KNOWLEDGE BLOG - GREEN INNOVATIONs TO LIFE

Here in our knowledge blog we share insights, advice and tips on current topics and innovation – from researchers and from our own experts.

Några Ingrid Marie- och Aromaäpplen.   A bunch of swedish apples (Ingrid Marie and Aroma).© Foto Jenny Svennås-Gillner, SLU

En stabil och långsiktig ekonomi för hållbar äppelförädling

Det finns ett stort sug efter svenska äpplen. För att möta efterfrågan utvecklar SLU:s äppelförädlingsprogram nya sorter för produktion till butik, konsumtion och privat trädgårdsodling. Men trots att verksamheten är både efterfrågad och framgångsrik är finansieringen skakig. Nu går SLU Holding in som samarbetspartner för att ta fram en långsiktig finansiell lösning.

Syftet med projektet Huvudmannaskap och sortframställning av äpplen är därför att ta fram långsiktiga och hållbara lösningar som tryggar programmets framtid. Projektet leds av SLU Holding AB på uppdrag av SLU Grogrund.

- Vi ska bland annat undersöka hur äppelförädlingsprogrammet kan få en stabil och långsiktig ekonomi. Det kan till exempel handla om olika former av samarbeten, säger Urban Eriksson, vd på SLU Holding AB, som är engagerad i projektet.

Hittills har programmet framför allt finansierats med offentliga medel, via SLU och Formas, och Urban Eriksson menar att det är viktigt att trygga en långsiktig basfinansiering som saknas idag.
Förutom att öka finansieringen från producenter och försäljare av äpplen och äppelbaserade produkter – att se till att pengarna från försäljningen förs tillbaka till förädlingen – ska projektet också undersöka möjligheterna till kompletterande finansiering av den löpande sortframställningen.

- Det kan till exempel handla om crowdfunding, donationer, samverkan med olika aktörer i livsmedelskedjan och internationell marknadsföring, säger Urban Eriksson.


Samverkan kring sortägande och marknadsföring
Idag äger SLU alla inhemska svenska äppelsorter och företagen som använder dem kommersiellt gör det på licens. Marknadsföringen av äppelsorterna sker i huvudsak tillsammans med Elitplantstationen och E-planta.
Projektet ska också ta fram en modell för ett framtida sortägande och marknadsföring. Arbetet sker i samverkan med Elitplantstationen, E-planta, Ekofrukt, LRF, SLU, Äppelriket och andra organisationer som är knutna till äppelförädlingsprogrammet, särskilt handeln.
- Senast vid utgången av 2019 ska projektet ha lett till förändringar av både huvudmannaskap och finansiering som på lång sikt tryggar framställningen av svenska äppelsorter, avslutar Urban Eriksson.

Projektet leds av SLU Holding AB på uppdrag av SLU Grogrund som har beviljat totalt 500 000 kr för perioden 2018–2019. Från SLU Holding deltar bland annat vd Urban Eriksson och affärsrådgivare Nicholas Jacobsson.

7 pieces of advice to consider in the hammock

Soon the summer holidays are here for many of us. Time to relax in the sun! As a researcher you might get a chance to catch up with some reading and get a moment to reflect on your research in a broader sense and on your next move. If so, let us at SLU Holding give you a bit of summer reading: 7 pieces of advice – how to benefit from your research!
What should you be considering so that what you’re researching that your research into one day will become an innovation that benefits society? We have asked some of our experienced business advisors – and some researchers who have succeeded!

1. Think about what drives you
Is Are you aiming for to the answer of the research question? Do you want to get published? Do you want to create a new product for the market? Determining where you stand on these issues early on, helps you set the right course for your research.
Gabriella Lindgren, equine researcher, SLU

2. Bring in additional competence
As a researcher you will usually be focusing on your research. Gain the support of someone who knows more about what is important in terms of taking research out into society, e.g. contractual issues.
Lars Roepstorff, equine researcher, Professor at SLU

3. The right agreement creates peace of mind
Speaking of agreements ... Be careful about agreements and who is entitled to what – address this at an early stage of a project. Sorting it out later can be really hard.
Mats Wiktorsson, Senior Innovation and Business Advisor, SLU Holding

4. Think about practical applications
It’s good to have a dialogue with practitioners/the industry right from the start. This is a dimension that can be very stimulating for a researcher – in addition to purely scientific publications.
Göran Nordlander, Professor at SLU and one of the researchers behind the idea of Conniflex

5. Don’t be afraid to think and talk about money
Money is the driving force in our current social model, and it gives you the chance to do so much more. If you succeed in creating a business that gives you a surplus, you will be free to finance your research, support other research or develop your business – the choice will be yours.
Nicholas Jakobsson, Senior Innovation and Business Advisor, SLU Holding

6. Learning how to run a business takes time
Seek the help of others with capital, expertise, business-development skills and contacts at an early stage. Running a business is a long learning curve.
Stefan Roos, innovator, Ilya Pharma

7. Contact SLU Holding
A common question I’m asked is: "When should I come to you?" The answer is: “Recently!” It’s better to come to us too soon than too late. We’ll give you guidance so you don’t end up making mistakes that will make it legally impossible for you to later patent or proceed with your research results.
Turid Sundin Carlsson, Senior Innovation and Business Advisor, SLU Holding

Have a great summer!

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Fullt hus när Oatly besökte VentureLab@SLU

Få har nog missat Oatlys kaxiga framfart på livsmedelsmarknaden de senaste åren. Under VentureLab:s första lunchföredrag för hösten fick nyfikna Alnarpsstudenter njuta av underhållande fakta om företagets resa, med allt från innovationsarbeten till framtidsplaner.

