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From new discoveries to groundbreaking products

Airplane photo of big cylinders.

Edouard Berrocal, a university lecturer at the Department of Physics, has developed a new method to test hazy liquids using scattered light. Read about how he combines his academic career with his role as the founder of Spec-Imaging AB.

Spec-Imaging is the company that builds on Edouard Berrocal’s research. Previously, it was often not possible to make reliable measurements of hazy, or what are called turbid, liquids in physics, without first diluting the liquid and analysing it in a lab, which is both costly and time-consuming. This made it difficult to answer critical questions about whether the water is clean or whether the content is what it should be.

"With the technology we’ve developed, we can now give precise answers to these important questions directly on site. This development can greatly improve the quality and safety in various industries, including the food and pharmaceutical industry, as well as in wastewater management," says Edouard Berrocal, university lecturer at the Department of Physics.

In 2012, Edouard Berrocal and his colleagues filed their first patent for the technology.

Edouard Berrocal: "Back then, I never thought about starting a company - I was just thinking about licensing the technology. The reality, however, is that it's hard to license. When we later got the idea to use the same technology to analyse turbid liquids, we were advised to start a company instead. This turned out to be the right decision. This year, we released our first product."

Edouard Berrocal wanted to stay within academia and got the opportunity to start a company at the same time.
"To make a long story short - I got the opportunity from LU Innovation and LU Holding, which constitute Lund University's innovation support, to apply my ideas without leaving the university. Starting a company requires a lot of work. LU Holding has been a great help in our startup and LU Innovation in working with the patent.

Without this structure, I would never have done it, because I want to stay in the academia," says Edouard Berrocal.

Assembling a strong operational team for the startup has been crucial. There are many difficult challenges with creating a product instead of a prototype in the lab. It requires people who can take it all the way.
The start of Spec-Imaging has also been important for his research and has helped it in several ways:

  1. It made it possible to study a new area: It moved our research from studying scattered light in the air to studying its behaviour in liquids.
  2. It has helped us with patents and research grants: among other things, a Proof of Concept grant from the European Research Council and more.
  3. It has opened up for new ideas: Spec-Imaging has helped us identify applications that are important in the food and pharmaceutical industry, and in wastewater management

"We’ve received guidance in areas that we don’t know ourselves, which opens up for many new ideas. If it were to fail, it is unfortunate, but what we have gone through so far has been very rewarding," says Edouard Berrocal.

Are you interested in making a similar journey? Book an open coaching meeting with Lund University's innovation support here:  or contact us via info [at] innovation [dot] lu [dot] se.