Editorial note: This post is part of a series of posts in collaboration with Lappeenranta University of Technology to promote their expertise and tools in commercialising research based innovations.
We've covered a few very successful Finnish companies on ArcticStartup, which are actually spinoffs from the University of Lappeenranta. Companies such as The Switch and Severa (sold to Visma in 2010) are concrete and great examples of the kinds of results the commercialisation of research based innovation can churn out from the university.
Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) has been combining business and technology for more than 40 years. In addition to simply studying and researching business related challenges, the university has made a strategic decision in building up sustainable processes that are able to create high growth companies. Actually, one of the three strategic corner stones is to commercialise research based innovation and through that, create new high growth startups.
While not a lot has been publicly stated yet, LUT has been quietly testing a new way to support these research based startups. Lureco (Lappeenranta University Research Company) is a new organisation on campus that is able to help good ideas get off the ground with funding easily available. The organisation is able to invest from small amounts to millions of euro in supporting the research based innovations turn to successes.
In addition to Lureco, there is Skinnarila Innovation Factory, which is able to help with forming the company and finding the more concrete business case as well as markets for the new company. It can be considered a support organisation for the startups in their early stages.
Some of the success cases LUT has successfully been able to spinoff include The Switch and Severa as mentioned above, but also the likes of Axco-Motors (manufacturer of electric motors for cars), CWP Colored Wood Products Oy (deep/through colored wood), Visedo Oy (creator of generators for electric heavy duty vehicles) and Mevea Oy (creates simulators and simulations for the mining and the stevedore industries).
In addition to attracting talented researches to interesting and motivating research projects, the university is now also calling for business minded entrepreneurs to join their ranks. LUT is especially keen on the knowledge and abilities of the soon to be laid off people from Nokia.
"Researchers’ core competence is naturally in research, which they also wish to continue during the commercialisation phase. Therefore we are calling out for entrepreneurs outside the university to come and jointly create these new companies with us", says Arttu Laasonen in charge with the commercialisation of research based innovation.
These really are exciting times, offering want-to-be-entrepreneurs lots of different opportunities in founding their company. Lappeenranta University of Technology provides great opportunities for founder-type business professionals in creating Finland's next big startup.
For more information on ways to work with research based innovation, please get in touch with Arttu Laasonen at arttu.laasonen (at) lut.fi.
Image by J.E. Smith.