Your Royal Highness, Mr speaker of the Parliament, Excellences, Honoured Assembly It is very exciting and a great privilege to stand here as President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and deliver my first technology speech. Today’s theme will be entrepreneurship. Not only one of the most important, but also one of the most beautiful words I know. What does the word “entrepreneur” mean? The National Encyclopaedia has the following definition: “An entrepreneur is a person who through concrete action generates new business activity, by, for example, commercialising a technical innovation or organising the market in an innovative way.” In other words: the link we need to turn an idea into a commercial success. Sweden’s industrial base without doubt originated from an impressive series of successful entrepreneurs. A few of these from our past are described in this exposé, which is far from complete, and our biggest corporations can be assigned to the list. I have chosen this theme because I believe that successful entrepreneurs are essential if we are to convert knowledge into applications, commercial success and economic growth. And this is even more important at this time when the economy is in decline. Without entrepreneurs we are in poor shape. Entrepreneurs are our heroes. Is entrepreneurship a thing of the past? No, I venture to argue that entrepreneurship is still one of Sweden’s strengths today and there are numerous prominent individuals to prove this. It’s important for our entrepreneurs to be heralded as the heroes they are. Our sports stars, such as Zlatan and Peter Forsberg, are often glorified, but this is not often true of our entrepreneurs. Why is that? Ingvar Kamprad is, of course, often described as a hero, but in the academic world entrepreneurship is not considered a qualification in Sweden. In other countries – and the US is the first to spring to mind – people in academic careers are given credit for starting a business venture. In Sweden in my experience the opposite is true – it is actually a negative qualification. We need to do a better job of recognising our entrepreneurs, regardless of the sphere in which they operate, and ensure that we encourage and reward them. Entrepreneurship should be taught in our schools. What has been happening in Sweden on the technology front over the past year? I’m going to reveal lots of news to show the impressive innovative power and entrepreneurship in our country. And we’ll start in a field where Sweden has a long tradition of innovation, in one of our major industrial companies. You will see that entrepreneurship is present there too. Sometimes it’s called “intrapreneurship.” Aviation Let’s get off to a flying start. Here’s the inaugural flight of the new demo Gripen, a test platform to develop technology for new and existing aircraft. It’s loaded with new technology, like a brand new radar that electronically scans the area and can see several targets at precisely the same time. The engine is stronger, and systems for flight data and tactical functions are more flexible. The landing gear has been moved out towards the wings, making room for more cargo and bigger tanks, and a longer range. And the pilot is satisfied. A lot is happening in aviation. The EU is launching its single largest research initiative ever to develop technology for more eco-friendly aircraft. The Clean Sky will be launched this year with flight demonstrations planned for around 2013. And Sweden is there. Saab is taking part in two of six projects. This is what the smart wing that Saab is developing with Airbus looks like. It reduces both air resistance and fuel consumption. The wings are thin making it possible to have built-in systems that control airflow over the wing without increasing its weight. The brush sticking out of the engines at the back is fan blades on the engines developed by Volvo Aero. It’s a brand new type where rotating structures hold the fan blades and enable the engine to be run faster, while the air is pushed backwards more slowly. This saves fuel. The single largest Swedish academic research project is, however, in the field of life sciences. Life sciences Here biotech entrepreneur Mattias Uhlén has started a giant project to show where all of our proteins are in the body. You remember this project from the speech two years ago – well, here’s an update. Today 90 Swedish researchers and 15 physicians are working in India on the project and they are making great progress. Ten new proteins a day are being mapped, 25 per cent of 20,400 proteins are have already been mapped. At this pace it will only take two years until we know where in the body half of our proteins are located. And in just six years the process will be complete. It will be a goldmine for medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies. Now the project’s researchers have started to look in more detail at where the proteins are located in the cells with the help of confocal microscopes and dyes. This is what they are doing: They dye the nucleus blue, the cytoskeleton that shows the cell’s structure turns red, the vacuoles turn yellow and the specific protein is dyed green. This particular protein is present in the entire cell. Here is another example. In this cell the protein they are looking for is on the surface of the cell, like little green feet. From here it comes into contact with other cells. What surprised the researchers the most during their work is that almost all proteins are everywhere, but they are present in different amounts in different cells. And the relative levels are changed to change the function. This is why we are no longer looking for an individual protein to define a disease. Instead we are looking at the changes in the levels of a number of proteins. This is what they are doing in Lund, where entrepreneur Carl Borrebaeck is developing methods to