The Trondheim-based company MyWo has been working on innovative chip technology for several years. Earlier this year, they merged with the British company TouchNetix and are now developing a highly sensitive sensor chip that is attractive to the automotive industry.
The founders Vegard Wollan and Gaute Myklebust had the idea that became the basis for the sensor chip. The Trønder duo worked closely with former colleagues in the British company TouchNetix, who knew the market well. In order to take advantage of each other’s expertise, networks and insights, they teamed up to develop the ultra-sensitive sensor chip.
The technology they have developed allows one to use a touchscreen without having to actually touch the screen. The chip’s sensitivity means that TouchNetix can offer solutions and functionality that surpass the competition. The chip can be used in the automotive, defence, ICT and health industries. With the ongoing corona pandemic, touchless payment terminals can reduce the risk of infection, and the socio-economic benefits can be great.
“TouchNetix AS was established by experienced entrepreneurs from the electronics industry. They are market-oriented and place great emphasis on developing new solutions together with customers. We strongly believe that the founders of the company will succeed with their initiative”, says Hans Fredrik Emdal, funding adviser at Innovation Norway Trøndelag.
The company has received a number of services from Innovation Norway, including various types of innovation grants, innovation loans and EU advisory services that have contributed to significant funding from the EU.
“We develop products that require a lot of capital and are time-consuming. Innovation Norway has very good support programmes that suit us and our innovation process very well”, says Wollan.
Focus on international markets and growth
TouchNetix is now working on the industrialisation and production of its aXiom chips. In parallel, they have started the development of the next generation of chip products. The company is experiencing very good response and demand for the technology, and they are focused on international growth and strengthening their team outside of Europe.
The company currently conducts operations in the US, Europe and Asia, where the most important markets can be found, and they are specifically targeting countries that produce large amounts of electronics, such as China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan. They are primarily targeting the automotive industry, and the main customers are those who make dashboard solutions for car manufacturers. TouchNetix also has many customers and partners in the industrial segment that includes manufacturing and automation in the maritime industry, medical equipment and agricultural machinery.
The most crucial factor regarding the international initiative was that the Trondheim-based company merged with the UK-based company that had similar technology and established operations. This provided rapid and good access to relevant international markets.
“Much of the world’s electronics production and its product companies are based outside of Norway, so it has been absolutely essential for us to think internationally right from the start”, Wollan emphasises.