News about: Trade and industry group

A young startup company in Gothenburg has developed an easy-to-use method for detecting antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The idea was born when two young researchers met and decided to start a joint business.

Kristina Lagerstedt and Susanne Staaf started 1928 Diagnostics to fight resistant bacteria

Working in a partnership produces stronger and better results than working individually. That was the reasoning that led Kristina Lagerstedt and Susanne Staaf to start 1928 Diagnostics. They met when they were both conducting research and working for a large pharmaceutical company in Gothenburg. The two colleagues got on so well that they decided to start a business venture.
“How difficult can that be?” says Kristina, laughing. She laughs a lot during our interview at Stena Center at Chalmers University of Technology, where many startup companies rent premises and gain inspiration from each other.

She says it helps when you know it’s okay to make mistakes – a mentality that is perhaps more prevalent in Gothenburg than in many other places.
“But of course you’re fantastic at doing things right,” interjects Susanne.
Molecular biology was really flourishing at the time when they were both research students. There was a widespread feeling in the pharmaceutical company that anything was possible. They frequently found themselves talking over dinner about what makes a successful enterprise and realised that many successful entrepreneurs work and run joint ventures with friends.
“Around this time, we decided to set up business together. The next step was to come up with an idea or a project,” says Kristina.

They aired their ideas with entrepreneur friends, who were impressed by their enthusiasm but couldn’t see a core concept. Then an idea emerged that was so clear it nearly sold itself. This is how they describe the company on their website:
“1928 Diagnostics is a Swedish company based in Gothenburg with strong ties to both the tech and science community, bridging knowledge from biology and medicine into software development. Our mission is to use technology to build important services that can be used in healthcare to address the growing and alarming problem of antimicrobial resistance. Sweden is our home base, but we are operating globally, and look forward to meeting you wherever our paths will cross. Join us in the fight against antibiotic resistance.”

When Sir Alexander Fleming won the 1945 Nobel Prize for discovering antibiotics (in 1928), he warned the world about the risks of antibiotic misuse. “We will enter a post-antibiotic era with grave consequences,” he cautioned. Over 70 years later, around 33,000 Europeans die every year from antibiotic resistance. This problem could become deadlier than cancer by 2050.

And this is where the business idea comes in that appeals to investors and employees alike.
“We realised that by creating a cloud-based software that enables faster analysis of bacteria, we could offer an intelligent method for infection control. You could call it smart infection tracking,” says Susanne.
The business has been quick to take off. Some experts believe antibiotic resistance is as great a threat to humanity as climate change or lack of clean water. Kristina and Susanne visited hospitals to confirm the need for their product. Since then, they’ve had no problem raising venture capital and have made a smooth transition from being researchers to entrepreneurs.
“Our prior experience of pharmaceuticals prepared us well. It taught us that things take time and to think globally from the outset. Antibiotic resistance is a global health problem that calls for wise initiatives that are globally effective.

“In urban areas such as Manhattan, 60 percent of bacteria are multi-resistant, and the figure in Mediterranean countries is 35 percent. In poor countries that lack clean water and hand-washing facilities, colistin-resistant bacteria spread like wildfire. When this happens, there is a thousandfold increase in the risk of not being able to treat them with antibiotics.”
Kristina believes that although the situation is critical, it can be remedied.

“But this requires greater collaboration between healthcare, enterprise, the WHO, national authorities and multinational corporations. It’s not just the healthcare sector and authorities that need to address the issue of antibiotic resistance; companies do as well.
“More and more major companies are opting to allocate profits for beneficial causes. Social responsibility is becoming an increasingly important part of companies’ business concept and is key in recruiting young people. They are much more concerned about ethics and beneficial causes.”

Copyright: Ulrica Segersten (text), Samuel Unéus (photo)

This article is an excerpt from “Magasin Göteborg”. To read the entire Magazine (in Swedish) click here.

Before the age of 30, Lisa Emelia Svensson had already gained a PhD and landed a top job in New York. Today her stellar career has led her all the way to the United Nations, where she is Global Director for Oceans. Her favourite place is a small island in the West Sweden Archipelago.

Lisa Emelia Svensson at her favourite island, Käringön.

Lisa’s career path has been unusually linear. But it wasn’t mapped out like this from the outset. Although she comes from an enterprising family, she grew up far from the world of big business and politics.” She and her four siblings were raised in Bohuslän in West Sweden, and their lives centred more around the sea than the house.
“My father spent a lot of time at sea and encouraged us to do the same. I learned to love the sea and the archipelago from an early age. It determined how I saw the world. We had the vast sea in front of us, and beyond it was the rest of the world – which I became very curious to explore.

