UppTalk Weekly: The Professor, the Entrepreneur, and Collaboration to develop Peafowl Solar Cells

UppTalk Weekly: The Professor, the Entrepreneur, and Collaboration to develop Peafowl Solar Cells

Show Video

Welcome to Uppsala University and to UppTalk Weekly. My name is Lena Sors Emilsson and I'm your host today at this popular seminar series organised by the Faculty of Science and Technology, UppTalk Weekly is created to give alumni and everyone interested an opportunity to learn about the research being conducted at our university and to meet and talk to our researchers saying this I like to emphasise that you are warmly welcome today to ask your questions throughout the seminars during the next 45 minutes, writing them in the chat. And I will bring as many questions as time allows to our guests in the end of this session. On the last Tuesday of each month, we invite a researcher with a collaborator to talk about their shared work to develop a new research finding or an idea into practical use for the surrounding society. This month, our guests are

the Jacinto Sá, who is professor at at the Department of Chemistry at Ångstrom Laboratory, and Per Edström a serial entrepreneur and investor. For more than 10 years, the Jacinto Sá has been investigating and developing pasmonic material fundamentals and applications where illuminated pasmonic management material creates a resonance that can generate electrical charges, a process that becomes highly efficient when the material is super small. And I'm talking about nanoparticle level. 2013, Jacinto Sá and his colleagues had a significant breakthrough showing that electrical charges could be extracted and used to create transparent and colorless solar cells. After four

years, Jacinto and his collaborator, Christine Apple, co-founded the Uppsala University spin off peafowl solar power to commercialize these solar cells so they can be used to power all kinds of devices. Today Jacinto Sá works, both as a professor at the university and as CTO at Peafowl Solar Power, together with Per who is the CEO at the company. I'm happy that we are today provided this opportunity to learn more about the plasmonic enhanced solar cells and the collaborative journey of Per and Jacinto, where they are working together to bring these solar cells from the research bench into a commercialized product.

Welcome to actual weekly Per and Jacinto. Thank you. I would like to start this session up by giving you the floor to explain or talk, tell us more about yourself and your professional journeys. And I suggest that we start with Jacinto and then we will come to Per. Thank you

very much. So as as you said, I was I'm a professor here at the university where I moved in 2004 at the time as an assistant professor. And then through the process, I became a full time professor almost two years before. I'm originally from Portugal, so I did my my undergrad studies there. And then I moved to Australia to do an

internship and start my Ph.D., which I actually finished then in Scotland where I spent three years. Then from that I moved to to Northern Ireland to the postdoc and then for three years and then moved to Switzerland, where I was for four years, where I started interacting with plasmonics and both in the fundamental aspect and also within an application with the company. And that in part was what triggered the upcoming years since I found very much at that time this interesting effect around the technology. So since

then, I have moved here and basically I've been exploring plasmonnics in all kinds of patterns for solar cells, but also for an application like chemistry. Thank you, Per, you have a different background. Would you like to tell us about where you come from and what you have been doing professionally? Sure. Well, my background is more of the entrepreneur. I started my originally I went to KTH's to get the master's there. Most of that is probably irrelevant by now. But after that, pretty much

after my first job, I started my first company beginning of the 90s and became a CEO before I was 30. So since then, I've been involved in startups, my own, mostly here in the Nordics, in Europe, but also I've lived 11 years in the US and started a company in New York City where we built the platform software as a service. So most of my background is in tech. A lot of it is software.

And the last years I've also been this decade, I've also been involved as an investor in startups. And on that journey I also came across Peafowl and decided to join as CEO. Thank you. Before we go into your collaboration and your shared work around these solar cells, I would like you to tell us more about what is a plasmonic enhanced solar cell. Yeah, I think maybe already the word of that enhanced is misleading because it's it's a direct plasmonic solar cell. So plasmonics have been used before as

a way to enhance the solar cells technology. This is really the first type of solar cell that uses plasmonic as the light absorbing material. So it's not enhancing anything. It's exactly creating the charges that we want. And I always explain this to my students. The two most fundamental things of any solar cell technology, and that could be your silicon on the roof to even the most cutting edge that it's being developed now to improve our way to harvest light and produce electricity relies on two very fundamental aspects. That is, one, we have an energy gap and this is the light we're going to absorb to overcome that gap. And then one footprint of light.

