Innovation – our approach

For over 500 years, Uppsala University has been an engine of research, education and innovation. Many of the products, services and methods that make a difference to people around the world today are based on ideas and research results successfully developed by researchers and students, either individually or together with others.

Examples include the pregnancy test and leading methods of allergy diagnosis, as well as Nobel Prize-winning inventions such as the ultracentrifuge and electrophoresis. The 100-degree Celsius temperature scale is perhaps the most famous innovation, with more recent examples including drugs that slow down Alzheimer's disease and world-leading digital audio solutions for everything from mobile phones and cars to our homes.

En person skriver på ett blädderblock medan en annan person tittar på.

Innovation support at Uppsala University

The breadth of subjects offered at Uppsala University provides a unique opportunity to contribute to solving major societal challenges. The ‘professor’s privilege’ rule allows academic researchers to own the results of their research, allowing them to patent inventions and resell the rights or set up companies to commercialise promising ideas, for example.

UU Innovation and UU Invest AB exist to stimulate and support innovation and entrepreneurship across the University. These organisations aim to provide students and researchers with the support they need to develop their ideas into new products, services or methods, to put research results into practice in society and to start new businesses.

Unique to Sweden

  • In Sweden, university researchers own the right to their research results as long as nothing else has been agreed upon.
  • In other countries, it is the employer, i.e. the University, that owns the results.
  • The ‘professor’s privilege’ applies to everyone in academia whose primary occupation is research, including both PhD students and professors.

UU Innovation

UU Innovation supports students, researchers, and staff who wish to develop their ideas and create broader societal impact through their research.

Here, innovation advisors and experts in intellectual property with many years of experience in research, development, and market introduction of new solutions in a wide range of fields work together.

Every year, UU Innovation meets hundreds of students and researchers who want to bring their ideas to life, and by providing guidance, networking, and funding, we can expedite the dissemination of innovative solutions into society, benefiting a larger audience.

Två leende personer i samtal.

Full support for development of ideas

UU Innovation's primary role is to identify, evaluate, and foster the potential of new ideas and research outcomes. This entails UU Innovation's involvement at the earliest stages, enabling it to come into play as soon as an idea or application of a research finding starts to materialise. The support is customised for each innovative idea and can encompass various aspects such as assessing knowledge assets within research projects, identifying potential beneficiaries or customers, facilitating business development, handling contractual and patent-related matters, assembling teams, and pursuing funding opportunities.

For all those who want to make a difference

UU Innovation supports idea development across all fields and innovative solutions to both small and large-scale problems. This can encompass everything from new technological solutions for enhanced sustainability in various industries, medical applications that can revolutionise healthcare and save lives, to social innovations aimed at addressing societal challenges and improving the quality of life for people.

Every innovation project is unique, and the strategies to transition from an idea to innovation vary. In some cases, this may involve starting a new company to bring products or services to the market. In other cases, it may involve establishing collaborations with existing companies or organisations for the implementation of new methods or approaches. In yet other situations, it may involve transferring or licensing intellectual property rights to a party for further development and commercialisation.

The support is free of charge and no ownership is claimed for the ideas that receive support. The advice is confidential and there is no need to apply to receive the support.

UU Innovation’s support for researchers and staff

UU Innovation's support for students

Extra boost for student entrepreneurship

In order to promote students’ interest and abilities in entrepreneurship, Uppsala University has been working closely for many years with the Drivhuset Uppsala Foundation. The Foundation helps students and graduates who want to develop a business idea or start their own business by providing inspirational activities, guidance and networking

Support to other higher education institutions

UU Innovation also has a regional responsibility to support the University of Gävle and Dalarna University within the framework of its assignment as an innovation centre (tasked by the government). This collaboration means that students, researchers and staff at these universities can benefit from the services and specialist expertise provided by UU Innovation.

There is also very close collaboration with the innovation centre at KTH, which uses UU Innovation’s services in the field of intellectual property rights.

UU Invest AB

Alongside UU Innovation, UU Invest AB operates as the investing part of the innovation support. UU Invest is a state holding company managed by Uppsala University. Its mission is to create new innovative companies based on research and expertise at Uppsala University and thereby help innovations reach the market.

The subsidiary UU Projekt AB offers pre-incubation, where a business idea is analysed and validated against the market and different technical solutions are evaluated before a company is potentially formed.

UU Invest is a partner to Uppsala Innovation Centre, or UIC, a globally top-ranked business incubator offering business development programmes for start-ups and young growth companies.

UU Invest’s website

Uppsala – a world-class innovation ecosystem

Uppsala is one of Sweden’s most innovative regions. Around the University there are strong innovation environments, a close-knit innovation support system and extensive collaboration between academia, the public sector and industry. Together they create a world-class innovation ecosystem that continuously promotes and develops new ideas and businesses.

Uppsala University plays a central role in the region’s innovation ecosystem. The city has a strong tradition in the life sciences sector, but its innovation capacity spans many different areas, including IT, technology and sustainable development. The geographical location close to Stockholm/Arlanda means that the city is well connected to the national and international business community, allowing companies and entrepreneurs to grow and create business opportunities. There is also well-developed innovation support where speed and proximity are the basis for continuous collaboration between the supporting actors of the innovation system. Many of the key actors share the same location at Uppsala Science Park, including UU Innovation, UU Invest AB, UIC and STUNS. All of this contributes to making Uppsala an attractive place for entrepreneurs and companies to develop and grow.

More on innovation support in Uppsala

Uppsala University rewards innovation

To stimulate and draw attention to the innovative power of Uppsala University, two prizes are awarded annually to individuals from the University who have helped benefit society through their innovations:

Uppsala University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award is awarded to individuals who have contributed to turning a discovery or innovation, based on research or education conducted at Uppsala University, into successful commercialisation or implementation with a significant societal benefit.

The Uppsala University Innovation Prize Hjärnäpplet is awarded to researchers and doctoral students who have made important contributions to turning research results into innovations with the potential to benefit society.


Want to know more about UU Innovation’s activities and services? Interested in getting involved in an innovation project or mentoring a researcher? Email us!

Medarbetare på UU Innovation