After graduating from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics and Law, Lisa applied to the Swedish Trade Council for an international trainee position. She landed the job and was posted in New York.
“I loved being there. People say big cities are stressful, but for me it was the opposite. My first feeling was one of calm. The rest of the world was moving, and I could stand still in the midst of it.”

After a time in New York, she returned to Sweden to start the internship programme of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. This was followed by work at the Swedish Embassy in Washington and as a trade negotiator at the European Commission in Brussels. Lisa also spent a year as Diplomat-in-Residence at John Hopkins University, where she also finished her doctoral dissertation as well as a book on climate change.

Käringön is located north of Gothenburg with the open sea just outside.

Back in Sweden, she started working as Ambassador for Sustainable Enterprise.
“At that time, sustainability and CSR were not yet strongly established. It wasn’t unusual for people in prominent business positions to say that they were only interested in results. Today nobody would claim that companies don’t have a strong responsibility for sustainability.”

Many companies today are taking important initiatives to promote these issues. For example, Lisa points out that Volvo has transitioned from primarily selling cars to focusing more on how to meet people’s mobility needs. Volvo is also phasing out disposable parts and aims for 25% recycled plastics in all Volvo cars from 2025.
“The great added value of this is that it creates a pressure in the market and can encourage more companies to use recycled plastic for other types of production. This can be a way of initiating and driving change. It is crucial to our future that more companies set this type of example.”

Sustainability has been Lisa’s primary focus area since she became Ambassador for Sustainable Enterprise. Her work has focused particularly on matters regarding the sea.
“There’s something about the sea that always attracts me. I don’t know what it is; maybe I’ve got salt in my veins! There’s something out there in the waves that never stops beckoning me. However, the sea is endangered and there is a widespread lack of knowledge on how to manage and utilise its resources sustainably.”

Two years ago, the United Nations called to offer her the post of Global Director of Oceans at the UN Environment Office. She accepted without hesitation. Since then her office has been in Nairobi, Kenya.
“Using the United Nations Environment Programme as a platform for promoting marine issues seemed like a natural path forward. My greatest motivating force has always been curiosity and an urge to explore and understand new contexts. And now that I’ve gained an understanding of this context, I’ll be happy to move on to new challenges.”Her work involves a lot of travel and she’s seen many exotic places across the globe. But deep in her heart there’s always one place she’d rather be.

“The best thing in life is nature. Walking barefoot on rocky cliffs is what gives me energy. Even if I’m on the most beautiful exotic island in the world, there’s no place I’d rather be than a wet, stony cliff in Bohuslän or outside my house on the island of Käringön. That’s bliss for me.”

Working with sustainability and being Global Director for Oceans is no easy job. Eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the sea every year. If people continue to use the sea as a dumping ground at this rate, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050.
“So much stuff just gets pumped into the sea. People think it will just disappear,” says Lisa. “But of course it won’t. There is a strong link between the ocean and climate change. The world’s oceans absorb nearly a third of our carbon emissions, and seaweed beds bind carbon.”

Half of the carbon stored in living organisms is in the sea. The sea is crucial to our survival, but the overall context is not explained and communicated in a way that decision-makers and the public can easily grasp.
However, she points out that there’s hope. Awareness about climate and sustainability has steadily increased, and more and more individuals are making conscious and climate-friendly choices.
“We need to find creative systemic solutions that are based on science. Even if people stop buying plastic bags at the supermarket, a systemic solution is needed to bring about real changes. And that’s what we’ve got to find.”

Copyright: Magnus Carlsson (text), Katja Ragnstam (photo)

This article is an excerpt from “Magasin Göteborg”. To read the entire magazine (in Swedish) click here.

The latest issue of Magasin Göteborg was distributed as a supplement of Dagens Industri newspaper on 15 May. The supplement focuses on innovative and modern aspects of Gothenburg as well as the latest news and trends from the city. “Caring intelligence” is the main theme of this year’s Magasin Göteborg.

Magasin Göteborg Photo: Katja Ragnstam

“A lot is going on in Gothenburg right now. New ideas are hatching, opportunities are everywhere and there’s a lot of interest in the city. More and more people are discovering Gothenburg as an attractive city to work in, live in and visit. A foreign journalist recently described Gothenburg as a ‘pocket-sized metropolis’. That’s quite an accurate description of this city and region which we’re so fond of,” says Lennart Johansson, Director of the Trade & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co.