So the particle of light will only create one pair of charges. And when I was in Switzerland, we, of course, debated a lot of the limitations of each technology and the fact that with this type of physics, you can only reach up to thirty five percent overall efficiency. That's the upper limit you can reach. And the question is, how do you get

a solar cell that could be reaching 100 percent efficiency? How do you go around this? And the answer is you have to change the physics. You cannot use the same physics. And that was the beginning of plasmonics also as a potential lithium and plasmonics uses a completely different way of generating the electric charge. So you can imagine very still, lake, where are you going to throw a stone at it. So

if you do this, you will see these ripples being formed because the stone hit the water and you see the ripples. Now, these ripples will disappear if you don't do anything with them. But I imagine if you put something there, like a little box and you throw the stone inside of the box, the ripples will be created in the same way. But they will hit the box and come back. As they do in this, they collide with other ripples and you will see these little splashes of water that comes up in a very, very kind of illustrative way. This is how a plasmonics

work. You create a motion of electrons. As the light leaves, the electrons are forced to lose that kind of very we call it coherence motion. It's a very synchronized motion and that leads to the creation of electrical charge. Now, when you do it like this, there is no energy gap. So that means there's no energy lost when you when you in the process. And you also have a maximisation of

electrical charge that is formed because one photon can create several particle, several charges at the same time. And because you have so new photo physics, you can do new things with it. You can make materials that absorb a lot more light and try to make very efficient solar cells.

Or you can use so little of that material and put so little on, for example, a solar cell that you don't even see. And then you can create basically a transparent and colorless solar cell, even if you are actually working with the materials that are probably the most colorful materials on the planet. And as you said, this works very well if you make them into extremely small particles. So in the regions of 10 to 40 nanometers, which to give you an idea, is about 100 to 200 times thinner than your hair.

So the revolutionary thing about these solar cells are that they are transparent and you can have them in any colors you like. And you don't have to have so much of them for them to deliver a lot of energy. Is it so? The energy is proportional to the amount of absorption that you have, meaning the color that is there determines how much energy to produce if you would want to produce a very, very efficient solar cell, like the point of to put it on the top of your roof to make power, you would still need to make a very dark cell because you want to capture all the light and transform that into electricity. Now, we have decided this to be a kind of revolution kind of strategy because it's very competitive that that that space. And it's very difficult. It's where I would say power is one of the important things. But you also have to

make it extremely cheap, very easy to manufacture all these things up to be accomplished before you put this technology into the market. Another option is to do what we call energy harvesting, that we all have devices. We all have things in our life that are connected to either the Internet or all kinds of things that rely on the same thing every day. We have to take it out and put it in a cable and power it again. Imagine if you actually can now have a solar cell there that will do this for you. So you don't need to do that or at least

that you can have your devices leaving on long enough that it's not a burden to everyday having to charge them. So that's what we've been introducing. And most of these things where if you look, for example, on a smartwatch or something like this, where can you put the solar cell? It's going to be in the front of the of the technology, which means that it has to be transparent. It has to be colorless because otherwise you wouldn't be able to see through. So then when we talk about what I can hear here is that it can be used for something we call the Internet of Things where technology is talking to each other. So if I understand you correctly, you could have it in my phone. My, my arm watch. I

could have these and they can power the device so I never have to charge it myself. Is that the way you can use , the use? And also, how could it how could it empower these Internet of Things solutions? So currently, if you think of the Internet of Things, we rely on the hardware that generally is a sensor. So it's monitoring something that you want to to to assess. It could be things in your in your

