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Tomorrows solutions in nanotech and wind power

The results of several innovative research projects in the field of nanotechnology and wind power were presented at a two-day Top-level Research Initiative (TRI) seminar in Copenhagen.

-Today we have seen innovations that are going to evolve how we consume and produce energy. Innovations like the bulb-free interior lighting based on illuminous surfaces and the paper-thin, easily disposable and eco-friendly batteries based on green sea algae, said Natalia Glette Programme Leader and Innovation Adviser.

 

The Top-level Research Initiative was initiated in 2009 by the Nordic Prime Ministers in an effort to find and promote a more efficient and sustainable production and use of energy in the Nordic region. Click here to read more about TRI and its sub-programmes.

 

Algae batteries

Extracting cellulose from environmentally harmful green Cladophora algae, the researchers have been able to produce a polymer material that proves suitable for a thin paper-based battery.

 

-This could for instance be used in clothing, medical appliances, diagnostic tools or food packaging that can tell the consumer when the food turns bad. Its strong point is eco friendliness. However, we are not developing the battery any further until we have either an industrial partner or a known application area, said Mateo Santini of Uppsala University.

 

For this reason the project launched a video explaining, aiming at their young users. Where there is a SEK 30,000 prize for the best suggestions on how the battery best can be put to use.

 

Bridging the gap between academia and R&D companies

-One of our aims has been to bridge the gap between academic users and R&D people in companies, said professor Lars Samuelson of Lund University.

He is an entrepreneur and co-director of Nanometer Structure Consortium, having registered 51 patents related to nano wire.  He stressed the importance of securing Intellectual Property values before publishing research results.

 

-This is also fundamental for the funding needed to move a spin-off company from early stages to a mature firm, said Samuelson.

 

The two-day Copenhagen seminar was rounded off by a panel discussion on how to commercialize research results, with participants from all Nordic countries. One answer to the question of how to grow successful companies was closer cooperation between industry and academic research, with the two environments daring to challenge each other. Another answer was more collaboration between the Nordic countries, based on each country’s foremost technology areas.

 

The seminar was hosted by the Top Level Research Initiative joint run by Nordic Innovation and Nordic Energy Researh, two organizations funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers