Archives for March 2019

6th March 2019 - No Comments!

Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe: An interview with Eirik Eide Pettersen

Interview originally published on EIT InnoEnergy website.

Achieving a spot on the Forbes “30 Under 30” list for Europe (Manufacturing & Industry) is no small feat. This is the kind of accolade that opens doors and serves as a permanent record, usually the first major one in a series to come, of a person’s career achievements.

Eirik Eide Pettersen, has been recognised for his work as co-founder of Seaborg Technologies. He joins fellow EIT InnoEnergy Alumni, Govinda Upadhya, Allen Mohammadi and Tanmoy Bari who have all earned their spots on this prestigious list. Eirik’s contribution is Seaborg’s exciting innovation in the nuclear energy field – a Compact Molten Salt Reactor for sustainable, safe, and inexpensive nuclear energy – which you can read about here.

Our friends at EIT InnoEnergy caught up with Eirik to hear what he had to say about this monumental success, and to see if he had any advice for other innovators out there who might have their eyes on this prize.

Where were you when you found out about making the list?
“I was actually on a skiing vacation in Oberaudorf, south Germany, with my girlfriend – trying my best to relax, disconnect from work with my phone safely tucked away. By chance, I heard it vibrate… I saw it was my co-worker calling to ask if I’d seen the news and if we have any HD photos for the news outlets that had started writing about us!”

What was your reaction to the news?
“I am extremely honoured, of course, both personally but also for Seaborg. In general, I am very appreciative of the excellent team at Seaborg who is really the main reason this could become a reality. While it is my name there on Forbes, I think it should really be considered a team victory. Also, I can’t help but feel quite humbled – it is not every day your name is featured together with the likes of Harry Potter!”

What can this win mean for you and Seaborg’s future?
“This acknowledgement from Forbes is a milestone for Seaborg, and will certainly give us attention and introduce us to some new circles. Hopefully, the momentum can help us accomplish the next milestones. For example, we have a large fundraising round we’re working on so the acknowledgement and exposure will surely help. And I think in the longer run, it tremendously strengthens both my personal CV and our company CV.”

Was it always a goal to make the list?
No. I doubt that this is the kind of acknowledgement that anyone sets out to win. Rather, it comes as a (very pleasant) side-effect of trying to accomplish overarching goals – in our case: to save the world. And to be honest, if the goal is to be a Forbes 30 under 30, I am certain there are easier ways to accomplish that than with an advanced nuclear energy company.”

Since the article InnoEnergy published in December, is there anything new happening at Seaborg that you would like to share?
The company keeps growing (we are now 18!), and we are gaining footholds outside of Denmark with one new employee based abroad. After the last story, the response from EMINE students has been great, and we look forward to hosting at least three interns this summer. Lastly, I’ll be at the Connect event in Stockholm this April and look forward to seeing new and old InnoEnergiers there!”

Any advice for others wanting to make this Forbes list?
“Don’t fret too much about it. Do something that you are passionate about, try to make the world a better place, and then keep on trucking. Understand that there are only so many things you can control yourself – hard work, personal sacrifices, taking risks – while much relies on luck and privilege. In my case, I have had the extreme luck and privilege to find myself at the right place at the right time to become a part of the amazing journey that is Seaborg Technologies.”

Eirik, and Seaborg Technologies, have since been listed in media articles at a number news agencies in Scandinavia. 

5th March 2019 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni @ MCAA General Assembly 2019

"There is so much we can learn from each other. I wish I had a sign with me that said: "I am from EIT! Ask me!" 

On Saturday the 24th of February we sent Maria Kanov to the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) General Assembly as an ambassador of our community.

Maria, an alumna of EIT Digital, and co-founder of our Women@EIT Community, kindly agreed to represent us and immerse herself in a day of workshops, talks, and presentations held at the resplendent University of Vienna.

For the past few years, the MCAA and the EIT Alumni have often benefited from a close friendship. Indeed our structures are very similar, with both bringing together highly-skilled professionals and academics from a variety of sectors into a highly engaged, decentralised, European community.

It makes sense, therefore, that we seek to strengthen this bond, and establish a means for continued collaboration between our networks. This is exactly what we plan to do in 2019.

The MCAA event focused on the theme of "Research and Innovation beyond the Information Age" and offered a range of keynotes and training sessions aimed at addressing the evolving research environment - from how to write proposals for individual fellowships and European Research Council grants, to starting an entrepreneurship venture, and transitioning from academia to industry.

According to Maria's report, the EIT was mentioned by a number of the MCAA speakers. As a community of academics and researchers, an exciting next step for many of them is to look towards the world of business and entrepreneurship.

"I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to join the MCAA General Assembly in my home city of Vienna. An impressive crowd of about 700 researchers from various scientific fields came together to discuss, network and experience what it's like to be part of this community. The energy and enthusiasm I could feel at the event reminded me a lot of the EIT network. It was also striking that there was a lot of interest in the EIT from both speakers and participants, as it is an opportunity for bridging the gap between academia and business.
I wish I had a sign with me that said: "I am from EIT! Ask me!" There is so much we can learn from each other. Let's get this collaboration started!"
Maria Kanov, EIT Digital Alumni & Women@EIT

This is something we would very warmly welcome. Bolstering the growing number of EIT Community entrepreneurs by inviting MCAA Alumni to take part in EIT Business creation and Accelerator programmes would be be a valuable addition to the ever expanding EIT Alumni Community. Of course the MCAA also offers a lot of opportunities for our own members, and we look forward in working together more this year!

We would like to thank the MCAA once again for giving us the opportunity to take part in this event, and learn from their members.

We look forward to inviting you to EIT Alumni CONNECT 2019!