rooms like temperatures and light and so on. But it could also be things in machines like corrosion degradation, whatever. Now those things always need some kind of power source, not only to measure, so to monitor what you're trying to do, but also to communicate this with the Internet. And of course, there is all kinds of communications, wi fi, Bluetooth, but all of them will need a certain amount of energy. Now, this nowadays is done primarily through a battery. If

you want to place it anywhere now, you could maybe have the thought before and maybe put the plug socket there exactly where you want to put the sensor. But since most of these things are so small, you want that convenience that you can put it anywhere and that means you need a battery. Now, the battery has limits, it is excellent because it gives you that energy, but it will run out. So you either

have , you are set on that situation that you either don't measure very often. So then the battery lives very long or you measure very often, but then you have the nightmare of having to replace the battery or taking it out and recharge. Now the idea is you need to do both. You have to measure very often and you don't want to change the batteries because a lot of data means you can add value on this by using ai and machine learning and you don't want to have the pain of having to replace all these batteries. So that's what we are

enabling. We are creating a solution that you can put there that keeps the battery alive, that keeps the battery with the necessary power by harvesting the power of light and transform it into electricity and putting the energy into that battery. So then you can measure as often as you want and without having that concern that you will have to replace the batteries at some point and you don't have to pay for the electricity for it. I guess I would say that maybe the price is maybe not as I think. But it's really actually, if you think about it, we are expected to have in the region of about 100 to 200 billion devices in 2030 that will account to be replacing in the region of something like 50 to 60 million batteries every day. Now, you can think of the cost of that, but

also the human cost, because this is persons that that actually to go about physically take the device to replace the battery and put it up. Imagine if this, for example, is put it in a hospital that would have to be closed because you will not have this in a safety condition that you can run, for example, operations. There's an enormous cost around replacing batteries. That is not just the cost of the battery itself, but actually the labor and actually the disruption that it causes when you're trying to replace. Are

there any other technology today that can do this or are you in a blue ocean? A red ocean is for anyone is like when you are in a situation where people are doing a lot of the same thing. But a blue ocean, I guess, is where you are on your own. Is that now the technology that can do this so in a in a large space of energy or this called energy harvesting? Of course, you can harvest energy for all kinds of sources, but light is the most, let's say, abundant source. So unless you are doing this

in the black room, so so you can, of course, capture radiation like Wi-Fi and so on, but they, in terms of energy, produced a lot less than them if you do it as a solar cell. No, there is other solar cells that can do this. I mean, there is there isn't. Let's say that many things that we are differentiated when it comes of technology of a solar cell. But if you have to put this in a way that you have to see through all, you have to put this in something that design and aesthetics is actually the main driving factor for adoption. I

would argue that we are the only ones that can do it because we can make it in such a way that is integrated into everything without you even knowing that it's there. So we can put it in a picture frame, we can put it in the top of your phone. And even if you don't know it's there, you know it's doing their job. And that's that's what we enable. If you don't care about it, of course, you can already potentially put the black silicon strip there. And there will be applications also

for that technology because they're very mature technology. We know how it works and so on. But I would argue especially for things that will be quite close to humans and will actually require human interaction. Design and aesthetics are extremely important. And then I would say we are

the only ones that can do this highly transparent, colorless technology that works indoors, for example. So, Per, let's go to you now and let's talk about the technology from your aspect. So when you came in contact with Peafowl and heard about this technology, how did that happen and why did you find this technology? And just interesting. Well, I mean, I was actually invited by the investors because they they saw that this was an enormous potential to do something with this technology and make it a commercial, but also that if you're from academia, you don't have the the exposure to being in companies and commercial organizations like like a Jacinto had as researchers. So, of course, there's a very good

match between my background and Jacinto Sá and Christina's background is that I've done this all my life and probably not as much. And I don't know as much about plasmonics as they do, but they have not been entrepreneurs as I have had. So so it's it's a very good combination. And if you take a step back, it is it is extremely interesting to see all the research and all the cool stuff that's being invented in academia. But very often the step to make that into a commercial company, into a product is a big step for the people in academia.

