6 April 2011

Mistra finances businesses working with innovation

The Swedish Institute initiated a programme to spotlight Sweden´s 20 hottest innovations, in the area of environmental technology among others. Two companies, I-Tech and myFC are connected with Mistra.

The Swedish Institute (SI) works to build relations with other countries. According to SI, Sweden belongs to the world´s elite in the area of innovation. Now this will be communicated to the world in an international exhibit featuring Sweden´s 20 most interesting innovations in the areas of information and communication technology, life science, the gaming and entertainment industry, as well as environmental technology.

These innovations were chosen from among growth companies in a compre-hensive selection process. According to SI, these are good examples of how the Swedish spirit of innovation creates conditions for international competitiveness.

Companies of the future
I-Tech AB is among these innovative companies. I-Tech spent eight years work-ing with the Mistra-supported Marine Paint research project at the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. I-Tech´s product, Selektope, helps paint manufacturers adapt to the requirements of stronger environmental legislation without compromising operational costs. Fewer plants and animals on the bottom of boats make the boats glide faster, which saves on fuel consumption.

Lena Lindblad, head of research at I-Tech in Gothenburg, says the company has just initiated product registration of Selektope in the American market, so help from the Swedish Institute is timely.
Simple technology
“Fifty percent of the world´s leisure boat market is in the United States. This is also important for Volvo Penta, our cooperation partner in the leisure boat sector," says Lindblad. “Of course the help I-Tech is getting from SI in Asia is also very important. There, commercial shipping is in focus, as a large portion of the world´s shipbuilding and painting takes place in Asia."

Fuel cell company myFC is the second chosen by the Swedish Institute that was connected to Mistra. myFC developed a new fuel cell that is easy and inexpensive to manufacture. The technology can be used to lengthen battery time for electronics such as mobile phones, GPS or laptop computers.

Anders Lundblad, founder and head of technology at myFC, worked with Mistra´s fuel cell programme during 1999—2006.

Lot of knowledge
“During these years I gained a lot of knowledge and contacts that enabled us to develop the technology and myFC, which was founded in the spring of 2005," says Lundblad.

Even though MISTRA´s fuel cell program partially has been focused on basic research, the work at myFC was helped, not least through the contacts in the knowledge base that the fuel cell program created.

Industry contacts
Björn Westerholm, the company´s CEO, says myFC received many industry contacts through Mistra´s fuel cell programme.

“In that way we developed a coop-eration with Nolato, our manufacturing partner. myFC has even hired post-graduate students who wrote their dissertations through the research programme," says Westerholm.

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