VentureLab:s första lunchseminarium för höstterminen blev en riktig dundersuccé! Intresset var så stort att deltagarlistan fick stoppas efter 80 anmälningar, när Oatly besökte SLU Alnarp en sommarvarm dag i september. Att intresset är stort är egentligen inte oväntat, med tanke på företagets kaxiga stil på marknaden och den omåttliga populariteten bland unga.
Till en början var vi ett helt vanligt företag, men 2014 lanserade vi ett mer vågat Oatly, det Oatly som vi känner i dag, berättar Sofia Ehlde, innovationsdirektör på företaget.

Livsstilsföretag
Oatly sticker sannerligen ut hakan på många plan, inte minst i sin marknadsföring. Sofia beskriver Oatly som något av ett livsstilsföretag som många, främst unga flexitarianer, vegetarianer och veganer, identifierar sig med. Företaget arbetar ständigt uppåt, framåt och är lyhörda för omvärldens idéer och önskemål.
Nyligen blev de kontaktade av en havreodlare via Twitter, vilket blev startskottet för ett samarbetsprojekt med att skapa en havredryck på en gammal kultursort. Även under VentureLab:s lunchseminarium haglade frågor och input, bland annat fick Sofia Ehlde såväl kritik som idéer om företagets logistik, som hon tog med sig tillbaka till kontoret.

Framtida samarbete?
Vi är så glada över att Oatly gästar oss på Alnarp – det här får vi göra om! Intresset för Oatlys arbete är stort, och det finns säkert flera möjligheter till framtida samarbeten mellan företaget och SLU, säger Robin Meijer, projektledare på VentureLab@SLU, och fortsätter:
– Framtiden inom vegetabiliska produkter är jättespännande och, precis som Sofia var inne på under föredraget – är dessa en nödvändighet för att minska vårt miljömässiga fotavtryck.

We want to contribute to sustainable growth! - Urban Eriksson, CEO SLU Holding AB

We want to contribute to sustainable growth!

Welcome to our new website, where we tell you more about SLU researchers who have put their research to use. It is part of our new communication initiative to reach even more researchers.

SLU Holding's mission is to help researchers at SLU in particular who have decided to put their research and ideas to practical use. Holding provides supplementary knowledge and funding when research results are to be converted into services or products, or otherwise be utilised in society.

“Not long ago, we conducted a survey among SLU staff,” says Urban Eriksson, CEO for SLU Holding. “Among other things, it showed that 70 percent of the researchers who responded knew of us but did not know what we do and what we can help with. We also found out that many people are curious about other researchers and colleagues who have taken the step to utilise their research results. The researchers often ask about examples of how research from SLU has come out to society and many are curious about how they themselves could contribute.”

To improve clarity and communication, SLU Holding has created an entirely new website. It is important to publicise good examples. Many ideas and companies come from SLU. It might be a research concept that has become a company, an idea that has been implemented in society or something similar that has originated with SLU.
“A finished concept is naturally unnecessary when researchers contact us for the first time,” says Urban. “We are also interested in various concepts that are still under development and that can inspire others to see opportunities in their research results or their ideas.”

An important part of improved communication is the newsletters that Holding will be sending out four to six times each year, beginning in May.Additionally, we will be working closer with the media so that developments on the innovation front are also seen outside the university.

“Besides the Web, newsletter and media channels, we will also be letting you know about the good work underway when we meet staff at SLU at seminars and on other occasions,” says Urban. “The idea is to contribute to more lively communication.”

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Conflict between good research and commercialisation – a myth?

Conflict between good research and commercialisation – a myth?

Good research and commercialisation are sometimes poles apart. Many people think research cannot be as good if its practical application has been developed with the aim of commercialisation. But do these opposites have to be mutual antitheses? We have met Gabriella Lindgren, a researcher at SLU, to get her opinion. “There’s much to consider when you want to take your research to the market in the form of an innovation. Well-functioning research is of course crucial. One thing that’s essential to the continuation of research is funding, and one of the aims of commercialising parts of research is the possibility of specifically securing funding, so as to create the conditions for continuing with other research,” says Gabriella.

It is important for research to come to the fore and be a benefit to society. Gabriella, a researcher into equine genetics, does not see any conflict between ‘good research’ and research with a practical application.
“I’m employed at SLU primarily as a researcher and teacher, and we always start all projects with a specific research question, e.g. Why does hair grow? But then, of course, we also consider the problems that the answer to this question might trigger. It’s a major and important advantage if good research has a practical societal application,” Gabriella concludes.
Read more about Gabriella Lindgren and her research here.

Do you wish to take your research to the market? Do get in touch with us, and we will help you find out
what your next step is. Get in touch with us here

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Från idé till innovation - forskaren Björn Vinnerås tipsar!

From idea to innovation – the researcher Björn Vinnerås recommends!

Björn Vinnerås’s field of research is a source-separation sewage system that does not consume water. Net-zero water with regard to households of the future is currently a vision, and green innovations based on function and economy are the way to go.

Björn's recommendations as regards making a research idea into an innovation
If you want to get your research idea to eventually become an innovation on a market, you as a researcher must keep research development and product development separate. Research comes first. The research issue is crucial, as is maintaining the level of research within the research group. But you also need a long-term goal for your research, and need to see a potential use and above all seek the assistance of those with knowledge of that aspect. Quite simply two important thoughts to bear in mind simultaneously.
"What drives me is taking action and endeavouring to do something about environmental problems – creating something through research that becomes useful and works in society." – Björn Vinnerås.

Do you wish to take your research to the market? Do get in touch with us, and we will help you find out what your next step is. Get in touch with us here.
Read more here about Björn Vinnerås’s research and how we at SLU Holding have supported Björn on his research journey.

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