Research Group from Materials Research Laboratory Awarded as Intoa! Entrepreneurial Act of the Year 2016–2017
​Johnny Dahl (pictured in the middle) presented the winning Intoa! entrepreneurial act of the Materials Research Laboratory in the event. The winner was chosen by a panel including (from the left) University's Director of Development Riitta Mustonen, Managing Director of OP Turun Seutu, Commerical Counsellor Olli-Pekka Saario (OP Financial Group), Professor of Entrepreneurship Jarna Heinonen and Rector Kalervo Väänänen.

​The University of Turku has awarded the Intoa! Entrepreneurial Act of the academic year 2016–2017. Each year, an act that promotes entrepreneurial attitude and activities at the University of Turku is awarded.

The awarded Intoa! Entrepreneurial Act of the Year for the academic year 2016–2017 is a research group from the Materials Research Laboratory at the Department of Physics and Astronomy. As a result of the Commercialization of Novel Interfaces (COMNINT) project, which is based on the research results of the group and funded by the New knowledge and business in research ideas programme of TEKES, a start-up called Comptek Solutions Oy was established. The start-up has introduced technology with which incredibly faultless active semiconductor surfaces can be created. With this new technology, the semiconductor devices' performance and energy efficiency can be improved and the costs of the manufacturing process decreased, among others. The invention has been granted a patent in several important markets, such as the United States, Japan and China.

Panel Stressed Perseverance and Entrepreneurial Spirit

The Entrepreneurial Act of the Year was selected by a panel including Rector Kalervo Väänänen (University of Turku), Managing Director of OP Turun Seutu, Commercial Counsellor Olli-Pekka Saario (OP Financial Group), Director of Development Riitta Mustonen (University of Turku) and Professor of Entrepreneurship Jarna Heinonen (University of Turku).

According to the panel, the research group's actions show how great international business potential can be created from basic research.

– The effectiveness of basic research conducted at the University of Turku reaches further into society than scientific publication. In the long run, basic research results create new solutions, products and services, says Rector Kalervo Väänänen.
In its decision, the panel stressed especially the perseverance and entrepreneurial spirit of the research group's main actors in the way they have promoted their invention even after successfully solving the fundamental question of the study.

The research group received funding from the New knowledge and business in research ideas programme of TEKES on their third application but continued to advance the project with the aim of reviewing the possibilities of commercialising the project and starting up a new business. Since then, the company has also received external funding and its first customer, a Chinese semiconductor manufacturer.

Investment in Entrepreneurship is Investment in Region's Vitality

The main partner for the Intoa! Entrepreneurial Act of the Year award in 2016–2017 has been OP Turun Seutu, OP Financial Group. Managing Director, Commercial Counsellor Olli-Pekka Saario notes that as the main partner in awarding the act, it has been great being involved in supporting the development of the University of Turku as an Entrepreneurial University.

– The University of Turku has a great impact on the vitality of the economic region, and with the investment in entrepreneurship the impact has only grown. 
The Intoa! Entrepreneurial Act of the Year was awarded for the first time last year. According to the Professor of Entrepreneurship Jarna Heinonen, it has been great noticing how interest in entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial education and innovation activities has grown in the entire University community.

– Each member of the University community, regardless of the faculty, can both promote the profiling of the University as the Entrepreneurial University and develop their work community with their entrepreneurial attitude and actions. 

The top three of the competition included a research group from the Department of Futures Technologies, a research group from the Materials Research Laboratory at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and KiVa Antibullying Program from the Faculty of Social Sciences.

The award was given in an event held on 25 April 2017 at the University of Turku. Before the winner was announced, the top three competitors pitched their projects in the event. In addition to the Materials Research Laboratory, the top three chosen by the panel included the KiVa Antibullying Program of the Faculty of Social Sciences and a research group from the Department of Future Technologies whose invention helps to monitor and predict functional disorders of the heart by using an application and a mobile phone.

Text: Taru Suhonen
Translation: Saara Yli-Kauhaluoma
Photos: Hanna Oksanen

Published date 4/26/2017 11:00 AM ,  Modified date 5/31/2017 10:34 AM

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