diagnose different types of cancer with great precision. The test is being carried out in micromatrices... … here is one being constructed. Small drops of so-called antibodies come out of each little glass tube. They bind firmly to specific proteins so that it is possible to measure how much of these are in the blood. A microlitre of blood is all that is needed – much less than a drop. When the sample binds to the micromatrix a specific pattern is formed… … you can see this clearly here where they have compiled the results from numerous individuals and looked for several proteins in each individual. A red column shows there is a lot of a certain protein, green means there is only a little. This is the pattern from a healthy person. But it looks completely different when a person has cancer. The differences in the patterns show with great certainty that a patient has pancreatic cancer. The method is now being developed to find breast and prostate cancer as well as leukaemia. Understanding proteins may also give us new ideas about treatments for Alzheimer’s, which is an important area now in pharmaceutical research. This artificial blue/cyan blue protein molecule is preventing the red parts of the protein in the brain from clumping together to form toxic clumps making the person ill – something scientists have being trying to prevent for years. The discovery has attracted international attention and the scientists behind it are from the Sahlgrenska Academy, the Royal Institute of Technology and the Swedish biotech company Affibody… … and the small Swedish pharmaceutical companies conducting research are making progress, as this report shows. Sweden has the most biotech companies per capita in the world, and in a market where securing financing is difficult, it’s important for companies to move their projects further and further forward in the development chain. 76 drugs have now reached the human testing phase. That is eleven more than last year and about as many as the global corporation Astra Zeneca has. Fifteen drugs are now being tested in phase III, the final major clinical study before they can be registered as pharmaceuticals ready for the market. These figures are from May. And since then the companies have made even more progress. In August, for example, Karo Bio’s test drug Eprotirome was ready for phase III studies. This drug reduces the levels of several harmful fats in the blood and here we can see how it works. The orange balls show the compounds that bind to the grey receptor in the nucleus, which reduces the amount of fat in the blood. Most of the fat, however, gathers in fat cells like these. And it’s not that easy to get rid of them, because new ones are constantly forming when the old ones die, as scientists from Karonlinska Institute show us. Ten per cent of the cells are replaced every year, but the number is constant in every adult no matter how much we diet. The size of the cell, however, does change. And now to Linköping where a company called Bio Optico is developing technology to examine damaged knees. This is what it might look like. The red parts are thinner and the white parts thicker cartilage. The picture is made clearer with the Linköping company’s software. Where the picture is red the cartilage is gone, where it is grey it is entirely in tact. The surgeon can also calculate how much tissue is gone and assess how the damage can be repaired. IT can be used for a lot of things. IT/Telecom ... like watching TV. Because now IP-TV is having a major breakthrough. Since last year the number of online TV subscriptions has doubled in Europe. And transfer via broadband, interactive and connected to TVs, computers and mobile phones is Ericsson’s biggest growth area. They expect that in five years half of all traffic in telephony networks will be various forms of IP-TV. And Ericsson is demonstrating its multimedia technology during the Volvo Ocean Race that will cross the finish line next June. Ericsson has two almost identical carbon fibre yachts in the race. This is what it looked like earlier in the year when one of the yachts was leaving the boatyard in Kista on its way to Frihamnen and then on to training and the start of the race in Spain. Now you can follow the competition on your mobile phone. A crew member from each yacht is communicating with the outside world with broadband via satellite. You can log on to a mobile portal via the Internet on your phone to watch video or news clips from the yachts. But five of the world’s seven billion people still don’t have the Internet. In extremely sparsely populated areas, like large parts of our mountain ranges, neither ADSL, satellite nor 3G do work. Researchers in Luleå are currently developing a technology that will enable us to surf and send e-mail almost anywhere. The information is sent in packets via portable nodes – a node could even be placed in a hiker’s backpack. These portable nodes could be laptops or mobile phones that have special software enabling them to pick up the information packet and forward it to the next portable node. When the packet reaches an Internet connection the information is forwarded online. It’s called delay-tolerant network technology and is currently being tested here in the beautiful Lapland village of Sirgis in the Sarek National Park. And with a good connection we want powerful and fast, high-performance computers. The problem with these is that the processors can overheat. One solution is multi-core processors that will soon be in every computer. But we will face other challenges, such as the fact that today’s software is not adapted to the new processors. These innovators at Nema Labs are solving that problem with an algorithm that makes it easier to write software for multi-core processors. Their product will be launched at the beginning of next year. Smoltek has another alternative to avoid overheating