Kitemill: From good idea to IP strategy and a viable business model
Inspired by the sport of Kitesurfing, where a surfboard is dragged through the water via the powerful force of a wind-driven kite, Norwegian company Kitemill had a really good idea. Why not apply the same principle for producing CO2–neutral energy at a higher altitude where the winds are stronger and more steady. And by that, the technology behind ‘Kites’ was born.
Great potential in kite energy
Kites are an attractive and interesting source of energy in several parameters:
- The extreme wind conditions and the reach, in which a Kite operates, make up a more efficient source of renewable energy than the traditional windmill. Researchers from Stanford University have estimated that if one percent of all energy in the atmosphere’s jet streams could be utilized, it would cover the entire need for energy of the whole world. Stanford’s researchers used jet stream windmills at an altitude of 10 kilometers and it is a clear indicator of the potential.
- The costs of production are lower compared to the traditional windmill due to the simplicity of the construction.
- Kites can quickly be put up – and just as quickly be taken down again. This reduces the risk of damages.
Kitemill had a new and potentially revolutionizing invention in their possession, however, they lacked the necessary knowledge about patent rights and about how to do business in an industry characterized by subsidized technologies. Especially, the last aspect was important to Kitemill and one of the main reasons for choosing precisely Plougmann Vingtoft.
Plougmann Vingtoft’s experts were able to put together a long-term IP strategy and enter into the necessary legal contracts like licence and co-operation agreements. However, the crucial thing that helped Kitemill along was the counselling from Plougmann Vingtoft’s close partner company, tto, who are experts in commercializing ideas and inventions.
Among other things, tto’s consultants were able to contribute with important knowledge about the business opportunities in the wind industry, which is a relatively small industry in Norway. Furthermore, tto assisted in putting together a plan for developing their idea into a sustainable business, which means, that Kitemill now has taken an important step towards a commercial breakthrough.
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