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Innovations from Lund

From medical ultrasound to Bluetooth

Lund University is an innovative university. For several hundred years, researchers from Lund have made discoveries and created innovations that have been of great significance for wider society. Here is a sample selection of discoveries from Lund through the ages.

An innovation solves a real problem and creates value for individuals, organisations or societies. The solution often arises in collaboration with different stakeholders. Moving from an idea to a finished product, service or method usually takes time.

2018 | Revolutionary gene therapy to treat cancer

Asgard Therapeutics is developing a unique cancer therapy that forces cancer cells to reveal themselves to the immune system. Unlike current cancer treatments, which often cause severe side effects, Asgard Therapeutics can use the body's own immune system to treat harmful tumours. Founded by Cristiana Pires, Fábio Rosa and Filipe Pereira.

2017 | High-tech concept for electric roads

Entrepreneur Dan Zethraeus came up with a solution that emits less carbon dioxide than a petrol car, but has a longer range than an electric car. Could it be powered by electricity in the road? Together with researchers at the Faculty of Engineering, LTH, they came up with a solution: a rail laid on asphalt that charges the car's battery as it travels over the rail. Elonroad's technology is currently being tested in a unique demonstration facility in the centre of Lund.

2015 | Modem for connected gadgets

LTH doctoral student Michal Stala realised that he was sitting on an exciting new business idea and formed the company Mistbase together with Magnus Midholt. Mistbase develops a solution of combined hardware and software that allows gadgets connected to the Internet to communicate wirelessly. In 2017 Mistbase was acquired by market leading ARM in a multi-million deal.

2012 | The World's most water-efficient shower

Industrial designer Mehrdad Mahdjoubi’s degree project resulted in a shower that reduces water consumption by 90 per cent. The shower, which was originally a solution for how to conserve water during a NASA space programme, became the start of the company Orbital Systems.

2004 | Facial recognition technology

A mathematician at Lund University’s Faculty of Engineering, Jan Erik Solem, developed a search engine with advanced image analysis and facial recognition. The search engine formed the basis of the company Polar Rose, which was sold to Apple in 2010. 

1994 | Bluetooth

In a project initiated by Ericsson Mobile, a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances is developed thereby opening a whole new world for the electronics sector. The technology was introduced onto the market in 1998 and was called Bluetooth after Viking chief Harald Blåtand (Harold Bluetooth). Currently, millions of new Bluetooth products are shipped every day.

Headphones with Bluetooth
Headphones with Bluetooth technology.

1991 | Proviva

Researchers at Lund University's Faculty of Engineering developed the health-promoting bacteria culture Lactobacillus. The research finding was subsequently developed into a complete consumer product and the fruit drink Proviva was launched in the early 1990s. In 2010 Proviva was sold to French dairy giant Danone for billions. 

1990 | Oatly

Professor Rickard Öste realizes that oat is not just healthily composed nutrition, but also tastes good in liquid form. He developed a liquid oat-base as an alternative to milk drinks and founded a company, Oatly, in 1994, then under the name Ceba. The company is now the market leader in Sweden and the Oatly brand is available in more than 20 countries in Europe and Asia.

someone pouring outly milk into coffee
Oatly oat milk.

1987 | Inhalator for asthma medicine

Chemist Kjell Wetterlin and his colleagues at what was then Draco developed the Turbohaler – an inhalator for the dosage and inhalation of asthma medicine. The product revolutionised asthma medication and currently helps tens of millions of people the world over to control their illness.

1984 | Network-based printer servers

Engineering student Martin Gren and Business student Mikael Karlsson started their company, Axis, from a small student room in Lund. The company’s first product was a network-based printer server that was subsequently developed into a global product. Today Axis is the market leader in network video and in 2015 Japanese multinational corporation Canon, acquired Axis for SEK 24 billion. 

1971 | The Servo Ventilator – the modern respirator

Through the use of flow control, medical researcher Björn Jonson and his colleague Sven Ingelstedt succeeded in creating the modern respirator. The apparatus, which was named the Servo Ventilator, represented a breakthrough for the establishment of intensive care throughout the world. 

1957 | Dopamine

Arvid Carlson, who subsequently became a professor in Gothenburg and Nobel Prize laureate in 2000, made ground-breaking discoveries on the role of dopamine in the brain, which led to the first and still currently most effective treatment for alleviating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

1953 | Medical ultrasound

Physicist Hellmuth Hertz and cardiologist Inge Edler were the first in the world to see a heart beating. Together, the two researchers had developed the first echocardiogram for ultrasound examination of the heart, a technology which would prove to be revolutionary for diagnostics. Edler and Hertz were nominated several times for the Nobel prize, but had to make do with the next best thing – the American Lasker award.

Ultrasound of a foetus
Medical ultrasound.

1946 | The artificial kidney

The world’s first clinically useable artificial kidney was developed by professor of medicine Nils Alwall. In 1964, together with industrialist Holger Crafoord, he founded what is now a global company, Gambro, and three years later the first artificial kidney was launched. In 2013 Gambro was acquired by Baxter.

1887 | Rydberg's constant

Physicist Janne Rydberg discovered that the wavelengths of photons in atoms can be calculated using a certain formula. One of the constants in the formula is common to all matter and is known within the international science community as the Rydberg constant. The discovery provided fundamental knowledge on the structure of atoms.

1813 | Swedish massage and gymnastics

Per Henrik Ling developed a system for massage and muscle stretching. Today the technique is known as Swedish or classical massage and is one of the most common forms of massage in the Western world. Ling later moved to Stockholm where he founded the Royal Central Institute for Gymnastics, now the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences.

Contact information

LU Innovation
info [at] innovation [dot] lu [dot] se (info[at]innovation[dot]lu[dot]se)

LU Innovation

Postal address:
LU Innovation
Lunds universitet
Box 117
221 00 Lund

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