TSU research team will launch a start-up in the EU
08.05.2019

A unique technology for cleaning bottom sediments of oil-contaminated bodies of water, Aeroschup, is about to enter the European market. It was developed by the Biological Institute (BI) of Tomsk State University. In April 2019, a BI research group took part in the Deep Tech Atelier conference in Riga (Latvia) and negotiated with the management team of Commercialization Reactor, an international technology commercialization platform. The product designed by the BI research team is now the basis of a start-up that will be established in the European Union for solving environmental issues there and in other regions of the world.

– Participation in the Deep Tech Atelier conference is the starting point for our collaboration with Commercialization Reactor, a platform that establishes new technological start-ups in Latvia, bringing together local entrepreneurs with scientists (mainly from Russia and the CIS), - says Danil Vorobiev, Director of the BI TSU. - Promising ideas for further markets are selected by a network of experts from big European companies. The Aeroschup project approved at the qualifying stage will be presented to experts and participants of the next commercialization reactor in Riga this autumn.  

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The technology for assessing and cleaning oil-contaminated bodies of water successfully passed pilot tests and was used in the northern regions of Russia. In 2018, the lake remediation project implemented in the Khanty-Mansiysk region together with Samotlorneftegaz JSC, a TSU industrial partner, was the winner in the Russian Geographical Society competition in the Best Environmental Project category. This technology is to become the basis for a company in the EU.

– During this business trip to Riga, we managed to establish a number of working contacts with entrepreneurs, including the director and founder of Commercialization Reactor, Nikolai Adamovich, who confirmed interest in the presence of TSU in the international start-up platform, – says Andrei Trifonov, Aeroschup project engineer.

Aeroschup is a potential participant in the next session to be held in October 2019. It is planned to establish a new separate start-up with TSU’s technology. This will encourage international investment in the product’s development and provide access to global markets. In addition, it will strengthen the position of TSU as one of the leading centers of innovation development in the Russian Federation.

Earlier, Ambassador of Portugal to Russia Paulo Vizeu Pinheiro and Attache for Scientific and Educational Relations João Carlos Mendonça expressed their great interest in the project. During the meeting with the director of the BI, they proposed to develop a joint Russian-Portuguese project based on TSU researchers’ ideas to design Aeroschup MARINE. It would solve the global problem of the need to clean bottom sediments in offshore shelf areas from hydrocarbon raw materials. The possibility of such collaboration with the Centre for Marine and Environmental Research (CIMA) at the University of Algarve, a leading center for marine research, is currently under discussion.

The Aeroschup technology was used to clean and restore the ecosystem of Lake Shchuchye (Komi Republic), which entered the Guinness Book of Records as a body of water that had been contaminated after one of the largest on-land oil spills on the planet. Scientists lifted 157 tons of oil from its bottom using Aeroschup technology.