processors; carbon nanofibres that can replace today’s copper wire. They can be produced in a controlled way. Small nickel beads are placed on a metal plate. When a cloud of acetylen gas passes over the plate the carbon in the gas sticks to the nickel beads and carbon nanofibres start to form. They are packed into an insulating layer and are bound to a new piece of metal. This is how current can be conducted through carbon nanofibres, for example, in a processor. And the heat is conducted away from the heat sources. New types of transistors can also reduce the temperature, like this nano-sized one from researchers in Lund. If they are made from indium arsenide instead of silicon like they are today, the electrons move faster, fewer are needed and it doesn’t get as hot. At the bottom of the photo you will see the actual circuit breaker that switches the current on and off, like a hose clamp. And computer screens can be used innovatively as well, like in the mirror Delay Mirror. Using software that processes an image in realtime, the mirror shows you what you looked like three seconds ago. Here the mirror is being used by the British fashion chain New Look which has installed three of them at its flagship shop in Birmingham. It can be used to capture a moment at a dance, in martial arts or in body building. Or when practicing your golf swing. An application can also be an innovation. Here IR lights have been built into screens and are reflected in a person’s eyes. A camera takes pictures of reflexes and, using advanced algorithms, it is possible to calculate where the person was looking on the screen. And this solves an important problem. People who cannot speak or use their hands can use their eyes to communicate through the computer. Here are the three entrepreneurs behind this. Their company, Tobii in Stockholm, has become a world leader in reading eye movements. Its growth is huge. This year it will also be available in the US and Japan, and new applications are emerging as well. By reading eye movements, researchers can learn more about how infants develop, for example, when they start predicting events. The blue spots show the baby’s gaze following the woman who is placing balls in a container. At the second attempt the baby has already worked out where the balls are going. The baby’s gaze is ahead of the ball and already on the container. Or here, where researchers in the Bergvik shopping centre in Karlstad are using the technology to study the types of packaging that catch a customer’s eye. They look longer at bright red. This is helping the forest industry understand how to create attractive packaging. Forest Innovations from Swetree Technologies can promote better growth in the forests. These millimetre-sized plants have been cloned using their own automated method. The company’s fertilizer makes the plants grow 25 per cent more. And they also know of numerous genes that can increase tree growth so that we can have fast-growing Swedish eucalyptus trees, also called poplars. It hasn’t been easy to convince the forest industry about the value of this knowledge, but now Sveaskog, Bergviks Skog and Holmen are all shareholders. And Stora Enso is joining them this year. There are around 40 entrepreneurs behind Swetree and they have gathered their patents under the umbrella of a company called Woodheads. The forest also gives us nanopaper that is stronger than cast iron. Using enzymes and grinding processes, researchers at KTH and STFI Packforsk have separated pulp fibres so that they are 1,000 times smaller than in normal paper and twice as strong as the previous record for paper. An innovation that has attracted a lot of attention. The paper can also be made completely waterproof, like this bag. A company called Organoklick is behind this. It’s one of many small companies to have emerged in recent years from the chemical research community at the Arrhenius Lab at Stockholm University. Entrepreneurial activity there has really picked up speed.... .... another new venture there is Xbrane Biosciences which has a method for producing these difficult membrane proteins ten times more efficiently than they are produced today. This is of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry, which wants them to develop new drugs. This is how they can work. This membrane protein is a water channel that opens up and allows the yellow water molecules to pass through. This extremely tough glass also comes from chemical research at Stockholm University. It was first created as the result of a mistake when a researcher was producing a material and the oven broke down so that it cooled down rapidly. Soon there was a new production method to make a ceramic composite material with unique properties for rollers in roller bearings, and a company called Diamorph... ... whose latest innovation is a new biomaterial for knee implants. It has one side that is biocompatible and one that is hard-wearing. The broken cartilage is replaced in a laparoscopic procedure, almost like filling a dental cavity. The material fuses with the knee and the patient makes a speedy recovery, according to the researchers behind the innovation. We have more chemistry news. Chemical engineering Super slippery surfaces are an innovation from researchers in Stockholm who have shown that attraction between two surfaces can be converted into repulsion when there is liquid between the surfaces. The friction between a particle and the surface it rests on is measured using a laser under an extremely sensitive nuclear microscope. But when a particle of gold meets a surface of Teflon in the right liquid, the friction is so small that it can’t be measured. And less friction means we save energy and materials. Slippery surfaces like these can be used, for example, in a wind power turbine or a hip implant. Chemistry has many uses, such as opening hard-to-open packaging like this