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Innovative business ideas from Uppsala University funded by Vinnova

2017-03-14

Several Uppsala University spin-off companies have received grants from Innovative Startups, Vinnova’s new initiative. One is Ilya Pharma, started by researcher Evelina Vågesjö.

In a new initiative from Vinnova, Sweden’s innovation agency, 117 business startups with innovative commercial ideas are sharing funds of SEK 35 million. The startups selected to receive SEK 300,000 each include six spin-off companies from Uppsala University.

Assisted by external experts, Vinnova has picked out young enterprises with innovative and internationally competitive ideas. They include Cadess Medical, Dicot, eDNA solutions, Featherway Robotics, Genagon Therapeutics and Ilya Pharma. Each of these six spin-off companies from the University will receive a grant of SEK 300,000 kronor to develop innovative solutions capable of contributing to economic growth and job creation.

Through its “Innovative Startups” initiative, Vinnova supports firms that are in an early phase of their development, when they may find other funding hard to obtain. Roughly half the business ideas relate to service innovation, and many of these include digital services. The projects to be funded were selected from more than 650 applications.

Evelina Vågesjö, a researcher at the Department of Medical Cell Biology, is one of the founders of Ilya Pharma and also its chief executive. Ilya Pharma is developing a new method for faster healing of wounds.

“We’re extremely proud to be getting this grant in competition with all the companies from different sectors that submitted proposals in the call. The grant means a tremendous lot for Ilya Pharma and really is a quality stamp on our commercial potential – something that gives investors the right signals,” Evelina says.

The six Uppsala University spin-offs have received early-phase innovation support from UU Innovation, including advice on business and patents as well as funding for verification. In several of these firms, the University’s holding company UU Holding AB has invested seed capital and joined as a partner. Several of them have also participated in the business development programmes of the Uppsala Innovation Centre’s (UIC) business incubator.

The six spinoffs from Uppsala University that have been awarded grants:

Cadess Medical is developing a computer system that helps staff involved in treatment to identify the grade of cancer in prostate patients. More

Dicot produces chemically synthesised libiguin (a plant extract), which has proved highly effective against sexual dysfunction.

eDNA solutions is developing a user-friendly tool for mapping species in ecosystems.

Featherway Robotics is developing a collaborative lightweight robot made of carbon fibre, intended mainly for use in industrial manufacturing.

Genagon Therapeutics is developing new drugs in immuno-oncology to strengthen cancer patients’ immune system.

Ilya Pharma is developing lactid-acid bacteria, used to deliver biopharmaceuticals (biological drugs) for treatment of chronic wounds. More