So here I also felt strongly that this was a great opportunity to do something with this. And this technology is is incredible in the way that it's not only limited to what we do today on the horizon. Beyond this, we see that we can do more cool things that we can't even talk about today. So it's not limited to this. This material is to

man the most effective way to transform light to energy. I mean, there are many uses for that, so as an investor and an entrepreneur, when you look at the technology, what is the strength and what are the weaknesses that you know what are the strengths that you are going for and what are the weaknesses that you say, OK, that I don't? Well, the weaknesses are that as a new technology, you have to watch out for how you position the company. And Jacinto Sá already touched on this. The blue ocean red ocean is a very good metaphor for the strategy, how we commercialize this company. We had to find a space that was not occupied by doped Chinese manufactured in northern China, making products under different conditions than we do here in Sweden. So we had to find a

space in the space that we saw that was was free. Was the transparency making photovoltaic cells that that absorb energy and make electricity that are transparent. Because you can we can you can place them on on the face of a watch, on a window, or when you go to the grocery stores and you see the little electronic the price tags on the tomatoes, all of those contain two mercury batteries that have to be replaced every year. And and if you we've been approached by companies like Wal-Mart and others that say, can you solve this sustainability problem for us? We have millions and millions of of mercury batteries out there.

It's a problem that we have to change them. But it's also the sustainability problem. We are littering the world with mercury. We don't want to do that. We want to be sustainable. Can you come up with a solution where we can power these and you can still read the price of tomatoes? Well, not many options out there, and Jacinto Sá also mentioned this with the sign I have behind me, this is the first prototype that we made for academic house where I'm sitting now, and the solar cell is in front of the picture. So to hear it's like a design. This is the Iot sensor for

measuring temperature, pressure and other things in this room that controls the environment in the building. And to them, they just felt it so much easier to place this in the room if I could put it on the shelf. And it looks like a picture, a picture frame. So we have a question here from Bettina who says, When can this product be ready for the market? And we are going to get there. But

before we get there, I would come back to this Betina. I would like it to to go into the collaboration. You mentioned that you got in contact, Jacinto, and you got in contact through the investors. But can we go back some steps here,

too? And can you tell us a little bit about the journey? Because, you made this breakthrough in 2013 and then four years ago you founded a company. And so how was the steps and what are your thoughts about when the product should be commercialized, as when you working as a researcher? Yeah, I mean, this will sound a little bit funny because I think when I say this, people think I'm just made up this story. But actually it is a very, very I think even if there is any academics on this on this talk, they will they will relate to me. So we I mean, we got this idea of taking electrical charge to make chemistry with it. This this is what my most of my group was

doing. We were never really thinking about making a solar cell or photovoltaic, as we call it, as general. And that actually started simply because we have a reviewer from a very top journal insisting that what we were seeing was not real. And this comes

down to to the fact that you have a negative and a positive electrical charge. Generally negative charge is a lot easier to extract. And we have this paper that said that we could extract nearly 90 percent of the positive charge so that the guy couldn't believe it. And he kept arguing that this is not possible. And then at some point they said, well, they are maybe taking the positive charge, but then they cannot take the negative charge. And I went to talk to to the people here and luckily the research, all kinds of solar cell technology.

So the first thing they said is you make a solar cell and if you have a current flowing, then you can just say, shut up and move on. That's literally how it was. Like we and of course, we didn't want to make solar cells, so we didn't pay too much attention to make a very good solar cell.

