CS Research Spin-offs

When research becomes a business startup

Department of Computer Science has a long and solid tradition for interaction and knowledge exchange with private companies and public institutions.

Over the last thirty years, there have been numerous research projects with external participants resulting in several spin-off companies. The majority of the business start-ups below are rooted in research groups at the Department of Computer Science.

The Alexandra Institute

The Alexandra Institute was founded in June 1999 as part of the IT City of Katrinebjerg with the aim of promoting public-private cooperation in the area of IT research and innovation. The Alexandra Institute works with applied IT research, development and innovation and is a nonprofit company with a mission to create value, growth and welfare in society. The aim is to help public and private companies apply state-of the-art IT research and technology. The Alexandra Institute has carried out a large number of cases and innovation projects. Since the company was founded in 1999, the Department of Computer Science has had a close and comprehensive cooperation with the company.

FACTS:

  • Founded in 1999, 85 employees (2015)
  • Established on the initiative of The Danish National Centre for IT Research (1996-2002), which was headed by Professor Morten Kyng from the Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University. The Alexandra Institute was founded by the IT Association Alexandra, which was formed by a group of companies, educational and public institutions. These included Systematic, Terma, TDC, CCI, Infoware, LEC, Danske Bank, Grundfos, Cotas (now part of Vestas), Memory Card Technology, COWI, Aarhus University, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus School of Engineering, The Municipality of Aarhus and the former Aarhus County.
  • In 2007 the Alexandra Institute joined the Advanced Technology Group, GTS, a network of independent Danish research and technology organisations. In January 2012 the ownership was transferred to Aarhus University Research Foundation. Professor Ole Lehrmann Madsen, formerly employed at Department of Computer Science, has been the managing director of the Alexandra Institute since the start

Mjølner Informatics

Mjølner Informatics is a spin-off from the Scandinavian research, development and innovation project, Mjølner, with participation of the Department of Computer Science, the Danish company Sysware, as well as universities and companies from Oslo, Lund/Malmö and Helsinki. The objective was to develop software tools for object-oriented programming languages with focus on SIMULA, BETA and an object-oriented version of SDL. Professor Ole Lehrmann Madsen (formerly Department of Computer Science, currently director of the Alexandra Institute) was the project manager for the Danish section.

The original business area of Mjølner Informatics was object-oriented software systems based on the BETA programming language and the Mjølner programming environment developed during the Mjolner project. Today Mjølner is a professional company that provides software development to both private companies and the public sector. The company's employees are experts in innovation & design, mobile, embedded and customized integrated applications.

FACTS:

  • Founded in 1988, 75 employees (2015)
  • In 2015 awarded the title as Denmark’s second best IT workplace.
  • Mjølner Informatics was founded by associate professor Jørgen Lindskov Knudsen, professor Ole Lehrmann Madsen, professor Kristen Nygaard (for whom the Nygaard building at Aarhus University was named), professor Birger Møller-Pedersen, Oslo, professor emeritus Bent Bruun Kristensen, University of Southern Denmark, Lars Bak (now manager of Google in Aarhus), computer scientist Elmer Sandvad, computer scientists Claus Nørgaard and Pål Sørgaard, Oslo. All except from Kristen Nygaard have graduated from the Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University. Jørgen Lindskov Knudsen left his position as associate professor to become full-time manager of Mjølner Informatics.
  • Ole Lehrmann Madsen and Elmer Sandvad are still co-owners of Mjølner Informatics and Ole Lehrmann Madsen is chairman of the board.
  • The present manager, Brian Gottorp Jeppesen, who has joined the present group of owners, was part of the first group of graduate engineers from Aarhus University. The circle of owners also includes the computer scientists, Jacob Seligmann, Peter Andersen and Søren Pingel.

Cryptomathic

Cryptomathic provides secure software solutions based on state-of-the-art cryptology to businesses across a wide range of industry sectors: banking, public authorities, technology manufacturing, cloud and mobile. The company was founded in 1986 by Jørgen Brandt, Peter Landrock and Ivan Damgård - the latter is now the leader of the research group Cryptography and Data Security at the Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University.

FACTS:

  • Founded in 1986, 35 employees (2015)
  • The company has offices in Aarhus, Cambridge, Munich and the USA (San Jose) - and almost all sales come from abroad.

 

 

 

 

Cetrea

Cetrea develops technology for clinical logistics. A clinical logistics system provides healthcare staff with a real-time overview of current status of the work and patient flow in clinical departments across hospital departments. The technology helps clinicians to cooperate, coordinate and optimize patient flows and thus helps to ensure more efficient and safe care and treatment of patients.

FACTS:

  • Founded in 2006, 35 employees (2014)
  • The company is based on the research project "The Interactive Hospital" and was founded among others by Jacob E. Bardram and Thomas Riisgaard Hansen, respectively former Associate Professor and PhD student at the Department of Computer Science.
  • “The Interactive Hospital” was part of ISIS Katrinebjerg – a competence centre for interactive spaces, healthcare informatics and software with participation from e.g. the Department of Computer Science, the Alexandra Institute, the Regional Hospital in Horsens and several other companies.

Scalgo

SCALGO is a spin-off company from the Center for Massive Data Algorithmics (MADALGO) at the Department of Computer Science funded by the Danish National Research Foundation. The company was founded by Lars Arge, head of the research group Algorithms and Data Structures and the former PhD student at MADALGO Morten Revsbæk, today CEO of SCALGO. The company develops efficient algorithms to handle massive amounts of data. Their software "SCALGO Live" can predict flood risk on a reliable basis.

