The EU’s Horizon 2020 funds five Norwegian companies this year

Horizon 2020 - piqlFilm

Photo: courtesy of Piql
A piqlFilm box and label. The Drammen-based company can record digital data onto film (usually for archival or preservation purposes). They can preserve movies, but most often it’s a variety of digital files (PDFs, images, websites, etc.). Piql can write any file type to film using binary code.

Staff
Innomag.no

Five Norwegian companies received a combined NOK 75 million through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program for Fast Track to Innovation, reports NTB. Norway is among the top six countries to receive funding. The EU granted more than NOK 220 million to 25 Norwegian companies under the instrument last year, double the amount from 2016.

Of more than 1,000 applicants, Northern.tech, Glucoset, and Airtight were among the 65 selected who survived the second of four application rounds this year.

“The EU is looking for European game changers,” said Kristin Aamodt, head of Equinor Technology Ventures, formerly Statoil Technology Invest, who was one of several investors on the jury. “To succeed, companies must have a large market in Europe and globally. They must also have expertise and international experience.”

Competition is more challenging now, because companies have to present the projects to a jury of investors, including five Norwegians.

“The jury works as an investor,” says Anne Worsøe, portfolio manager at Bakken & Bæck, who also participated on the jury. “They put their money in companies they have faith in. At the same time, the chance of success with EU funding is greater than a private investor. The entrepreneur or shareholders retain ownership of the company.”

“We are proud that Norwegian companies have brought home more funds than we paid to participate in this program last year,” says Mona Skaret, Director of Public and Private Sector Innovation for Innovation Norway.

Here are the five Norwegian companies to receive funding:

Safer Internet of Things:

In order for Internet of Things (IoT) products to remain safe, the software must be able to be updated “over-the-air” (OTA). Today, millions of IoT products can be remotely controlled and misused. Mender.io is the world’s first OTA solution based on open source.

“EU funding allows Mender.io to develop faster,” says Thomas Ryd, CEO of Northern.tech AS, the company behind Mender.io.

Safer treatment and fewer hospital days:

Glucoset AS has developed a sensor for continuous and safer measurement of blood sugar to critically ill patients during surgery. Keeping blood sugar at normal levels will save lives and money. Glucoset was established in Trondheim in 2011, originating from NTNU, and has 11 employees.

“NOK 23 million will bring us closer to a finished product. We are planning to be on the market in 2021,” says general manager Nicolas Elvemo.

Horizon 2020 - Glucoset

Photo: courtesy of Glucoset AS
An illustration of a glucose sensor, developed by Glucoset, that provides continuous and safer measurement of blood sugar to critically ill patients during surgery, saving lives and money.

Less energy leakage in buildings:

Airtight will reduce climate pressure and costs by lowering energy leaks in buildings by 50 percent. Airtight will offer property managers a new, environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to save energy.

“Support from the EU helps to achieve our climate targets faster, while saving energy for customers and increasing the longevity of their buildings,” says CEO Per Magne Helseth.

Conservation of digital memory on film:

Drammen-based Piql offers ultra-secure, long-term digital data storage onto film so that data cannot be hacked, manipulated, or deleted (usually for archival or preservation purposes). The aim of the project is to perfect and upscale the production of piqlFilm as part of commercialization. They are working with a German and a Slovak company.

“The Fast Track to Innovation Award is an important recognition of our efforts in data security and digital long-term storage.” says Piql Managing Director Rune Bjerkestrand. “We can guarantee that the 2.7 million euros of support will be invested to benefit our end customers.”

Real-time water measurement:

Figures from the EU show that over 43 percent of all streams and rivers and 33 percent of all groundwater in Europe have high levels of pesticides and nitrates. Cautus Geo AS, in cooperation with a Danish and Dutch player, has received funding from the EU to develop a cost-effective and safe system for real-time measurement of water quality.

“The Fast Track to Innovation Award helps us achieve the UN’s sustainability goal of clean water, while saving our time and resources,” says Cautus Geo CTO Lars Krangnes.

This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared in Norwegian on June 12 at www.innomag.no/disse-fem-norske-bedriftene-har-til-sammen-hentet-75-millioner-fra-eus-horizon-2020-i-ar.

This article originally appeared in the July 27, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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