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Researchers and industry partner, together work to improve diabetic care

2017-05-24

Cooperating with industry benefits not only research and Malmö University students, but also Malmö and the region, says Tautgirdas Ruzgas, Professor at Biofilms – Research Center for Biointerfaces. 

This year he became a minority shareholder in a newly started company that is developing an IoT-based (Internet of Things) sensor for diabetics. The Malmö University professor said:

Tautgirdas Ruzgas“I want to be involved in research and education that is as close to reality as possible. I feel that every senior researcher ought to collaborate with companies in order to translate their experience and research results into tangible societal benefit. It is also important to draw a clear line between the interests of Malmö University and corporate interests.

“We must try to establish more companies and industries that are knowledge-based or science-based. I want to promote expansion in the region and I feel we need to pool our resources to help Malmö and Skåne grow. We are currently conducting discussions with several organisations to determine the potential for establishing a sensor cluster in Skåne.”

Medeon neighbour

The company that Tautgirdas Ruzgas is involved in is Innovosens, run by IT engineer Sirisha Adimatyam and based at Medeon. The fact that she was based at Medeon was one of the reasons why collaboration with Malmö University first came about.

Medeon is adjacent to the Forskaren building, which houses the Biofilms research centre. Intellectual exchange between companies and researchers was regarded as a natural progression.
 
“The move to Forskaren has meant a great deal to us. There’s an enormous sense of curiosity that promotes fruitful discussions and encounters. It is incredibly stimulating to work in this kind of environment, particularly for students,” said Tautgirdas Ruzgas.

Sirisha Adimatyam contacted the professor just over six months ago. By that time, Professor Anthony Turner from Linköping University, a highly experienced researcher in biosensors and diabetes, was also involved. 

The joint discussions that ensued led to the idea of producing a sensor that would help diabetics quantify their disease more precisely. Using an app linked to the sensor, the patient can access advice on how they can regulate their food intake more effectively. Both Tautgirdas Ruzgas and Anthony Turner opted to become minority shareholders, and the latter was appointed as chairman.

Most rapidly growing disease 

Professor Anthony Turner“Diabetes is the most rapidly growing disease of our time and as yet there is no known cure. I have devoted the vast majority of my research career to helping people cope with diabetes but a great deal still remains to be done. That’s what drives me and what led me to become involved in Innovosens,” said Anthony Turner, who continued:

“My hope is that through this investment we will in time be able to introduce completely new assistive aids that will allow the patients to deal with and control their diabetes better than is currently the case. I also hope that the successful collaboration between our two universities will continue well into the future, allowing us to demonstrate clearly that scientific research can make a genuine and lasting contribution to society.”

Text: Lotta Solding

Last updated by Adrian Grist