The technology behind SCALGO LIVE is being continued in the research centre DABAI (Danish Center for Big Data Analytics driven Innovation), where Lars Arge and SCALGO in cooperation with Orbicon, Central Denmark Region, Danish Meteorological Institute and the Danish Agency for Data Supply and Efficiency will develop tools that enable the government, municipalities and supply companies able to predict floods and reduce the negative effects of climate changes.

FACTS:

  • Founded in 2010, 6 employees (2015)
  • SCALGO Live was launched in 2015 and has currently more than 400 users and has been sold to a number of municipalities and state institutions as well as leading engineering companies in Denmark, England and the United States. The Dynamic Cloudburst Map is a further development of the project, which has been supported by 7 million Danish kroner by Realdania, as part of the campaign, Klimaspring.

43D

The company 43D specialises in 3D visualisation software, such as Topos R2, which supports the work of architects, landscape architects and engineers. Topos R2 enables users to combine existing landscape, construction site or environment features with envisioned changes by means of 3D visualisations.

43D operates mainly in Denmark and in the UK and has been involved in a variety of projects with a large number of clients and business partners.

FACTS:

  • Founded in 2004 with 10 partners (six from Denmark and four from the UK).
  • The managing director, Preben Holst Mogensen, is formerly associate professor from the Department of Computer Science.
  • The company is based on research from the Department of Computer Science, particularly the WorkSPACE research project (finished in 2003).

Redia A/S

Redia is a design and software company that started as a spin-off company from the Alexandra Institute, which again is a spin-off from the Department of Computer Science. Redia was launched in connection with the development of a software platform for a digital administration interface in libraries - known as the InfoGallery.

The company has developed digital displays and software content platforms for libraries. They developed the app for the Danish e-shelf, e-reolen and participated in the development of the digital installation for the World Expo in South Korea in 2012. They have furthermore contributed to the digital installation for the Museum Ragnarok in Roskilde as well as an interactive exhibition for porcelain factory, Porsgrunn, in Norway.

FACTS:

  • Founded in 2010, 35 employees (2015)
  • InfoGallery, which was the beginning of Redia, was developed as part of the competence centre, ISIS Katrinebjerg, by three PhD students Balasuthas Sundararajah, Sidsel Bech-Petersen and Anne Rohde. It happened while they were associated to Professor Kaj Grønbæk, head of the research group Ubiquitous Computing and Interaction at the Department of Computer Science. Today Balasuthas Sundararajah is the CEO of Redia.
  • ISIS Katrinebjerg was a "Competence Centre for Interactive rooms, Healthcare IT and Software" with the participation of the Department of Computer Science, the Alexandra Institute, the Regional Hospital of Horsens and several other companies. Kaj Grønbæk from the Department of Computer Science and the Alexandra Institute was formerly one of the company's owners.

Partisia

Partisia designs and works with software solutions in cooperation with investors and entrepreneurs as well as business partners within the research area "Secure Multiparty Computation", which is part of the research area Cryptography and Security at the Department of Computer Science. Together with the Alexandra Institute, the Department of Computer Science is world-leading in the technology behind "Secure Multiparty Computation", partly because of the two research centres CFEM (Center for Research in the Foundations of Electronic Markets) and CTIC (Center for the Theory of Interactive Computation).

The solutions from Partisia may be divided into two groups:

  • Secure software solutions to facilitate confidential information e.g. in auctions or benchmarking systems
  • Secure software solutions to handle cloud security.

FACTS:

  • Founded in 2008 and owned by the Alexandra Institute and Partisia Holding
  • Partisia Holding is a company owned by experts and entrepreneurs in IT security, economics and software. The group of owners includes scientists with a background from the Department of Computer Science including Ivan Damgård, who is head of the research group. The combination of renowned researchers and specialists in advanced cryptograhy, business economics and software development enables Partisia to deliver innovative as well as solid business solutions.
  • See also the case ”From basic research to applicable spin-off technology” to learn more about the perspectives of the Secure Multiparty Computation technology.

Sepior

Sepior has developed solutions for companies wanting to protect cloud data against hacking by use of advanced cryptography. They have developed an IT solution that uses secure and easy encryption without requiring any on-premise hardware or software as the encryption gateway. The company is funded by SEED Capital and DTU Symbion Innovation. Their solution protects data in file sharing services (Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, etc.) against hacking.

Sepior’s solution is made possible through the application of "Secure Multiparty Computation", which is part of the research area Cryptography and Security at the Department of Computer Science. The Department of Computer Science is together with the Alexandra Institute world-leading in the technology behind "Secure Multiparty Computation", partly because of the two research centres CFEM (Center for Research in the Foundations of Electronic Markets) and CTIC (Center for the Theory of Interactive Computation).

FACTS:

  • Founded in 2013, 7 employees
  • Sepior is owned by Partisia Holding ApS - a company owned by specialists and entrepreneurs within IT security, economics and software. The ownership is shared between the Alexandra Institute and renowned researchers from the Department of Computer Science, including Ivan Damgaard, who is head of the Cryptography and Security group. The combination of internationally renowned scientists and experts with competencies in advanced cryptography, business economics and software development enables Partisia to deliver innovative and solid business solutions - of which Sepior is a good example.
  • See also the case “From basic research to applicable spin-off technology” to learn more about the perspectives of the “Secure Multiparty Computation” technology.