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Umeå entrepreneur receives award

Fredrik Almqvist

Fredrik Almqvist, professor in organic chemistry at Umeå University and serial entrepreneur, receives Baltic’s collaboration and entrepreneurship award.

He receives the award for successfully combining entrepreneurship with excellent research in chemical production and the combat against pathogenic bacteria.

The world is full of problems. Fredrik Almqvist has always been aiming to contribute with new solutions to medical problems, solutions that can be of benefit to society. But he has another driving force as well- that the innovations derived from his research can contribute to an increased pool of high-tech jobs in the region. Hence, many of his discoveries have been patented and this is also why Fredrik Almqvist actively have promoted the conversion of his research into new products and companies.

“It feels is incredible to be bestowed with this award. Being appreciated in this manner means a lot and I hope that everyone involved in the companies are proud and know that a lot of the credit is theirs,” says Fredrik Almqvist. “A key factor for being able to combine entrepreneurship with academic research is to be surrounded with good and competent people with a lot of drive, and I have definitely succeeded in that.”

Though the companies founded by Fredrik Almqvist address very different problems; as they deal with efficient reactions and pathogenic bacteria respectively, and though the companies have come across different obstacles on the way, Fredrik Almqvist and his co-founders have addressed the difficulties of starting a company in the same way for both companies, by turning to the innovation system and Umeå Biotech Incubator (UBI). And as he mentions in an interview “With the right support, starting a company is not so complicated”.

The first company, Nordic ChemQuest (now SpinChem), started with new type of precious metal catalysts, but the company also developed a new stirring technique and now its rotating bed reactor technique provides efficient solutions for chemical production, biotechnology and clean tech. Many of SpinChem’s clients are found among the large international drug and chemical companies.

Quretech Bio is a company developing first line drugs to combat antibiotic resistance and infectious diseases, focusing on tuberculosis and chlamydia. Quretech Bio have in a short time become one of the most exciting startups within this field.

Source: Karin Borge Renberg, Biotech Umeå
Photo: From Umeå University and Johan Gunséus