KLP collaborates with SINTEF to finance sustainable companies

Norway’s KLP is collaborating with independent research organisation, SINTEF, to finance innovative and sustainable companies.

It is hoped the partnership will speed up the transition from an innovative idea to a profitable company. The aim is to finance relatively immature ideas in SINTEF's research portfolio and explore the possibilities for these to be developed into thier own companies.

KLP will provide financing for companies in the very early stages of development when there are normally very few investors interested.

“For us, it is important to help develop Norwegian business and contribute to carrying forward what can become companies that we can live off in the future. Therefore, we want to invest in the early phase of a business idea where there are normally very few or no investors. We hope and believe that it will help ensure that good ideas do not stop at the sketch stage or end up abroad too soon,” KLP CEO, Sverre Thornes, said.

The pension fund will initially contribute NOK 5m to the collaboration. Each project or idea can borrow up to NOK 1m so that they can do the necessary research to see if it is worth developing the idea further. Good ideas will be developed and will receive money from SINTEF’s seed fund; KLP is also an investor in this fund.

“SINTEF is very happy to put in place funding to refine the raw material, which is our many ideas, further. This collaboration is an important contribution in a phase where there is normally not much money. We hope this can lead to more viable companies,” SINTEF CEO, Alexandra Bech Gjørv, said.

An example of a company that has come out of SINTEF is Pingme, which is a technology for locating what is called ghost nets in the sea, ie fishing nets that have been lost and which therefore litter the sea. Another is Minuendo, which makes earplugs that protect hearing without compromising on sound quality.

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