Prototron has funded smart ideas with a million euros
In the autumn 2020 call for proposals, the smart ideas fund Prototron received more than 500 ideas, which shows that the difficult year has made people invent. On 29 January, the winners of this round were announced and a record amount of €120,000 was divided between eight teams. The winners also included the idea by Indrek Must, Associate Professor of Soft Robotics at the University of Tartu, which received €20,000.
“Considering the whole situation around us, I am very glad that we received so many great ideas. All the 12 teams who made it to the finals and presented their solutions to the expert committee, had well-considered ideas, so the teams’ scores differed by less than half a point in the final ranking. This gives evidence of a consistently high level. In addition, it is pleasing to note that increasingly more deep technology and research-based solutions are getting funded,” said Jana Budkovskaja, CEO of Prototron.
From the University of Tartu, the Soft Robotic Cervix project led by Indrek Must, Associate Professor of Soft Robotics, was awarded €20,000. The idea of project is to create a dynamic robot simulating the opening of the cervix, which enables to take the simulation training of healthcare students to a new level. Last year, the same idea won the experimental development grant of the University of Tartu.
Also other Prototron winners of the autumn call 2020 proposed highly interesting ideas:
- Litegrav.AI (€20,000) are developing a modular microgravity simulator which is capable of providing a novel control algorithm over existing solutions and is compatible with a wide range of research instruments;
- Raiku (€20,000) offers an excellent alternative to plastic bubble wrap. Their product is biodegradable and is made from timber industry waste;
- Cellboxlabs (€20,000) develops microchips, miniature organ replicas, that allow pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic companies, etc. to test their products more precisely, efficiently and safely;
- PurOceans (€15,000) develops the world's first eco-friendly technology to remove pollution and micro-plastics from the ocean water without harming the environment and thereby helps to preserve the seabed ecosystem;
- Neurosalience (€10,000) develops a tool for early detection of dementia from MRI scan data;
- Solaride (€10,000) is an app for electric vehicles that predicts the vehicle’s energy consumption to the destination;
- The special prize by Samsung (€5,000) was awarded to Parcelsea. This team develops smart mailboxes, which enable parcel and food couriers deliver parcels to private customers in a secure and contact-free way, and more conveniently than today;
- The winner of the Comodule special prize was Raiku.
According to Budkovskaya, all the teams were wonderful: “The only thing I am not happy about is that I never really met the teams. I look forward to the next round, where the teams will hopefully be able to present their ideas to an even larger circle of investors.”
Prototron is a fund established by Swedbank, TalTech, Tallinn Tehnopol Science and Business Park and the University of Tartu, which helps turn technological ideas into prototypes so that world-changing ideas and products would reach the market faster. In total, Prototron has funded 86 teams with nearly 1,053,000 euros, and the teams have further raised more than 34 million euros. In 2020, Prototron expanded to Latvia. Due to the COVID-19 situation, both rounds were held through online channels. In addition to the founders, also the City of Tallinn, BuildIt Latvia, Swedbank Latvia, LMT, Samsung, Hedman Partners, Fundwise, Veebimajutus.ee, Amazon Web Services, Comodule, Microsoft and Avokaado offered mentoring and financial support to the teams.
Applications to the next round can be submitted by 25 March on the Prototron website.
Further information: Jana Budkovskaja, CEO of Prototron, +372 525 8066, jana [ät] prototron.ee