The theme of this year’s issue of Magasin Göteborg is “Caring intelligence”. Artificial intelligence and urban development require an understanding of smart new ways of living and working, but it’s also crucial to use these resources carefully to allow as many people as possible to enjoy all the things that make Gothenburg so attractive. Topics covered in the magazine include use of 3-D printing technology to create human body parts, how Gothenburg landed a Nobel prize, this summer’s choral invasion and the six companies to watch right now. You can also read about how a man from Borås helped to design Dubai, discover the street fashion from Gothenburg that’s conquering the world and find out about this year’s exciting new development at Landvetter airport.

The Magasin Gothenburg supplement is published in collaboration with Göteborg & Co’s Trade & Industry Group and Business Region Göteborg. Magasin Göteborg is being distributed in Gothenburg for the eighth consecutive year, and is one the Dagens Industri newspaper’s most popular supplements.

Read Magasin Göteborg online here and give us your feedback at #magasinGBG

 

Aniara, a film screened inside coffins during the Göteborg Film Festival in January this year, has generated worldwide media attention. This unconventional film experience challenged the traditional way of viewing movies and reached 500 million people through various media.

Photo: Studio Mint

“We’re delighted with the worldwide impact of the World’s Most Claustrophobic Cinema, not least in the USA where several hundred articles have been published about the screenings. It’s great to know that articles about Gothenburg and the screenings have appeared in 140 countries. Having our completely self-produced event spotlighted by the likes of Perez Hilton, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and The Times is extremely encouraging and bodes well for the festival’s future development,” says Andreas Degerhammar, Communications Manager, Göteborg Film Festival.

During the Göteborg Film Festival, an expectant public was challenged with an extraordinary movie experience. Each viewer watched the movie in isolation while enclosed in a coffin. The unusual movie concept generated huge international media interest and was publicised on TV, radio, in newspapers and in social media. The claustrophobic screening was mentioned in over 500 articles and social media posts and shared in more than 100 countries There were frequent tweets on the launch day, and on the first day one tweet was aired every three seconds. There is no doubt about the huge interest generated by the movie experience, and all 28 screenings quickly sold out.

The partnership between the Göteborg Film Festival and Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group resulted in a larger international press following, which included The New Yorker, Variety, Cineuropa and the Telegraph.

The Göteborg Film Festival is a non-profit association. Their annual film festival runs for ten days starting in the third week of January, showing films from all over the world at cinemas around Gothenburg. This year the Göteborg Film Festival was nominated for Guldägget (The Golden Egg Award), The One Show and The Webby Awards. See more information here about the Göteborg Film Festival.

 

 

Gothenburg Tech Week took place in Gothenburg on 6–11 May 2019, when tech and startup events were held all around Gothenburg. This is the fifth consecutive year that Gothenburg Tech Week was carried out. The event is designed to raise awareness about Gothenburg’s tech and startup scene and showcase Gothenburg as a city of enterprise.

Photo: Wesley Overclift

“Gothenburg Tech Week is finally here, and we’re seeing the results of months of hard work. We were quite nervous on Monday morning, but also very excited! The week got off to a fabulous start and the atmosphere is buzzing. This year there are 32 events spread out over the week and we’ve put together the best line-up ever, which we’re really proud about. Many organisations have expressed interest in taking part and there have been many visitors, which we’re delighted about. I’m looking forward to the rest of the week, which will be packed with fascinating events and new meetings,” says Malin Kjällström, organiser of the Gothenburg Tech Week.

The week’s programme includes inspiring lectures by distinguished speakers such as Fredrik Reinfeldt, Sweden’s former Prime Minister, Lena Apler, entrepreneur and founder of Collector Bank AB, and Erik Gatenholm, CEO of Cellink AB, to mention just a few. There will also be workshops, hacks and launches relating to technology, startups and enterprise at various venues around Gothenburg. All the events are free of charge and open to everyone. See the full programme here.

Gothenburg Tech Week is based on a partnership between Göteborg & Co’s Trade & Industry Group and Region Västra Götaland. The Trade & Industry Group is a partner of Gothenburg Tech Week, and aims to raise the profile of Gothenburg’s tech and startup scene. Gothenburg Tech Week is a non-profit organisation founded to support Gothenburg’s entrepreneurs and startup companies by organising and coordinating a week-long event in May each year.

