About the winners and the inventions
Göran Nordlander and Henrik Nordenhem from the Department of Ecology – their research and innovation created Conniflex.
Conniflex protects conifer plants from gnawing large pine weevils by covering the trunk with elastic, fine sand. Conniflex is used on around 70 million plants annually in Sweden, and the company is now expanding abroad.
Protection from large pine weevil is crucial for forestry, because otherwise, about 80 per cent of newly-planted plants risk dying from weevil destruction. Ever since it was introduced in 2010, the invention has radically decreased the use of insecticides, benefitting the environment, employees and the economy.
Sven Lindgren and Lars Axelsson, whose research is the source of understanding probiotic bacteria and has propelled their company BioGaia to success.
BioGaia is a Swedish health care company that was originally developed from Lindgren's and Axelsson's research at SLU on the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri.
The award winners were behind the early research on how Lactobacillus reuteri could hamper pathogenic microorganisms. Their progress was crucial for researcher Stefan Roos – he began the pre-clinical research that verified and further developed the bacteria that BioGaia was built on. Based on their research, the company has continued to develop products for new market areas by combining strains of bacteria and delivery systems.
Kenneth Alness for developing the Thermoseed technique.
Thermoseed is an effective and environmentally friendly method for eradicating seed-borne pathogens with hot air and water – no chemicals are added. The method reduces the need for chemical seed treatment and removes all contaminations while the seed's ability to germinate is maintained and its water content is of keeping quality. The product has been available on the global market since 2005. Today, it is used on wheat, hops, oats, rye, triticale, rice and onions.
An innovation that effectively and preventively reduces the need for production and management of chemicals, as well as any cleaning to remove chemicals from environments where they do not need to be present, thereby palpably reducing the risk of spreading chemicals. Given the product's substantial effect during its relatively short existence, it is a good example of preventative environmental conservation with a global potential of reducing the use of agricultural chemicals.