Uppsala Researchers win Utilisation Award

6 maj 2019

Award winner Maria Strømme, professor of nanotechnology.

This year’s SSF Utilisation Award from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research goes to Maria Strømme and Håkan Engqvist of Uppsala University and Professor Carlota Canalias of KTH Royal Institute of Technology. The award recognises their efforts to utilise research funded by the foundation.

The first prize in the form of personal stipend of SEK 100,000 goes to Maria Strømme for her project Lightweight polymer composites for sustainable batteries. The second prize, a personal stipend of SEK 75,000 each, goes to Håkan Engqvist for Synthesis and processing of active calcium phosphate cements and Carlota Canalias for Tailored photons.

“It is very gratifying to see that efforts to utilise research are being recognised. We are facing many global challenges and to meet them we will need new solutions for the large-scale implementation of environmentally friendly materials technologies. To this end, as researchers we must do all we can to ensure that our research results can be industrialised and be of benefit to the public. This is one of the major motivations behind my work as a researcher at Uppsala University,” says Maria Strømme, professor of nanotechnology at the university’s Ångström Laboratory.

Thanks to Professor Strømme’s efforts to utilise the results of her research, sustainable packaging materials supplier BillerudKorsnäs has now started a project to develop paper batteries for industrial applications. The first product to be developed based on her research will be paper batteries to power sensors in smart packaging; however, the research may also have applications for consumer products, portable tools, backup power for data storage, replacing lead-acid batteries and high-output applications for transport, construction and infrastructure. The first industrial prototype of a wireless temperature sensor powered by the paper batteries was presented at Challenge 2018 – The Summit for a Sustainable Future in New York.

In his project, Håkan Engqvist is creating a product portfolio based on a new concept for using adhesive cements for hard tissue replacement applications. The first application will be in advanced fractures of the wrist or elbow, which can be very difficult to stabilise surgically. A highly adhesive material could fundamentally alter the surgical methodology currently used in hospitals. The next step in developing the technique involves preclinical studies and obtaining investment to create a commercial team and identify an industrial partner for the first clinical application.

This is second time that the SSF Utilisation Award has been presented. The aim of the award is to encourage researchers to actively strive to ensure that important research results are utilised for the benefit of society; for example, in healthcare or industry.