I mean, we we just wanted to prove this. And we said that they measure and they came with the result, of course, wasn't a brilliant solar cell. But the first thing that person told me was like, I think you forgot to put the material that because this has no color and it's completely transparent. And I was like, no, no, I'm quite sure we put them out there. But I even went back to my students say, how do you ensure that you put that there? And they said, Yeah, yeah, you know, but they've got to connect and so on. And since we

weren't spending and that person said, you should really look into this, because I never have seen for more than 30 years I'm researching in photovoltaics something that looks like glass. There's nothing else there. It just looked like glass. But to be honest, I knew that that would

kind of brush this to the side that I would write the paper. So one week later, it came and said again, have you looked into this? And then he told me you should go and talk to the people from Uppsala Innovation because they can maybe help you at least to put an IP on this. And and I think this is what what they have to appreciate about what the university is that it's actually a discussion. We went there, we talked, they said,

yes, we can support you to put an IP. This sounds quite interesting, but there's so many patents on solar cells. If you don't do anything with it, it's not that you're going to have big companies running up to you and say, oh, we want to commercialize this. You have to at least give it a sense of what you want to do this. So then we move

to the to the to the incubator. And we went through all this rollercoaster of, yes, we're going to put that in the window and make a lot of power and all this thing and also and then of course, also start looking for investment. And then and it was when they realized that actually the strength of the technology is its potential to actually do many things. And then it's the question is how you do this. Say this to a

scientist that doesn't get just excited that he's going to get a lot of money to the research then he said you need to bring somebody in that starts packaging. There's some things that we can do now and things that maybe we can continue to explore to do later. And how do you put this in a kind of a time frame that makes sense also for you to get the next investment. Because you're not going to survive on this initial investment. So on the retrospective call, when do you think it's a good time to start thinking about commercializing a new innovation? So I always say this plasmonics, even academically, is still extremely difficult to explain how this works. So if people that are on this call still

feel quite puzzled about all this work, this is still puzzling for a lot of people. There's still a lot of things we don't know. But if you truly believe that this can can disrupt the way that we are doing, then that's the time to start thinking about making the company, because there will be a big difference from what you think is the product, from what it actually is, the product. And you can make the best motor for a car and then thinking every single car manufacturer will come and want that motor. But if they have already

designed the body, if they already designed the exhaust, maybe the motor doesn't fit on that car. And you might have the most amazing motor, but they will never see a single car that they can power with it. And it's a little bit. The analogy is really very valid here. There's a lot of people that are look at it and get super excited. But you say, what will you do with it? And they were like, well, when you have the solar cell and you make it this big a thing like this, the steps to get there is very large. But how do we achieve this? So that's when you can get people like Per coming in. Now, let's bring Per in and ask you,

when do you think it's the right time to start thinking about commercializing a disruptive new finding, a possible disruptive new finding? Well, it it's a hard question to answer in general terms, because it depends on what the startup is doing and in this case with Peafowl this is what investors would call a deep tech company because it's based on an actual technology innovation and really real invention, something that's never been done before. It's not a new app or a new way of doing business or a new business model or new piece of software digitalizing and on process. This is this is disruptive. This is totally

different. So for a company that is so technical, like this company contains so many technology challenges, you probably need to have a proof point that you actually have a technology that works before you try to commercialize it. So you don't have this really, really long runway before you get the commercial product with like if you are a software company, you you can do it almost from the beginning because you just make a minimum viable product and you try to get some customers and then you get the right to weigh in software to to a great product. So this this is you have to wait for it to know that the technology works. That that's the point, I think. As as an entrepreneur, how are you risk assessing a technology to know, you know what, how are you making the decision that, yes, I'm going to go into this one, I'm going to work with Jacinto? And another question is, is it good to work with a researcher or is it better to have the researcher to to be like passive part of this process? Well, first of all, I'm much more an entrepreneur than I am an investor. I'm a pretty

lousy investor because I've learned that I really, really like the products that are getting bolder. And as an investor, you have to be somewhat of the opposite. You have to, like, give up on the things that doesn't work. I don't give up. So I, I am an