At the Skarpt Läge job fair in February, young adults aged 18 to 30 met with employers with one hope in mind: to leave the venue with a job. Two months later, 184 of the job seekers had found employment as a direct result of the fair. Today, Skarpt Läge is more than a job fair; it’s an important meeting place for forging partnerships.

Skarpt Läge job fair. Photo: Fredrik Karlsson/Skarpt Läge

“Today, Skarpt Läge isn’t just a job fair, it’s a meeting place that generates many synergy effects. For instance, this year we collaborated with Hvitfeldska and Aniara upper secondary schools, which sent 25 wonderful and positive third year students to work as volunteers at the fair. We regularly visit youth organisations such as MiM Kunskapscenter (MiM Knowledge Centre) and SOS Children’s Villages, where we teach young people how to seek jobs, expand their contacts and network with employers. Many of the resulting contacts have led to job offers,” says Lotta Forsberg, project manager at Skarpt Läge.

On 22 February, the Skarpt Läge fair opened at a new venue, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg. For three hours, young adults, regardless of their training and qualification backgrounds, had the opportunity to be matched with employers ready to offer jobs on the spot. The concept is simple: all the employers exhibiting at the fair had something to offer in the form of jobs, training or internships, and the young job seekers all turned up well prepared with their CVs. A follow-up study two months later showed that 184 of the job seekers had found jobs, of which 94 were full-time. Most of the jobs were in the warehouse logistics and hotel & restaurant sectors. Recruitment and interviews are still in progress. After six months the outcome will be measured again, and is expected to be even better.

With 1,831 participants, the fair broke its previous visitor record. It is hoped that Skarpt Läge will not only be the best job fair for young people in Gothenburg, but will become the best platform for young people seeking to enter the employment market in Sweden.

Skarpt Läge is built on a partnership between the Trade & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co, Gothia Towers/Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, the Swedish Public Employment Service, Visita and Labour Market and Adult Education (Arbetsmarknad och Vuxenutbildning).

The prize was presented on 2 April during the meeting of Börssällskapet at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in front of a capacity audience. A silver Gothenburg statuette and a cheque for SEK 25,000 were presented by the Chair of Gothenburg City Executive Board, Axel Josefson, and Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group. The winner of the Gothenburg Company Prize 2018 is I-Tech, a biotech company that has developed a sustainable method for preventing barnacles from settling on vessel hulls.

Axel Josefson, Chair of Gothenburg City Executive Board, and Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group present the Prize to I-Tech AB (Left to right: CFO Magnus Henell, Chairman of the Board Stefan Sedersten, CEO Philip Chaabane). Photo: Tim Kristensson/Happy Visuals

“In a country with so many exciting and promising companies, we feel very humbled to be winner of the Gothenburg Company Prize. I-Tech, a company born out of local academic research and largely backed by local financiers, is at the centre of a global expansion of the marine sector which is so important to Gothenburg. We share this honour with everyone who has been part of our almost 20-year journey,” says Philip Chaabane, CEO, I-Tech.

I-Tech was founded in 2000 and is a spin-off from research at the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. It is a research-intensive company that applies biotechnology to one of the maritime industry’s major problems, barnacle settlement. I-Tech’s product Selektope is a substance that is added to marine coatings to prevent barnacles from fouling vessel hulls. Selektope is unique in being the world’s only marine anti-fouling agent that does not kill barnacles.

Facts about the Gothenburg Company Prize:

  • Every year Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group awards the Gothenburg Company Prize to successful companies that are run and developed in the Gothenburg region.
  • The prize consists of SEK 25,000 and a silver statuette.
  • Since it was established in 1994 the Gothenburg Company Prize has been awarded to around 60 companies.

Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group is a platform for collaboration between trade & industry, organisations, municipal administrations and academia, and is aimed at making Gothenburg even more competitive and attractive. The Trade and Industry Group uses initiatives and projects to stimulate inclusivity and long-term skills provision, in order to contribute to an attractive, dynamic and sustainable metropolitan region.

The first CapitalOnBoard one-day event was held in March. CapitalOnBoard provides an arena for forging connections between West Swedish start-ups and national investors on a return trip to Fredrikshamn on the Stena Danica ferry. A successful event with 150 participants and over 300 pre-booked meetings.

Lectures on the Stena Danica. Photo: CapitalOnBoard

On the morning of 12 March, 150 expectant participants gathered in the departure lounge for breakfast and registration before boarding the Stena Danica ferry. During the trip, they had the opportunity to network with West Swedish and national investors. The day also offered inspiring lectures, panel debates, business pitches and over 300 pre-booked one-to-one meetings.

