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The right support for high-tech businesses

TEKEL – Finnish Science Park Association
The science parks and technology centres in the TEKEL-coordinated network help high-tech companies get off the ground, develop their business, and expand internationally.

The mission of the Finnish Science Park Association (TEKEL) is to work with its 31 members across Finland to promote the kind of innovation environments best suited to helping high-tech businesses flourish and grow.

Finland’s technology centres and science parks provide a comprehensive range of specialist services in areas such as business know-how and technology transfer, as well as access to an extensive network of contacts. The TEKEL network plays an important part in developing and implementing national and EU programmes and projects, and identifying those at the leading edge of innovation.

Three companies that have recently benefited from the tools and services the TEKEL network offers in developing and growing their business are Bioretec, FYComposites, and Newelo.

A world first

People suffering from diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoporosis, as well as those facing problems with alcohol abuse and obesity, have an elevated risk of developing an infection after an operation. Dealing with these infections can prove time-consuming and costly.

The CiproScrew™, developed by Bioretec, offers surgeons a new weapon to counter this challenge.

This novel implant fixes and supports the bone during healing, while precisely and safely releasing an antibiotic locally to prevent infections for up to six months after surgery.

Bioretec has developed the world’s first bioabsorbable fixation device that also releases a measured dose of antibiotic.
Professor Pertti Törmälä, the founder of Bioretec, has decades of experience in the field of bioabsorbable materials and his previous company carried out pioneering work in the field. Assistance and advice provided by FinnMedi and the HealthBIO cluster have been very valuable for Törmälä and Bioretec. FinnMedi has helped the company develop its business through the Bionext Tampere investment and development programme, for example, while OSKE – The Centre of Expertise Programme has given the company access to international marketing and partnership channels.

Deliveries of the CiproScrew™ started recently, and Bioretec’s aim is to push ahead with marketing the product. Several other bioabsorbable, bioactive and drug-releasing products are expected to emerge from the company’s R&D pipeline in the near future; and FinnMedi and the HealthBIO cluster are set to assist the company in launching these on global markets.

See www.bioretec.com, www.finnmedi.com, and www.oske.net for more information.

A new European partner

FY-Composites, a producer of ballistic protection products, recently found a new product development partner in Germany with the help of the Enterprise Europe Network and the Turku Science Park.

FY-Composites was looking for a partner to help develop new applications featuring its composites-based ballistic protection technology and was put in contact with MWB Fahrzeugtechnik, a specialist in repairing and modernising military vehicles. The new lightweight, armoured PTV Armadillo 4x4 designed for crisis containment use that was developed as a result of the partnership was rolled out in Germany and Finland in 2010.

FY-Composites produces the weight-critical components of the Armadillo: its doors, rear panel, and roof. These give the cab a high level of protection with a 30-50% saving in weight compared to steel and enhance the vehicle’s mobility.

See www.fy-composites.com, www.EnterpriseEurope. fi, and www.turkusciencepark.com for more information.

The lightweight Armadillo armoured truck is the fruit of a joint project between FY-Composites of Finland and MWB Fahrzeugtechnik of Germany facilitated with the help of the Enterprise Europe Network.

The right home for an innovation can be decisive

The founders of Newelo originally developed their software solutions for media companies and news agencies as part of their work at Nokia, but quickly realised that they had much wider potential. This led to the idea of a spin-off, which became a reality thanks to the Innovation Mill project, a high-tech initiative between Nokia, Technopolis, and Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation.

Innovation Mill is designed to leverage ideas developed by companies that offer better potential elsewhere, and provides start-ups with the basics and the financing they need to get off the ground. The initiative provided Newelo with valuable assistance to do just that in spring 2010, while Technopolis’ ‘Tampere All Stars’ programme helped with resolving financial questions.

The technology developed by Newelo enables a newspaper editor, for example, to send a story or photo request to reporters and photographers on the move, monitor how a story is proceeding or what sort of material is available, and receive full multimedia reporting and updates from the field. End-users can also easily be brought into the loop and involved in generating additional content through a deeper customer relationship and networked journalism.

Newelo is already providing a solution for upgrading field force management and has set ambitious goals for itself as the world of enterprise mobility continues to move ahead.

The Innovation Mill is also very positive about the benefits its new concept offers and its potential for making the most of innovations generated in large companies that could benefit from a home in a different environment or a start-up.

See www.newelo.com and www.technopolis. fi for more information.

Newelon’s Need4Feed reporting, campaigning, and crowdsourcing software was one of the winners at the World Summit Award Mobile event in the ‘best media & new product’ category in December 2010.

> Pia Pere-Vanhanen
(Published in HighTech Finland 2011)