one. We always end up using scissors, don’t we? This is an innovation from Stora Enso based on electrochemistry. A small electrical current is passed through a conductive adhesive which is then released from the surface in a matter of seconds. It’s ready to open. A group of researchers at the Ångström Lab in Uppsala have built a lithium ion battery with a new cathode material. They have used iron and silicon instead of cobalt which is used today, and the result is batteries with higher capacity. And these new batteries are needed, especially for the hybrid vehicles that are now being widely produced... Transportation Volvo’s hybrid refuse truck is being tested in Stockholm’s Old Town, Gamla Stan, and in Gothenburg, where this one is rolling quietly through a residential area. The refuse truck has a diesel engine and an electric engine used for ignition and acceleration up to 20 km/h. You can see the orange box behind the front wheel. This is the hybrid package including lithium ion batteries that recharge when the brakes are engaged. Next year it will go into large-scale production. There’s a strong entrepreneurial side to the transportation industry, driven by the goal to reduce emissions. In London the double-deckers are going hybrid. Here’s one of the six Volvo hybrid buses that will be tested there in a year. Their diesel and electric engines will save fuel and keep London’s air cleaner. And when asphalt has this structure we can also reduce noise. Quiet asphalt is being laid in a new district under construction next to the heavily trafficked E18 between Solna and Sundbyberg. It binds particles from the traffic and reduces noise by up to nine decibels. That’s a lot. Will this innovation be able quieten our Essingeleden motorway as well? Perhaps we should present this at World Expo Shanghai 2010 where the theme is urban environments: “Better city, better life.” Or why not show this amphibious car, an eco-friendly alternative from the students at the Royal Institute of Technology and the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design. On a test drive it was two hours faster than a normal car on the stretch from the centre of Stockholm to Nacka, even though the amphibious car’s maximum speed on land is only 45 km/hour. It takes the most direct route over land and water and is powered by an electric engine. It would be exciting to see a fleet of these in Stockholm’s morning rush hour. Rechargeable electric vehicles will put pressure on our power grid. And now we are getting a more robust electricity system in southern Sweden … Electric power … because Svenska Kraftnät has decided which technology to use to build the Sydvästlänken (Southwest link). Underground cables will be laid for new direct current (DC) technology from Jönköping to Skåne. And a DC cable will be laid to the Oslo area. And a new alternating current (AC) wire from northern Närke to Jönköping. Who is going to build the link? Perhaps ABB which has developed HVDC Light technology to transmit electricity. Here a ground cable is being laid in Germany. For really big bulk power transmission, HVDC Classic is used. At the test facility in Ludvika they have developed the technology to make it possible to send large quantities of electric power over long distances with lower energy losses than in the past. This is of interest to the Chinese who are expanding their power grid. The first order was received from them in December. Now ABB is involved in building the world’s longest power link in China and has delivered two power converter stations. Here again we see entrepreneurship at work in a big corporation. … and what about Sandvik which is coming up with innovations in the materials field… Materials … their new cemented carbide is harder, more durable and has finer material structures than in the past. It can be used to make tools with complex geometry and sharp cutting edges. Sandvik has also produced an entirely new kind of stainless steel for cables in harsh environments, such as oil rigs. It has a stable structure that is resistant to harsh corrosion. So is Höganäs’ new steel for car engines that can tolerate today’s corrosive fuels that are particularly tough on valves. They compress metal powder to obtain a durable structure. Rymdbolaget, which launched an experimental rocket 252 kilometres up into space from Esrange Space Center outside Kiruna, knows how to make lightweight materials. After six minutes of weightlessness the test modules landed with the help of parachutes in the mountains. Notice that there is still snow on the ground in May. In an experiment inside the rocket we can see a piece of metal that is quickly heated, melts and becomes foam in a weightless environment. The X-ray images show a homogeneous structure, unaffected by gravity, which here on Earth has larger pores higher up and smaller ones further down in a sample. Now it is being cooled rapidly and becomes hard again. This teaches us more about how to make lighter and stronger materials. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg are coming up with innovations at the nano level. They have discovered a way to get nano particles to organise themselves in special structures, like here in piles. The researchers started with a layer of disordered gold and silver nano particles on a nanometre thick membrane that was subjected to a single laser pulse. Then the known optical phenomenon called plasmon resonance occurs, where hot and cold zones get metal particles to melt and move in a specific pattern. Now the researchers can control the patterns by, for example, varying the wavelength of the light. And now let’s scale up… … because metal mining has become popular again. Last year new mining entrepreneurs obtained permits to mine gold and silver in four new mines, all in Västerbotten. We’ll see how well their plans succeed with today’s financial turmoil. We can always