OREANDA-NEWS. March 26, 2013. Prototron, the fund established for the creation of prototypes, has received 57 smart ideas in its third round of applications. In this round, teams were looking for solutions to repair potholes and to make useful decisions on the open electricity market.

Most applications were in the fields of electronics and mechanics (19) and information and communications technology (14). A record 10 applications were submitted in the field of environmental technology.

“The application round indicated that not all new products created in Estonia are in the IT field, but that clever ideas arise hand in hand with the problems occurring in society," said Pirko Konsa, a management board member of Tehnopol. ”“So the solutions that stood out were those which would speed up repairs to the potholes that appear in spring and make it more cost-efficient, help consumers understand and make smart decisions in the context of the open electricity market and shorten waiting lists for doctor's appointments using novel methods of telemedicine.”

In the earlier two rounds the experts at Prototron evaluated the following projects as worthy of funding: Qminder (EUR 3100) – a portable queue management ticket dispenser that communicates with smartphones and helps people avoid standing around in lines; Shaka (EUR 11,640) – a wind measurement device that can be connected to smartphones using audio jacks which provides accurate information on the weather; Formula Battery Management System (EUR 10,534) – a battery pack and battery control system to be used in e.g. electric vehicles for increased efficiency; Fabulonia (EUR 9,560) – the world’s very first 3D printing software based on cloud technology; and Flydog (EUR 11,242) – a buoy which will enable automatic retrieval of data from the marine environment.

“The quality of the projects submitted in the third round was as high as the first two,” revealed Robert Kitt, Head of Corporate Banking at Swedbank Estonia. "No idea is protected from failure, but I'm sure the trial-and-error method is much more durable than revolutionary changes made through pseudo-scientific planning. So enabling the creation of prototypes in definitely constructive.“

The applications will now be evaluated by a seven-member panel comprising Priit Alamae (Webmedia), Pirko Konsa (Tehnopol), Robert Kitt (Swedbank), Yrjo Ojasaar (Publification.com), Andrus Oks (Estonian Development Fund), Jaanus Tamm (Defendec), Almar Proos (Favor) and Siemon Smid (Tallinn University of Technology). The projects that will receive full funding from Prototron will be revealed by 16 April.

In evaluating the ideas that have been submitted and deciding which ones to support, the panel are guided by the business potential of the prototypes, how innovative they are and the teams that will put them together. There are no maximum limits on the amounts able to be granted.

Prototron was established by Swedbank, Tehnopol Science Park and Tallinn University of Technology. Over the next three years new smart ideas will be financed to a total value of 120,000 euros. www.prototron.ee