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National and European research and innovation programs …an SME perspective. National and European research and innovation programs – an SME perspective. Claus Hélix-Nielsen, PhD, CSO, Aquaporin A/S

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National and European research

and innovation programs

…an SME perspective

National and European research and innovation programs – an SME perspective

Claus Hélix-Nielsen, PhD, CSO, Aquaporin A/S

Assoc. Prof. TechnicalUniversity of Denmark

aquaporin the mission
Aquaporin – the mission
  • Our mission is to become the world leading company in developing, producing and commercializing biomimetic membranes for water treatment

2

aquaporin the company
Aquaporin –the company
  • Founded 2005
  • Main shareholder: Goldschmidt Capital A/S
  • Expected ‘large scale’ market entry 2013 with 1G membranes
  • 15 Employees - education of 5 PhD students – 3 on-going
  • Subsidiary company Aquaporin Asia established in Singapore 2011

Aquaporin A/S Denmark Aquaporin AsiaPte. Ltd. Singapore at NTU Clean Tech Park

3

21.06.2012

the aquaporin inside technology
The Aquaporin Inside™ technology
  • Membrane operation
    • Reverseosmosis
    • Forward osmosis

RO

FO

6

membaq

MEMBAQ

FP6 STREP

  • Incorporation of Aquaporins in Membranes for Industrial Applications – MEMBAQ
    • Budget: 2,100,000 €
    • 300.000 € to Aquaporin A/S
    • Project duration: 01/10/2006 - 31/03/2010
    • Nine partners from Denmark, France, Israel, Lithuania, Spain, Sweden
    • Coordinator: DHI Denmark
MEMBAQ
  • Reflections
    • Our first major grant – allowed us to move from the conceptual idea to dedicated R&D.
    • Many partners – good opportunity to network – but also challenging to maintain a shared vision.
    • Project goals were very ambitious and had to be modified during the project period.
    • Substantial work needed from the coordinator – without DHI this would not have been possible.
    • Some partners more willing to adapt to changes than others.
    • Scientific blind dating is fun - but requires hard work to get results.

8

membaq1

Ultrapurewater – the naturalway

  • Ultrapure water – the natural way
    • Budget: Total: 2,550,000 € / 1.350.000 € from Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation (Højteknologifonden, HTF)
    • 400.000 € to Aquaporin A/S
    • Project duration: 01/10/2007 - 31/03/2010
    • Six Danish partners: four academic, two industrial
    • Coordinator: Technical University of Denmark
MEMBAQ
  • Reflections
    • Complemented the MEMBAQ project well and provided access to Danish partners.
    • Effective (low-bureaucratic) coordination from HTF.
    • Be clear about RCA field-definitions.
    • Be proactively prepared to change project scope as the project develops.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask the ‘tough questions’ – even if you are a small SME!

9

membaq2

Going international…

  • Aquaporin Based Biomimetic Membranes for Water Reuse and Desalination
    • Funded by Economic Development Board Singapore
    • Budget: Total: 2,400,000 €
    • No money to Aquaporin A/S!
    • Project duration: 01/10/2009 - 14/2/2013
    • Three partners: DHI, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Aquaporin A/S
    • Coordinator: Singapore Membrane technology Center (SMTC) at NTU
MEMBAQ
  • Reflections
    • Fewer partners made it easier to focus the project.
    • University bureaucracy is a non-trivial issue.
    • The establishment of subsidiary Aquaporin Asia enabled us to control the IP, open the Asian markets, and to gain access to further funding sources.
    • Having a Danish RTO ‘on site’ is a great advantage when setting up an organization ‘far from home’.
    • Do not underestimate cultural differences – be prepared to spend time building relations!

10