Many excellent candidates have been nominated for SwedNanoTechs annual award Årets Nanoföretag (Swedish Nanotechnology Company of the Year). Five companies have been selected from the candidates to give company presentations on stage during the nanotechnology conference Nanoforum 2014, May 15th in Stockholm.
Here you can read an interview about the nominated company Disruptive Materials with their CEO, Mattias Karls.
Why should Disruptive Materials be Swedish Nanotechnology Company of the Year, 2014?
- We have succeeded in doing something that has been considered impossible for 100 years. We have managed to produce a magnesium carbonate material, Upsalite™, with incredible possibilities. Magnesium carbonate is widely used today, but we have managed to produce it in the form of a porous material.
The discovery was made in 2011. We launched the material last summer and it has been crazy ever since. We got media attention from all over the world and customer inquiries have been coming in from over 2000 companies.
It was well documented in previous research reports that the material was impossible to produce. Repeated trials showed that it could not be done. The research group at the Ångström Laboratory made several attempts to solve what had been named "The Magnesit Problem”. When they left a sample of the material in the lab over the weekend, it had formed a gel.
The discovery was followed by a period with an immense amount of time spent in the lab for analyses and proof of concept. Finally we realized we had achieved something sensational.
What can the new material Upsalite be used for?
- One gram of Upsalite™ has a surface area of 800 m2 and a wide range of amazing features. Upsalite™ can absorb moisture at low humidity levels better than any other known material. If you put a small sample of Upsalite™ in a beaker and place it on a scale, you can see how the weight of the material is increasing as it absorbs water from the air.
Magnesium carbonate is a harmless substance and a food ingredient; we consume it daily.. The fact that the material is harmless is a huge advantage. This means that Upsalite™ can be used in pharmaceuticals. Many drugs of today are poorly soluble and don’t get absorbed by the body. By mixing them with Upsalite ™ the active substance can be released easier when it reaches the stomach or intestine.
What areas are your customers active in?
- Since the launch last summer, we have started about ten projects with customers from all over the world and in various applications, such as pharmaceuticals, dehumidification, gas purification and paper. We have identified more than 100 different areas where we see great potential for Upsalite™.
We have started manufacturing and are already selling Upsalite™ in small volumes. In the beginning, we had the ability to produce about 20 grams at a time a year ago. Today we have a production rate of 7 tonnes per year.
How many employees do you have?
- We will be hiring a number of key personnel during the year. The research team at the Ångström Laboratory will continue their research on Upsalite™.
About the award Årets nanoföretag 2014
During the conference NanoForum 2014 we will announce which company have been selected Årets nanoföretag 2014 (Swedish Nanotechnology Company of the Year 2014). The purpose of the award is to recognize a young, responsible, Swedish company with a clear nanotechnology profile.
About NanoForum 2014
NanoForum is the annual nanotechnology conference organized by the Swedish umbrella organization SwedNanoTech.
This year the conference is held May 15th, at IVA's conference center in Stockholm. The purpose of the conference is to highlight relevant nanotechnology topics with presentations from leading expertise.
NanoForum 2014 the fourth edition of the conference and is jointly organized by SwedNanoTech and the Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA). The conference is free of charge.
Read more about the conference, the speakers and the exhibiting companies on the conference webpage.
SwedNanoTech är en förening som har bildats för att skapa en tydlig profil för svensk nanoteknologi i Sverige och utlandet och etablera ett gott samarbete mellan forskare, entreprenörer och samhället i övrigt. Vi har ca 120 medlemmar, både studenter, företag och enskilda forskare.