Three new TUTLI projects to University of Oulu

TUTLI is Business Finland´s funding type that aims to create new research-based business. This spring´s call six applications were submitted from University of Oulu. Three of them got the funding. Since 2012 University of Oulu has got TUTLI-funding to 34 different projects. From them currently ten new startup-companies have been established.

Funded projects (spring 2018):

Brazzein – Efficient Production of Brazzein, a Natural Zero Calorie Sweetener (Lloyd Ruddock, University of Oulu)

Background: The rise in obesity has hastened the development of alternative sweeteners. There are already a number of sweeteners that are used in the food and beverage industries. However, there is no perfect sugar replacement on the market. All artificial sweeteners have issues associated with them, both consumer perception issues and issues related to their physical properties. There are also consumer related health concerns.

Brazzein is a naturally occurring sweet protein found in the fruit of the Oubli shrub that has been used as a natural sweetener in West Africa for centuries. It has been produced e.g. chemically, in maize and variety of bacterial production systems. However, all these have not been economically viable on a large scale.

Solution to be commercialized: The economic production of Brazzein combines production of Brazzein in E.coli (the most cost effective fermentation system in the market), with production in the cytoplasm (the largest compartment in the cell enabling higher yields), with patented CyDisCoTM technology developed within the research group for the active formation of native disulfide bonds.


Lightopsy – Smart Tumor Biopsy (Miika Nieminen, University of Oulu and Heikki Nieminen, University of Aalto)

Background: In Europe, over 564 000 liver biopsies are taken annually. Only in biopsies for liver cancer, approximately 15% of biopsy samples are either insufficient or inadequate for a pathologist, due to necrosis. Currently there are no reliable methods to ensure that the tissue sample is does not represent necrosis.

Solution to be commercialized: A multifunctional probe to be embedded inside a biopsy needle to ensure correct sampling of liver biopsies. Proof-of-concept studies have shown that the solution can detect the correct tissue with 99.5 % accuracy. – Innovative solution for electric mobility (Pasi Maliniemi, University of Oulu)

Background: The current electrification state of the world is at 85.3%. The growing energy demand and dependence on fossil fuel has become a global issue. EU has recently announced the ambitious clean energy goals, which requires an increase in the energy efficiency target from 27% to 30%, a cut in emissions by 40%, and a goal of 27% renewables in final consumption.

These goals are expected to be achieved or addressed by 2030. Electric mobility is becoming one of the key categories in end energy consumption and growing. For example, global electric car stock surpassed 2 million vehicles in 2016 and is expected to reach 13 million by 2020.

Solution to be commercialized: The research team has a proprietary low-cost solution that can transform and digitalize the existing and future electric charging infrastructure. The solution will utilize the next generation communication technology to enable the adoption and the use of electric mobility in an economic way.



Last updated: 24.10.2018