Moldsonics as a trend-setting spin-off project at the Johannes Kepler University Linz
Markus Achleitner, Regional Minister for Economics and Research: "Spin-offs are an ideal way to quickly make university research marketable. We want to further expand entrepreneurship in the university sector".
Those who make their research results usable as quickly as possible in the form of marketable innovations are ahead of the game. This is the case with Moldsonics, a spin-off of three researchers from Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU), who are making important improvements in the plastics industry possible with their research innovation. University spin-offs receive support not only from the provincial incubator tech2b, but also from the federal research promotion agency (FFG).
"The first one reaps the laurels. This is not only true in sport, but also in research. Therefore, as a successful business and science location, it is essential to transform research results into marketable innovations as quickly as possible. At the dialogue on Upper Austria as a business location held last Friday in the Linz Landhaus, Prof. Dr. Teodoro Cocca once again emphasised this as a key success factor for a region. The university spin-off Moldsonics is a prime example of how this can work," says Markus Achleitner, Provincial Councillor for Economics and Research, referring to the successful university start-up.
The three researchers Bernhard Praher, Klaus Straka and Thomas Mitterlehner from JKU are using their research results to enable non-contact testing or measurement of parameters in the injection moulding process in the plastics industry, which they are making available to companies via their spin-off Moldsonics. "The non-contact measurement eliminates the high wear and tear of conventional detectors due to friction and heat. This makes the injection moulding process more economically efficient, ecologically better because less scrap is produced, and overall improved because more accurate measured values are available. The end product is better overall," says Landesrat Achleitner, outlining the multiple advantages of ultrasound-based measurement.
"Spin-offs are an agile and cost-effective way to turn research results into marketable innovations. We already support them now through our state incubator tech2b. Due to the excellent research performance at JKU, there is still a lot of potential for university spin-offs in Upper Austria. The new start-up platform 'Hub'ert' provides an additional service tool for potential founders," says Minister of Economic Affairs Achleitner, who wants to further strengthen spin-offs in Upper Austria.
The Austrian Federal Research Promotion Agency (FFG) also sees great potential in university spin-offs: Last year, it awarded fellowships for the first time to support start-ups by researchers employed at the university. The programme was endowed with a total of 15 million euros. The founders of Moldsonics were also able to benefit from this.
"The transition from a university research environment to entrepreneurship poses many challenges. Here, as a budding young entrepreneur, one is very grateful for advisory services and financial support such as the FFG Spin-off Fellowship. The greatest joy, of course, is to see one's own research in the form of products on the market - that is the greatest appreciation for application-oriented research results. My team and I are therefore very proud to have been awarded an FFG Spin-off Fellowship and are now in the process of positioning our product sustainably and strategically in the right way. This new career path away from a purely scientific career is a win-win situation for both the university and the researchers involved," explains Bernhard Praher, one of the three founders of Moldsonics.