reuse metals like Stena Aluminium, which is melting aluminium parts from cars, buildings, furniture etc. into liquid metal. This is delivered in giant thermoses to customers who then just draw off just the amount of liquid aluminium they need. It’s easier than casting bars and then melting them down again. And saves both energy and furnaces. Because we need to save our resources.... Water treatment/Environmental technology … like in Orange County, California, where they are building the world’s largest groundwater replenishment plant. They won the Stockholm Industry Water Award this year for their efforts. IVA is one of the founders of this award. Instead of discharging treated sewer water into the ocean, they are putting it through a multi- stage purification process. So that it can become drinking water again. It wasn’t easy convincing the public to accept the idea of drinking treated sewer water. Opponents campaigned using the slogan: “From toilet to tap.” But now the system has become a model that is being emulated in places like Singapore. Or we can extract drinking water from the air. These Swedish technology students and students from Stanford University have together developed a machine that runs on solar cells and can extract water from the air. Something for people in the Third World. The water machine is a project within PIEp, a national research programme with a mission to increase the innovative power of individuals and organisations. Several universities, organisations and companies are participating. ... because companies are keen to collaborate with researchers. Eight out of ten CEOs in industrial companies believe that collaboration with researchers increases competitiveness. Almost half are already working with academia. These are results from a new study carried out by the IVA project Vetenskap & Allmänhet (Public and Science) in which 300 heads of industrial companies were interviewed. The study will be published on 5 November. And there’s good news from the educational field… Research/Education It has become popular to become an engineer. The number of applicants to Masters programmes in engineering has increased this year for the first time in many years. But the applicant pool is far from being large enough. The Technology Delegation, which was formed in October, intends to encourage more people to become engineers. Because technology is exciting. Like in Cern where the particle accelerator is now in up and running. The first beam of protons has been sent through this 27 kilometre accelerator. Soon, when they have fixed the leak that spoiled the first experiment, the proton beams will collide at predetermined locations creating new particles that the scientists can study to understand, among other things, how the universe was created. The experiment had some people around the world a bit worried. Will the Earth be sucked into a big black hole? The Cern researchers explain everything here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j50ZssEojtM Who said researchers are boring? The film is a success; 3.6 million people have viewed it. About fifty Swedish researchers have been working on the experiment. Sweden is a prominent research nation. And we are number one in the world in innovation. This report proves it. It was published in February by the European Commission which reports every year on innovation in the EU and a few other nations. The World Champion in innovation is Sweden. Our “Innovation Score” puts us in a class of our own. We stand out and have our own green colour in the analysis. This has been the case for many years. But there are things we could improve. The same report shows that our ability to commercialise these innovations is not as strong. Here Sweden is actually mediocre. That’s the Swedish innovation paradox. The World Champion in innovations that have come to nothing. Is it that bad? No, we shouldn’t paint the picture black. The parameters for these conclusions are complex. But we should not neglect the problem. Instead we need to accept that we can do better and get more out of our research; more applications, new enterprise, new investments, new jobs and growth. It’s time to get rid of the Swedish innovation paradox. Perhaps we took a big step in this direction with yesterday’s research bill. This is good news for research. The Government has honoured its promise to increase resources for research – an increase of five billion over the next few years. This may be only a third of the amount that IVA and the Globalisation Council among others recommended in order for Sweden to stay at the forefront, but it is a significant increase on previous bills, and the biggest increase will come as soon as next year. Worthy of applause. And it’s important that the resources now being invested in research are distributed and coordinated in a way that is helpful. Investments in early research do not automatically lead to innovation and increased economic growth, although it is important to safeguard high-quality basic research. What we need now is an even more clearly defined prioritisation of our research resources including a focus on strong basic research, stronger universities and application research to meet our needs in industry and society in general. To achieve this, we need stronger control of research policy. Coordination and prioritisation require dialogue. Why not set up a Research and Innovation Policy Council chaired by the Prime Minister, like Esko Aho did in Finland 21 years ago? And so we come back to the entrepreneurs, my heroes. And hopefully yours too. Let’s encourage our entrepreneurs. Let’s recognise them. Let them be role models for our youth. Then everything else will fall into place. Because we are very clever and inventive in Sweden – I hope this year’s technology speech has shown that. Thank you.
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