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Published: 2012-06-15

Johan Trygg receives the Baltic entrepreneur award 2012

NEWS Baltic entrepreneur prize 2012 is awarded to the new chemistry professor Johan Trygg, Umeå University. He won the award for his successful combination of innovation and research excellence. The flagship is his pioneering method to create interpretable models of large complex data sets, which has been patented in several countries including the U.S.

Just returned home from a trip, Johan Trygg responded to this good news.

- It's overwhelming to get this price! Entrepreneurship has for me been a keyword for creating new opportunities to develop and fund research. My collaborations with industry have also helped to guide the use of my group's research results. The prize highlights that industrial collaborative projects are not only important for basic research and its funding, but also important for improving the understanding of innovation and entrepreneurship from a commercial basis, he says.

Johan Trygg is a person who successfully has commercialized his research. These results were the basis for spin-offs such as AcureMetrics AB and AcureOmics AB. Johan Trygg has also helped to commercialize results into products for existing regional companies, especially MKS Umetrics AB - the most successful spin-off company from Umeå University.

Johan Trygg’s research includes the development of an entirely new method of creating more interpretable models of large complex data sets. This is important in biological and medical sciences, for example, to understand diseases, diagnose and monitor how patients respond to treatment. The method is called OPLS (Orthogonal Projections to Latent Structures) and is used by more than 150 companies, 50 international institutions and the ten largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. OPLS is patented in several countries including USA. Johan Trygg published his method for the first time in 2002, an article which today has over 420 scientific citations. The methodology has subsequently been used in prestigious journals, such as Nature.

In recent years, Johan Trygg has filed additional patents. He has also signed several long-term collaborations projects with leading software companies, global analytical instrument companies and large pharmaceutical companies. Although the spin-off company MKS Umetrics AB was sold in 2006 for several hundred million SEK to the U.S. NASDAQ-listed company MKS Instruments Inc., Umeå University still plays an important role as a strategic partner.

- Umeå University's focus on young scientists in recent years has definitely been an important factor in my success. I am also very grateful for the support I received during the years from my mentors and colleagues, says Johan Trygg.

Johan Trygg was born in 1972 in Umeå. After an MSc in Engineering Chemistry at Umeå University in 1997 he defended his thesis in 2001 in Chemometrics at Umeå University. He became professor in June 2012. In recent years, Johan Trygg has been a frequently invited speaker at international conferences, has received several international prizes and awards and published more than 70 publications in scientific journals.

About Baltic entrepreneur award

In January 2009, Umeå University established Baltic award with price money of SEK 100 000 in two directions. One is the entrepreneur award, given bi-annually in October, and the other, the popular science award, given every two years in May. The entrepreneur award is given to a university teacher or researcher who in the past year has made valuable contributions.

For more information, please contact:

Johan Trygg, professor, Department of Chemistry, Umeå University, Sweden.Phone: +46(0)90-786 69 17 (mobile +46(0)730-647137)
E-mail: johan.trygg@chem.umu.se

Editor: Ingrid Söderbergh