder, and sondre Jacobsen is the company’s managing director. “The reason we created the company is because we are entering a high-risk phase of the project. in this context, it is better to be a company. next year, Maria and Carlos will take a leave of absence from nTnU for a while to work
imPortant suPPort “it has turned out to be difficult to attract large and influential investors at this early stage. We are working in relation to a very conservative industry, and if it is not good enough for the industry then it is not good enough for investors.”
intensively on the company”, says Jacobsen. however, he offers assurances that nTnU will not lose two brilliant scientists. “it is important to have financing for research in an early stage. Without funding from the different pre-seed sources, we would not have made any headway”, says Jacobsen. “nTnU Discovery, Forny, innovation norway and TTo have taken risks over the past few years that have enabled us to reach where we are today.” several oil companies have shown interest in the technology and visited us in the laboratory. it was only when they did not make any critical comments that we understood that this was actually interesting to them”, says Maria.
TechTrans Magazine 25
thE PatEnt ExPErts Knut JĂ¸rgen Egelie og Sabina Strand
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Why PaTenTs? Part of TTO’s role is to take charge of the invention and guide it through a patent application. As the inventor, you follow the process and closely participate in its progress.
all ideas submitted to TTo are assessed in relation to their patenting potential. Knut Jørgen egelie and sabina strand are TTo’s patent experts. They are responsible for answering the following questions: has anyone done something similar? entirely
the same, or just partially similar? “We cannot know in advance”, says Knut Jørgen. “We investigate. We have access to databases of all patents and patent applications, and all international scientific publications. Using these databases, we search to see whether
the topic has been discussed previously, or whether there are other academic communities working on similar ideas. of course, we also research what industry is doing. This is interesting in terms of the commercial potential of the idea.” TechTrans Magazine 27
a paTe nT c an last for up to 20 years.
i nTe l le c Tual p rop e rTy ri gh T s ( i p r )
pharmaceutical drugs may be given an extended
is a term used to describe many different forms
patent for an additional of 5 years.
of property rights. The most common forms of ipr are copyrights, trademarks, patents and industrial design rights. These rights protect idea, knowledge, design or other bases for the invention.
paTenT comes from the french work patente.
Th e paTe nT co- op e r aTi on Tr eaT y (p c T )
in latin, lettre patente means to be open.
makes it easier to extend patent applications to multiple countries. such extensions mean that you retain the priority date from the first patent application in subsequent international applications. The pcT system currently includes 143 countries.
why is thErE a PatEnting systEm? The first known patenting system was created in the Usa as early as in 1790 (The United states Patent office). The public authorities had the same intentions then as they do now: to stimulate innovation. Developing an invention into a commercial product often requires significant resources. To stimulate the global population to realise their inventions, a patent system has been created in most industrialised countries. a patent secures legal protection against having the product be copied right after it hits the market. why should i considEr PatEnting my rEsEarch rEsults? “if you have an invention that you really want society to benefit from, then you should consider applying for a patent”, says 28 TechTrans Magazine
sabina. she elaborates further: “Let us say that you for example have research results that can lead to a new medicine. if you limit yourself to an academic publication, then
If you have an invention that you really want society to benefit from, then you should consider applying for a patent most likely no patient will ever benefit from your invention.” sabina explains that, “the pharmaceutical industry, which typically
completes the development of the product and conducts the extensive clinical studies required to have the medicine approved, must invest hundreds of millions of kroner before they can start selling the product. in order for them to be able to invest in your research results, it is absolutely necessary that the invention is sufficiently protected by patents.” Knut provides additional reasons for considering submitting a patent application: “a patent can lead to a different kind of attention than an academic article. a patent gives you a competitive advantage because you get the sole rights to the commercial use of your invention. By being able to document the right to your invention, we have a starting point for negotiating the financing of development costs and to enter sale and licensing agreements.”
paTe nT c an be co sT ly for a single invention, you could expect patent protection in the uK, germany, france, italy, us, Japan
Th e r e i s n o such thing as a global patent.
and china together to cost nearly 500 000 noK.
use the pcT system to extend an application world wide.
an invenTion can only be paTe nTe d if iT is new, not already known to the public before the date a patent is applied for invenTive, not an obvious modification of what
a paTe nT d oe s n oT prevent other forms of
is already known
academic publishing, but remember to do it in the
capable of industrial application, that is,
right order. first submit the patent application,
can be made or used in any kind of industry
then publish your results.
what is a PatEnt? a patent protects a concrete solution to a technical problem. a patent means having the exclusive right to exploit an invention. Processes, products, devices and applications are among the things that can be patented. your invention must describe a practical solution to a problem. The solution must be technical, have a technical effect and it must be possible to reproduce it. you cannot patent an idea without being able to explain or show how to practically implement it. you also cannot patent a business idea. rEquirEmEnts for PatEnts The invention must be new. The invention must not have been published before your patent application has been submitted. in some cases, it is best if the invention is not disclosed to others before you have received a statement on whether it can be patented. if your invention has been mentioned in
previous patents, journals or other literature, then this poses an impediment to getting a patent. it is therefore important
A patent can lead to a different kind of attention than an academic article to remember to proceed in the right order. First register your patent application, then publish your results. how long doEs it takE? in theory, a patent application can be submitted in one day, but TTo prefers to have 6-8 weeks to work on the application. With this time available, we can do a thorough
search of the field and discuss all aspects with the inventor in order to get all the elements of the application in order. a patent specialist then writes the actual application. The application will be written using legal terminology and the application documents are legal documents that can stand up in court. once the patent application has been submitted, in one or more countries, we receive a stamp and the application is valid as of that date. The further process follows a schedule with deadlines at 12, 18 and 30/31 months. however, this is not just a waiting period. During this period, work is ongoing on the development of the invention, partners are considered, and a new company may be created. along the way, you can rely on TToâ€™s expertise and experience to navigate all facets of the process.