entrepreneur and then I am an investor by chance. So once you get into it, you have to really go for it. You can't you cannot say that. OK, I'm going to see if this works or not. I mean, you make up your mind and you go for it because there are so many unknown unknowns in a product like this. So

so that's that's to me, if you ask me. No risk. No reward. That's my motto. So so this question about working together with a very active researcher who comes in and also becomes an entrepreneur together with you. What are the characteristics you see is important in a researcher who wants to be in doing both? Well, I mean, I think from what I've learned from Jacinto Sá is that I mean, Jacinto has and that probably has to do with the fact that he holds classes of the thing, he has a very good way of explaining something extremely complex so that we all the rest of us can understand how it works and the way it can make assumptions and how you can use this technology. So I think the toughest part will work with the research that's going to be involved in the company actively. If they cannot communicate what they're doing effectively to others, then it becomes really hard and then they should probably be passive or outside or further away from the company. But if they can

explain how things work, then you can make something with it and then you can then you can go with it. That that's the most important trait. I think. Jacinto was talking about this ecosystem that he became engaged in, like Uppsala University innovation. We have the innovation center. We have allmi we have collect we have several of these ecosystem and we have the university itself. What are your take on the ecosystem, the academic ecosystem and being part of it as an entrepreneur? I mean, here you also have to back out and say, look at look at this country, Sweden, this is like Sweden is if I would say Sweden is the world's leader on startups like per capita per whatever you want to measure, we produce the most companies, the most innovations of anyone. And that is because of this ecosystem. And Upsala has a great

ecosystem in itself. All the soft money, all the startups, incubators, the help that you have, how easy it is to start a company you're going to bolagsverket and it's done. I mean, try that. Go to go to the U.K. and start a company. It's a nightmare. So it's it's easy to do that in Sweden.

So the ecosystem is here and it's great at Uppsala, but it's also great in Sweden. Just to clarify, soft money for the people who don't know what the soft money is, it's I mean, I don't know if that's an opposite hard money, but if you talk to a venture capitalist like the the people that you read about and Silicon Valley and all this, those are very, very tough on what the return they want from the capital. They are in it for the business and they will make terms that are extremely tough on you and want returns on that. Soft money is typically like an investor's best example here in Sweden. Also Sweden's most active investor, they invest on terms that are much more friendly for the entrepreneur. And as they move on and if they see that it's better for the company to take on another investor and they back down, they will do so. If you ask Secoya or or Greyston or somebody

in the US to do that, they will say, no way, they'll take the money. They are hard core. So, of course, we do, I would argue, quite a lot of soft money coming still from a grant point of view where let's say the amount of capital that you have to match from the companies very little, which means it's and then, of course, being at the grant, it's a completely risk free for the company does not know nothing. You really don't need to deliver if it's your idea and that ends up collapsing or something like that. We have a question here at what about the name Peafowl SoloPower. What's the

connection to the animal? Very great. I was wondering if somebody will ever come to this to this question that this is a very, very important thing. And and maybe the name will have to change a little bit because of encapsulating everything we need. But the peafowl is very central and it will always be there. And and this was are we in the beginning, people were asking. So it's

basically developing something that has a strong color. You put very little of it. You make it transparent, but then it's still like a paint. I mean, it's like something you go to the supermarket or bauhaus and basically buy a paint with a certain color. And I have to explain that it's not a paint because the paint relies on the same principle, this energy difference. Now, the feathers of a peacock actually work very similar to our technology. The the what you see is very blue collar. And actually the colors of the

peacock are brown. It's actually the structure of the color of the feathers and that interaction with the light that gives you this kind of radiant color. And that's exactly how the technology works. If you change the shape or the size, you're going to get a completely different color and you get this kind of almost shimmering color of the technology that you see on the peacock. It does help us. Christina's name is also bone, which in Romanian also means Peacock we couldn't use the name. Peacock is a very general term and there is many companies. So Peafowl is the more family

