4 October 2019

Tech researchers honoured for making knowledge available to society


This year’s three SCIENCE Business Prizes were awarded to a start-up that improves enzymes, a quantum electronic equipment manufacturer and a new health technology that can predict heart attacks. The prizes went to researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute, the Department of Computer Science and the SCIENCE Innovation Hub.

Quantum technology, computer science and biotechnology. Each of the 2019 SCIENCE Business Prize winners deploys technology in their respective field and has made a distinguished effort to make vanguard knowledge available and impactful for the private and public sectors.

Associate Professor Ferdinand Kuemmeth of the Niels Bohr Institute was presented the 2019 Science Business Prize and Assistant Professor Tariq Osman Andersen of the Data Institute received the 2019 Science Business Prize for Young Researchers. Both awards are accompanied by a 75,000 kroner purse.

The 2019 SCIENCE Innovation and Entrepreneurship Prize went to Vykintas Jauniskis, a bioinformatics student and founder of Biomatter Designs, a start-up rooted in SCIENCE’s Innovation HUB.

From garage band to high-tech firm
Ferdinand Kuemmeth earned the 2019 Business Prize 2019 for his founding of QDevil APS, a company that has expanded from being a garage business to a high-tech firm with 9 employees. The company now produces seven quantum electronic equipment products that are all manufactured in Denmark.

Associate Professor Ferdinand Kuemmeth, Niels Bohr Institute.

The Assessment Committee’s decision to award Ferdinand Kuemmeth is based on the market availability of his company’s products and the company's well-established collaborative ties with industrial partners. Furthermore, the company generates royalties for the University of Copenhagen and UCPH staff. A final determinant was Kuemmeth’s sharing of his entrepreneurial experiences and involvement with graduate and doctoral students through his activities with QDevil and the Centre for Quantum Devices.

Predicting cardiovascular events
The other award - the 2019 SCIENCE Business Prize for Young Researchers – has gone to Assistant Professor Tariq Osman Andersen of the Department of Computer Science. Osman Andersen's work has precipitated landmark results and standards for communication platforms in the health sector. Among other things, he has developed tools that connect pacemakers with mobile phones to enable short-term predictions for major adverse cardiac events. The technology has spawned the company Vital Beats.

Assistant Professor Tariq Osman Andersen of the Department of Computer Science.

The Assessment Committee awarded Tariq Osman Andersen for his commercial approach to the deployment of his research, and the use of his products by 400 patients in Denmark’s leading hospital for specialised treatment, Rigshospitalet. Furthermore, Tariq Osman Andersen is highly committed to developing innovative mindsets among students as an instructor of health innovation.

Students are the future
For the first time, SCIENCE has also presented an innovation and entrepreneurship award to students. The award is presented to a distinguished student or team guided by an educational or research knowledge-based idea that is expected to have an impact as a new service, technology or product.

Student Vykintas Jauniskis, from Bioinformatics.

The award went to Vykintas Jauniskis’ start-up, Biomatter Designs. His company, which has sprung from SCIENCE’s Innovation HUB, has created technology that enables the simple and precise construction of enhanced natural or totally synthetic proteins. Biomatter Design's current focus is on enzymes - either completely synthetic or enhanced natural biocatalysts, that are able to serve as more effective, biodegradable and cost-effective alternatives to known chemical catalysts.

In particular, the Assessment Committee lauded Vykintas Jauniskis’ combination of biotechnology and artificial intelligence in his business. The award is accompanied by a 20,000 kroner travel stipend for a visit to one of the seven Danish innovation centres.