TechTrans Magazine 29
NEW WEBSITE www.tto.ntnu.no
Learn more about what NTNU Technology Transfer can do for you • • • • •
Research financing Advice and support Patenting Prototyping Market opportunities
• • • •
Establish new companies License agreements Contracts with industry and much more.....
32 TechTrans Magazine
NTNU Discovery funding your research NTNU employees and students who have developed a good idea or an invention, can receive support of up to one million kroner to investigate whether their idea has staying power.
TechTrans Magazine 33
oddvar aasErud Chairman of the NTNU Discovery jury
The overarching goal of the funding is to contribute to increased value creation and business development based on results/ technologies/ideas developed at nTnU. There is often a long road from the initial stages of an idea or result and to the point where other investors are willing to take the risk of supporting it. Typically, these aspects relate to the possibility of verifying that the technology is good enough, evaluating the patenting opportunities, determining market demands, preparing a business strategy, etc. nTnU Discovery will make quick decisions on the applications they receive. what must a ProjEct havE comPlEtEd in ordEr to rEcEivE suPPort from ntnu discovEry? it is a requirement that the project is based in the nTnU community. Furthermore, issues of ownership and rights must have been resolved. once these things are in place, the possibilities for commercialising the product are central to determining whether a project will receive support. a number of parameters come into play here; these are the same questions that any investor bases his/her decision on. Very simple - yet very difficult when the project is at an early stage. it is also important to see a continuation of the results. Furthermore, it 34 TechTrans Magazine
I hope that NTNU Discovery can contribute to an increased awareness and more motivation for doing something with ideas that emerge is important that there are people who really believe in and want to do something with the idea. any long-term result for the nTnU communities involved is also a positive factor in the evaluation. is it advantagEous to bE associatEd with tto? The applications are evaluated regardless of who the applicant is, but the quality of the applications tends to be much better whenever TTo is involved. TTo has a better sense of what nTnU Discovery looks for, and it excels at securing ongoing financing for successful projects. This is likely because TTo employees have extensive experience in the field, and often have a background from businesses
at different stages of development. My impression is that they are competent, very involved and highly motivated for their tasks. Most often, these are teams with complementary skills. TTo does a very good job within its framework. it is important to stress that nTnU Discovery is not an alternative to other sources of financing. in other words, nTnU Discovery is not a general financing scheme for r&D projects. doEs ntnu discovEry do morE than ProvidE financial suPPort? i hope that nTnU Discovery can contribute to an increased awareness and more motivation for doing something with ideas that emerge. some nTnU employees have had the opportunity to try their idea out, hopefully without feeling that there was too much bureaucracy, forms, and wait times involved. We hope that these good examples get the ball rolling. We have noticed an uptick in the number of applications, which suggests that nTnU Discoveryâ€™s participation in business development is receiving more attention in the nTnU community.
facTs abouT nTnu discovery fund established 31.01.2011 fund size:
eight million noK each year
59 (up to march 2012)
11 main projects + 17 pre-projects (up to march 2012)
sparebank1 smn, sør-Trøndelag fylkeskommune, nord-Trøndelag fylkeskommune and nTnu
per arne wilson
73 59 02 99
Three nTnu proJecTs funded by nTnu discovery
mooses is the name of a technology that makes
an alginate substance, called g-blocks, from
a great number of foods are “coated” before
it possible to use smartphones as a console for
brown algae turns out to have electrostatic char-
they reach the shops. This is done to increase
screens or physical objects. The unique aspect
acteristics that are able to open up the mucus
their shelf-life, retain their nutritional qualities,
of the solution is that multiple users can play in
network. This can be an important function in
and to prevent the growth of bacteria and other
the same physical space. The mooses technol-
medication for e.g. patients with lung diseases.
microorganisms on the surface of the foods. at
ogy was used last summer, when dairy giant
licensing agreements with the pharmaceuti-
nTnu, researchers have identified an element
Tine’s litago brand launched its rodeo campaign,
cal industry have already been signed. further
of seaweed that can make foods more resistant
in which the user could steer a mechanical cow
research has shown that this substance also
to bacteria without impacting their quality; a so-
using their own smartphone and its gyroscope.
has a drug delivery effect. g-blocks get the
called natural food protection. The acidic coat-
The project received international recognition
mucus membrane to open up, allowing drugs to
ing project has received financing from nTnu
in a european competition for the best interac-
reach its destination. because the substance is
discovery to take a step towards a product that
tive ad campaign. The mooses project received
completely natural, it is safe to use. financing
the food industry can add to its repertoire. The
funding from nTnu discovery to test the scal-
from nTnu discovery allows for planned animal
driving force for TTo is an interest in developing
ability of the technology.
products from nTnu research that can be used in industry.
funding from nTnu discovery: pre-project 100.000 noK /
funding from nTnu discovery:
funding from nTnu discovery:
main project 490.000 noK
main project 1 mill noK
main project 1 mill noK
TechTrans Magazine 35
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