Volvo Technology Transfer and DuPont Ventures invest in ChromoGenics

Pressmeddelande   •   Mar 15, 2006 14:28 CET

ChromoGenics Sweden AB, the leading developer of electrochromic technology, today announced Volvo Technology Transfer and DuPont Ventures have become new investors in the Uppsala University spin-off company. Together with financing from Innovationsbron Uppsala, the regional subsidiary of Innovationsbron AB, ChromoGenics will look to further strengthen its leading position by building on the company’s unique and patented electrochromic technology to generate energy-savings-related revenues and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A pilot plant will be set up for production and new products will be developed in collaboration with market leading companies.

“For us it is not only a matter of money. Equally important is the fact that DuPont Ventures and Volvo Technology Transfer, both key actors on our market, believe in the potential of our technology and to the leading position of our company,” says Bengt Åkerström, CEO of ChromoGenics. “Now we can move ahead and employ new personnel and develop products for a number of growth markets.”

Electrochromic technology involves plastic foils capable of varying their degree of darkness, thereby impacting the amount of light and heat radiation that can pass through the foils. The foils are so thin that they easily can be applied to regular window panes. ChromoGenics’ unique technology makes it possible to manufacture large volumes of foil at low cost, so it is highly competitive. Among the applications are information displays of different types, as well as ski goggles and helmet visors that can adapt to strongly varying light conditions. Perhaps most importantly, the foils can be used to make ‘Smart Windows’ for buildings and vehicles. These windows are capable of automatically regulating their inlet of light and heat so that the need for air conditioning, which consumes large amounts of energy, is cut to a minimum.

The market for ChromoGenics’ future products provides a substantial growth opportunity for the company with more than half of the anticipated demand coming from smart window applications in the architectural industry. Estimates from the International Energy Agency1 show that smart windows can curtail the cooling needs of buildings radically and may even make air conditioning superfluous. Within the European Union, some four percent of the GNP goes to heating, cooling, and lighting of buildings2, and it is evident that significant savings are within reach when ChromoGenics’ technology is employed. Furthermore, less energy spent in buildings and lowering of the fuel consumption of cars will lead to important environmental benefits by decreasing emissions of greenhouse gases.

The energy savings potential could also be extended to automobiles. The front-line position of the automotive industry is no surprise. Calculations from a Japanese car manufacturer indicate that air conditioning during intense city traffic at high air temperature may account for half of a car’s fuel consumption.

“ChromoGenics is a good example of how new, exciting Swedish companies emerge from outstanding university research and where Innovationsbron’s working model can play an important part,” says Kari Gustavsson, Managing Director of Innovationsbron Uppsala AB. “The investments from Volvo Technology Transfer and DuPont Ventures have special significance. ChromoGenics has potential customers that are world class. But it has also been successful in attracting funding from world-class industrial investors in the early phase of its development, something that is notoriously difficult to do.”

“The electrochromic technology being developed by ChromoGenics is an exciting research area that may have a unique fit with our existing offerings,” says Mary Kay James, investment manager at DuPont Ventures.

‘Volvo is constantly pursuing safety and energy efficiency, and ChromoGenics’ technology hits the mark,’ says Anders Brännström, CEO of Volvo Technology Transfer. ‘And this technology has a fantastic potential.’

For more information, please contact:

Bengt Åkerström, CEO ChromoGenics
+46 (0)705 922 679

Lars-Olof Bäckman, Chairman of the Board ChromoGenics
+46 (0)708 525 775

More information can be found on

About the companies:

Volvo Technology Transfer
Volvo Technology Transfer (VTT) is Volvo’s own venture capital company. Its goal is to create values for Volvo’s share holders and support new areas of relevance to Volvo. VTT brings Volvo closer to new technologies by investing in companies and projects of great interest for technology and business opportunities.

Innovationsbron Uppsala AB
Innovationsbron contributes to the commercialization of research-based and knowledge-intense business ideas. The Company is also active in growth areas in research with the objective of taking ideas through a process that creates successful companies on the global market. Innovationsbron also strives to provide the support required to address the series of dynamic demands that characterize the situation faced by the front-runners.

ChromoGenics Sweden AB
ChromoGenics Sweden AB develops new technologies based on electrochromism. The company was founded in 2003 as a natural outgrowth of the many years of research by Professor Claes-Göran Granqvist and his team at the Division of Solid State Physics at the Ångström Laboratory of Uppsala University in Sweden. The technology is based on thin (