thing. So, so, so this is actually becomes quite important to explain how the colors actually work. How do you change the color by changing the shape of the material, which wouldn't happen in any other kind of technology. As I understood it, both

you and have worked as researchers. And what was the reason you decided to go in and actively work in a company, have found a company and stay in the company and not just, you know, giving it to Per to say, develop something here, go? Well, I think well, that's that's a maybe different things one needs. Of course, that is like I said, this is a really new technology, even in terms of academic knowledge about it. So it's not something that you know very well what is the limits, because it's still being researched heavily worldwide. So so it's maybe you could comment, maybe you can contradict me on that, but but maybe you could come and make a product out of the things that we know now. But I think people like like like Per and of course, we spend time looking people like Per that see that this is not just what we can do now is what we can do even much later in the future when the technology is better understood and so on and. So for us, clearly, we

needed help from the commercial side. None of us had that experience and you need to have that for for raising capital. So I think clearly now we still are very important to the company from our knowledge on the science and things that we can do with it moving forward as the company moves more and more into commercial steps. We never know. I

mean, I would say you're only as useful as when the people need to call you. After that, you have to also realize that maybe you need to take a backseat. And I wouldn't think this is going to happen in a very, very near future. But when that happens, we are also happy to to to step aside and just see the company grow to the potential that we think it can grow so far. Do you have a

commercialized product today or are you in the process? And when can we expect you to be able to have this in our house and in our everyday life? We are in prototype stage so we can manufacture products. I think the main challenge that we have is the amount of products that we can make. We can only make a few every week because we are limited to to what we can do with Ångström now. But we do ship samples to partners and customers that they try out and they come back and say, OK, this is going to work. We can use this now. We would like to go to the next step. So we have a very important and super exciting step in front of us, and that is to build our own lab, our own sort of prototype manufacturing plant, and to do that here in Uppsala. And that's going to happen very soon.

Watch this space. I'm prohibited to talk to talk about it. OK, then let's move into challenges and opportunities, working together, an entrepreneur and a professor and doing this in a in a in a set of recommendations to to making it easier to develop spinoffs from university findings. So what are the challenges that you and Jacinta has come across that can be worked around in? If I may, I will say, because I think that will will complement what I said. But be sure that you can do what that is and doing what you know how to do and let the freedom of of of the other person do what you cannot do. I think as a scientist is always very normal that you think this is your baby and you're the only one that can raise this baby. And maybe in the beginning, you're right.

But at some point you have to understand that, that this baby doesn't just need food, he needs other stuff. And if you're not good at doing the other stuff, you shouldn't just try to kind of B.S. your way through at some point. You need help and you need to trust the people around that. They are the more qualified to do that. And I think

this is, in my view, is a very big challenge for for us academics to let go off of this, because some of us may have spent 20 years doing that. And we feel, of course, it's a part of you that is that you think then the next thing is in between the interaction that you have more between the commercial and think. Actually, I think that the vision can be quite problematic. You should trust the people and try to have a working relationship that we know what this is, their strengths. So

their voices counts more because they have that experience and the other one has that strength on this. But if you start already saying in the science, I'm the one that bosses I mean, the commercial is better that bosses. That's not I mean, we are a team. We have to work as a team and

we should have open discussions, flood discussions, be very frank about it. Maybe I do have a different opinion and try to understand from each other and then make the best decision. I mean, we were going to make mistakes anyway. But I'd make a decision. Per what are your takes ? Jacinto Sá said the key word , which to me is trust, because and for me coming in afterwards, for me, it was very important to earn the trust that to get to to do things. That was a part of my experience and stuff that I know and and offload Jacinto and Christina on that. Just because I've

done it before I can I can I always say, like, if you if you're a researcher on your background as Portugal, then something like an årstäm ma protocol becomes like a mountain that you can almost never climb where it takes me five minutes to do it because I've done it before. So it is so much more effective. So for me it was very much so. I felt that I have I felt and I did earn Jacinta's trust that I had skills that would complement.