“Our vision was to create a new networking arena for start-ups, investors and industry stakeholders. We knew the demand was there, and after carrying out the first CapitalOnBoard event, we have received highly positive feedback and immediate requests for the next event. The participants were partially isolated from the outside world during the day. This encouraged them to focus completely on each other, which we believe resulted in even more new meetings and future relations. We now have clear proof that there is a need for this type of arena. We look forward to developing the concept and following up on the effects of the first event,” says Alexandra Björk, organiser of CapitalOnBoard.

The event was organised by Peter Kurzwelly and Alexandra Björk, who both have extensive experience of start-ups and the innovation system. They wanted to avoid the classic conference venue scenario where participants can come and go as they please. This lead to the idea of holding the event at sea, in true Gothenburg spirit.

“We have plenty of excellent businesses in West Sweden, but there is a lack of capital. In light of this, we wanted to connect capital with start-ups and promote future relations with investors,” explains Peter Kurzwelly, organiser of CapitalOnBoard.

CapitalOnBoard is organised in partnership with Region Västra Götaland, Venture Cup, Business Region Göteborg, Chalmers Ventures, GU Ventures, Delphi, Fabbelito and Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group.

For more information on CapitalOnBoard: https://capitalonboard.confetti.events/

The Knowledge and Enlightenment focus year is part of Gothenburg’s 400-year anniversary celebrations. During the year, central focus will be given to education, research and skills provision, providing a common platform for stakeholders to work from. We met Eva Henricsson from Göteborg & Co’s Trade & Industry Group, process leader for the focus year.

Eva Henricsson Photo: Peter Kvarnström, Göteborg & Co

Hello Eva. Tell us about yourself.

I am the process leader for the Knowledge and Enlightenment focus year as part of Gothenburg’s 400-year anniversary, and have long experience of working for Gothenburg, a City of Knowledge. I work in Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group, a platform for collaboration between trade & industry, organisations, municipal and regional administrations and academia, which is aimed at making Gothenburg even more competitive and attractive.

I was born and grew up in Gothenburg. I have always been strongly involved in the city’s development and see great opportunities in the coming year.

The big kick-off meeting for Knowledge and Enlightenment was held on 22 January. How did the meeting go and did it meet your expectations?

The ambition for 2019 is to utilise experiences from previous focus years while continuing to involve the whole city in the anniversary celebrations. Approximately 70 people from administrations, businesses, academia, regional bodies, Science Parks, companies, foundations and associations attended the kick-off meeting to gain inspiration and find out how their organisations can participate in the focus theme.

Also attending the meeting was the youth reference group, which was formed to bring a young perspective to Gothenburg’s 400-year anniversary celebrations. With such a large number and variety of participants, the meeting provided excellent opportunities for networking and exchange. Another purpose of the meeting was to offer inspiration by presenting various activities planned for 2019. I hope that even more people will get involved and carry out concrete activities during the year.

What will happen during the year and what milestones can we look forward to?

A large number of events will take place during the year. It all kicked off with International Mother Language Day on 25 February, organised by the City of Gothenburg’s Language Centre. Next in line is the Gothenburg International Science Festival on 1–12 April with the theme “Astonishing thought”, followed by Future Skills, the region’s largest vocational meeting place for high school students, on 8–10 October. Several historical events will also be highlighted during 2019. The Space Week on 14–22 September will mark the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child also celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, which means that children will be an important target group. Our ambition is for the initiatives to continue after 2019, so 2021 will be an important milestone for showcasing the work carried out.

What is the most exciting aspect of Knowledge and Enlightenment, and what challenges do you expect it to pose?

What’s most exciting is the large number of people who regard the theme and the focus year as highly relevant and want to contribute to making Gothenburg an even better city. My challenge will be finding the time to gather together everyone’s excellent ideas. I see great opportunities in the year ahead!

 

The fair Skarpt Läge set a new visitor record with 1831 participants attending the job fair at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Center. The purpose of the fair is to create work opportunities for young adults.

Photo: Fredrik Karlsson/Skarpt Läge

– We can only say that it was a success with the 1831 visitors, Fredrik Karlsson Chairman of the association Skarpt Läge says.

On Friday February 22, Skarpt Läge set a record in the number of participants who attended the job fair at the Swedish Exhibition Center in Gothenburg. The previous record was 1147 visitors. For the sixth year in a row, young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 were matched with companies that were able to offer jobs on site. There were 46 exhibitors who represented 64 different workplaces and approximately 1100 work opportunities were available.

