Cleantech Scandinavia

Nordic companies to succeed at a Global Cleantech competition in the US

Pressmeddelande   •   Nov 21, 2011 12:02 CET

Press release

Lund, 2011-11-17

Nordic companies to succeed at American Cleantech Competition

This week 5 Nordic cleantech companies have represented their countries and defended the international name of the Nordic Cleantech at the Global Ideas Competition in San Jose. This prestigious yearly competition gathered some 30 contesting teams from all around the world.

The Global Ideas Competition is headed by American Cleantech Open - the world's largest business event for the clean technologies sector. This year 800 investors, policy makers, entrepreneurs, global enterprises, universities and the press participated in the event. Bay Area/San Jose can also show off by having the highest concentration of cleantech investors throughout the entire United States and the Nordic companies enjoyed the opportunity to present their business ideas to them during a separate showcasing event of the Nordics that was completely sold out.

As a Danish company Abeo, won the Global Ideas competition last year there was a lot to live up to for the Nordic teams. It was clear already from the interest the Nordic teams raised already from start that this year would be a great success as well. Two of the teams, Danish Black Silicon Solar and Swedish Reformtech were among the six companies to make it to the final. 

The Nordic cleantech sector is, thanks to a long history of environmental awareness and active environmental politics, one of the most notable in the world. This has recently been recognised more by international investors, as several international actors lately have become part owners in Nordic cleantech companies. 

The 2011 finalists are appointed by Nordic Cleantech Open, and a jury of more than 50 influential business representatives from multinational companies and leading investors, including Veiola, AlfaLaval, BASF, 3M, Metso, Grundfos, Siemens, WHEB Ventures, Climate Change Capital, Industrifonden, Ahlström Capital and Incitia Partners.  Application to Nordic Cleantech Open Nordic final stays open until December 7, 2011.

The companies that competed in the Global Ideas Competition were:

Black Silicon Solar

Black Silicon Solar develops a proprietary nanotechnology process for improving silicon solar cells in a cost-efficient way. By mainly focusing on reducing costs rather than improving the efficiency Black Silicon Solar has been able to develop an alternative texturing process that makes the overall production of solar cells 10% cheaper, reduces production times, use of toxic chemicals, and the amount of silicon used per cell. Black Silicon Solar is targeting the 50 billion dollar silicon solar market with the solar cell manufacturers as end-customers. These manufacturers are currently under severe financial pressure from Chinese competitors and cost-reducing technologies such as the Black Silicon Solar process will be crucial for their survival. 


The flame free catalytic combustion in ReformTechs unique catalytic heaters provides several advantages such as high fuel efficiency without any dangerous emissions. Among other advantages with this exciting technology is, the possibility to use different fuels, a directionally controllable heat radiation, low costs and robust performance. The catalytic heaters from Reformtech can be utilized for example in automotive applications for engine and compartment heating, battery pre-heating, heating in mobile homes as well as for other applications where efficiency, signature and environmental impacts are vital to the user. 


Ekolite converts “Waste to Value” when making composite materials from biomass and industrial wastes by means of mechanical and/or chemical activation. Manufacturing technology is very resource efficient. Ekolite is targeting to commercialize new modified biofuel ash based geopolymers for infrastructures and new natural fibre composites for thermal, acoustic and fire insulating materials. Primary areas of use are green buildings and infrastructures; secondarily the solutions can be used for transportation, energy production and forest industry renewal. New construction materials can improve energy efficiency, absorb noise and improve overall safety and comfort of living worldwide 


The Light Rotor is a innovative technology developed by Norwegian Norsetek. It includes a new structural arrangement for how to build large wind turbine rotors. This enables rotors to be lighter and larger so that they have a far better cost efficiency. The conventional three-bladed and cantilevered blade design was originally made for blade lengths of 8-10 meters. This design is today scaled up to 65 meters or more. The weight of the rotor then increases more than the energy harvested from the rotor area. The Norsetek technology can save up to 40% of material weight, significantly lowering costs related to material. The rotors are sectionable which enables easy transports of large wind turbines on roads and on the sea.

Vistvaen Orka

The LED based photobioreactor developed by Vistvaen Orka Inc is energy efficient and capable of achieving ultra-high bioproductivity from microalgae. By efficiently integrating photonics and biotechnology, the photobioreactor can increase the bioproductivity from microalgae manifold in comparison to current methods. The patent pending photobioreactor system is suitable for 24/7 biofixation of CO2 as well as for producing biomass from microalgae for fine chemicals and biofuels. As the photobioreactor is modular and scalable, it can easily be integrated into green building architecture.

The following companies also took part in the Nordic Cleantech Showcase in Palo Alto: 


WindSim is a modern wind farm design tool. It is a powerful, world-class software solution based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) that combines advanced numeric processing with compelling 3D visualization in a user-friendly interface. WindSim helps customers optimize wind park layouts by identifying turbine locations with the highest wind speeds - but with low turbulence - to maximize production and design most efficient wind parks. 


Innowind offers a “game change” in the wind industry. The product is an innovative windmill rotor system that utilizes both horizontal and vertical kinetic energy. The concept reduces the diameter on a windmill with 2/3rd while keeping the energy output. For offshore wind farms the solution can reduce the total cost with 30%. Firstly, based on the possibility to have multiple units installed on one fixed or floating offshore installation, secondly due to the reduced space requirement it will create reduction of installation and cable cost. It will also have easier maintenance, easier access, less noise, less visual impact and less installation activity. 


Me-Mover is offering the Next Step in urban motion- the Me-Mover. The Me-Mover is a personal transporter, a step machine on wheels or a green segway if you like. It is three wheeled, pedal driven and run in bicycle speeds. Unlike a bicycle it folds in three seconds to a compact trolley that can be brought in a bus, a train, a metro etc. for free. The Me-Mover is aso an excellent and ergonomic training tool- offering a full core workout when wanted. Above all the Me-Mover is fun to drive and have excellent manoeuvring abilities. There is really no describing the Me-Mover, you have to experience it yourself.


Netcycler is a swap service for secondhand goods. Netcycler enables people to swap stuff they no longer need to things they want. For a single item posted online you may have up to thousands of trade opportunities – due to powerful automated trade rings. Best of all, you can get the items you want for free! An integrated shipping service brings convenience and facilitates long-distance trades. In March 2010, Netcycler was launched in Finland and has since been launched in Germany and the UK. There are already 80 000 Netcycler users and the user base is growing fast.  


Mantex have developed and installed X-ray technology systems to measure the key components of bio-mass, delivering on–line and real-time data for 100% of the material in question. Industries using renewable organic materials significantly improve the use of these sustainable resources whilst reducing their energy demands. Examples include Pulp and paper production, recycling, bio-fuel generation and energy production. 


Global Ideas Competition: 

About Nordic Cleantech Open:

Nordic Cleantech Open is a business competition that aims to identify, enhance and showcase the top 25 cleantech companies in the early stages in the Nordic countries every year.


Alexander Lidgren, Managing director Nordic Cleantech Open


Cleantech Scandinavia is a membership network of investors and affiliated cleantech professionals designed to provide cleantech knowledge, contacts and investment opportunities; be a coordinating voice to promote the Nordic cleantech sector, and drive cleantech innovation and growth in the Nordic countries. Cleantech Scandinavia offers its members a series of networking and pitching events, business intelligence research and reports including Nordic cleantech deal flow statistics, and holds a database of investment opportunities in the region.