That was the most important thing. And I think the recommendation I would be is to look at that. It's like you have to build a hockey team. You know, you can't just have five goalies. It's not going to

work. You need to have different skill sets to complement each other and trust that somebody is going to do the job that you've decided. And I think this we trust it's not just that, do you expect that person to be right all the time? I mean, they were they are also learning on that. I mean, it's but it's not that you looking for the first, let's say, failure to come and say, oh, I could have done much better, because in hindsight, you can always do better, but you don't have that on site. You have to to take risks. And

but I would say I'm very happy to take a lot more risks on things that I know better than things that I don't know. So so I think you should anybody that is here that is considering a company, either being a scientist, they should be the same on the things that, you know, you know, the level of risk that you can you can think because you have to learn a little bit to mitigate the things. But then what you don't know then is casino. Then it's you know, you're just you're just to play it. I mean, if it works great. But if it doesn't work, you will collapse a company, you know. So it's

it's not I don't I think you need really to to let it go. And if that's that, that to think that that person brings in and it's it's a marriage, I mean, this is something that you need. You cannot rush into it. You cannot just I mean,Per worked with us

for eight or nine months before we took a joint decision that he would become the CEO, even if he was taking, I would say, roles related to the CEO as he came in, because we thought we work together, we understand each other. We can see the strengths and the weakness. We can see how we can overlap and then let it go. Are there any specific, like, general opportunities in the collaboration between a professor and entrepreneur that you would like to highlight and encourage people to to take advantage of this with? Oh, yeah, yeah, I mean, I have been I said, I'm so proud of Uppsala University, I like this level of research that you see there. It's just as an entrepreneur, I mean, and I, I it's like ideas pop up in every conversation, like hundreds. And I just have to

stop myself from saying, that's a company. That's a company. You could do that. You could do that. So I mean, it it is it is a privilege to be able to come in with my background and get exposure to to the amazing results research that you do. And

then I understand that you can't do all of it. So we just pick the best one, which is our technology. Is it common that entrepreneurs come in close collaboration or close contact with the universities so they can what kind of ecosystem do we need to have, you know, entrepreneurs in in the corridors to understand ideas? I don't think I think it's something that we could be improved a lot because it's if you look at the startups, like the volume of startups that I see and I'm sort of hooked into the system, many of them are like the obvious solutions that that you as a young person can. I can see that, OK, this could be something I could do most often. It's something that's already been done, whereas it are much better ideas in academia, at the universities to build upon harder and take longer time. But it's going to be more effective. So entrepreneurs would like to do that.

What recommendations do you have for them to get in, get in contact with universities, get get in contact with the university? There's so many there's an ecosystem there. I mean, listen, talk, talk. Because whatever it's like. Yeah, there's there's ways to get in, definitely. But I sorry if there is one thing that I think it's important that maybe it's quite different from the rest of the world. I worked in several different countries and IP in. So the intellectual property always

stays with the university. So I would say yes, in normal in other countries you should go and talk to the university. I think here maybe is even more talking to to the researchers itself because the intellectual property belongs to the to the inventor in Sweden. And that means the university itself can only do so much to encourage the research into to partners. So I would say and this is very unique of Sweden. So it's also a very thing that people should think if they are here that are entrepeneurs and want to to do something new, they most likely have to look for the researchers and vice versa. Of course, it's come

to our seminars. It's time to wrap up. The fourty five minutes is up. Thank you, Per and Jacinto thank you for joining us today. Thank you very

much. Thank you. Next week, Uptalk weekly will be in Swedish. We will meet Inger Persson associate professor at the Department of Statistics in the conversation about how algorithms can be developed to assist health care professionals in identifying sepsis in an early stage and by that saving thousands, millions of lives with this. Jacinto and Per and I, we wish you all a good week and thank you for joining us today.

2022-03-01 02:17

Show Video

Other news