A Joint Academia-Industry Commercialisation Project: The Producing and Using Settings Get Involved

In December 2010, the start up meeting of the commercialisation project around the new potential battery was held at Arlanda Airport in Stockholm. It had by then been named the Salt and Paper Battery Project (S&PB project) as these were the basic components of the battery—cellulose and a saline solution. The project group attending the meeting consisted of both Swedish and foreign company representatives, a Finnish research institute and the academic researchers from Uppsala. The agenda for the day was to discuss how to proceed in the technical development as well as commercialisation of the new material that could be used for a new type of battery solution. The group, led by the holding company at Uppsala University, UUAB, had just received financing for the next three years from the Nordic Innovations Centre (NICE)[1] for academia-industry collaboration. The goal of these three years was to bring forward a prototype that would be ready for commercialisation, that is, industrial applications. A criterion for receiving funds from NICE was that several Nordic countries had to be represented in the group, which, of course, affected which members were selected. However, UUAB’s idea for how the group should be formed also specified that the members should represent knowledge and experience of (1) how to further develop the material from a scientific and/or technical standpoint, (2) how to identify appropriate uses and products for the new battery and (3) how to manufacture it in an economically viable and environmentally friendly way. Therefore, the members represented scientific and expert knowledge (the research group at the Angstrom Laboratory and the Research Institute of Finland, VTT), a potential industrial user (F.O.V Fabrics in Boras, with its connections to the car manufacturing industry) and production skills with FMC Corporation—a global producer of cellulose and speciality chemicals. The group also had members with product development skills in how to design batteries, namely the battery-testing and development company, E.T.C Battery and FuelCells Sweden AB in Gothenburg, Sweden. This company was also working closely with the car manufacturing industry and had experience of setting up pilot production lines for batteries.

The project leader, UUAB, would coordinate the members of the project, facilitate communication within the group and pursue suitable industrial partners. All members of the group, both commercial and academic, were subsidising the commercialisation project so that they would function as active members, actively contributing to the commercialisation process from the standpoint of their respective businesses and ongoing activities.

  • [1] NICE is a cross-border organisation under the Nordic Council of Ministers for the promotion ofeconomic growth and competitiveness in the Nordic countries. For further information: www.nordicinnovation.org.
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