– It was magic! Says Eva Dunér, owner operator at four Mc Donald’s restaurants in Gothenburg.

Last year, 143 young adults from Gothenburg, were employed during the three-hour job fair. During the coming weeks, a follow-up will be done with all exhibitors to find out how many jobs were created at the fair, but it has been confirmed that at least one person was offered a job at site. Among the exhibitors were major companies like Mc Donald’s, Gothia Towers and the Swedish Tax Agency.

The fair is built on a partnership between the Trade & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co, Team Göteborg, Gothia Towers / Swedish Exhibition & Congress Center, the Swedish Public Employment Service, Visita and the association Skarpt Läge.

This year’s Junior Achievement fair was held at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg on 11 March, with the theme Entrepreneurship for Real. Young Enterprise offers high school students the opportunity to start and run an enterprise over an academic year. High engagement and commitment marked this year’s fair, where the trend for social and sustainable enterprise was strongly in evidence. The winner of JA Company of the Year 2019 was announced at the end of the awards ceremony in the big congress hall.

Worth UF – Winner of JA Company of the Year 2019 Photo: Junior Achievement Gothenburg

1,300 high school students from 340 JA companies exhibited and marketed their products and services at the Junior Achievement fair.

“It’s wonderful that 1,300 students took the opportunity to exhibit at this year’s JA fair. This year it was particularly exciting to note an increase in students’ awareness and knowledge about sustainable enterprise, which was clearly evident in their business ideas. General interest in young enterprise continues to increase. The number of students running JA companies in the region rose again this year, and it is wonderful to see the strong encouragement given to young enterprise in schools,” comments Johan Sandahl, Regional Manager, Junior Achievement Gothenburg.

Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group is a partner of Junior Achievement and also hosts the prestigious JA Company of the Year competition. The gold medal was awarded to Worth UF from NTI Gymnasiet Kronhusgatan high school, for creating a mindfulness colouring book on the theme of body positivity. The award was presented by Kristin Mari Riera, project leader, Göteborg & Co’s Trade & Industry Group. The Jury Statement was as follows:

“The winner has come up with a creative and innovative solution to a current social problem. These young entrepreneurs have pooled their resources to make a difference to others and challenge unhealthy norms. Their drive and business competence show strong potential for future success, both in Sweden and internationally. We are all impressed by your shared courage, and consider you a highly WORTHY winner of the JA Company of the Year competition.”

“It’s absolute magic to feel the infectious energy and innovative spirit of the 1,300 young exhibitors at the fair. In addition to presenting creative and sustainable business ideas, this year’s Junior Achievement fair also plays a key role in promoting present and future enterprise. It’s an honour to congratulate Worth UF, the worthy winner of JA Company of the Year 2019, for addressing an important social problem and contributing to a healthier approach to body positivity in society,” comments Kristin Mari Riera, project manager, Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group.

Young Enterprise (Ung Företagsamhet) is a non-profit, apolitical education organisation which has been teaching entrepreneurial and business skills to high school students since 1980 through JA programmes.

The winner of the 2018 Prize is I-Tech, a biotech company that has developed a sustainable method for preventing barnacles from settling on vessel hulls. The Prize will be presented by Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group and the Chair of Gothenburg City Executive Board, Axel Josefson, on 2 April during the meeting of Börssällskapet.

Management team, I-Tech. Photo: Anders Bryngel

– This year’s winner is a company that has demonstrated impressive entrepreneurship and innovation. Through innovative research it has changed its industry and is now at the cutting edge of development. I-Tech has a unique, sustainable and world-leading product, says Kristin Mari Riera, project manager, Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group.

I-Tech was founded in 2000 and is a spin-off from research at the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. It is a research-intensive company that applies biotechnology to one of the maritime industry’s major problems, barnacle settlement. I-Tech’s product Selektope is a substance that is added to marine coatings to prevent barnacles from fouling vessel hulls. Selektope is unique in being the world’s only marine anti-fouling agent that does not kill barnacles.

– In a country with so many exciting and promising companies, we feel very humbled to be winner of the Gothenburg Company Prize. I-Tech, a company born out of local academic research and largely backed by local financiers, is at the centre of a global expansion of the marine sector which is so important to Gothenburg. We share this honour with everyone who has been part of our almost 20-year journey, says Philip Chaabane, CEO, I-Tech.