BioNavis: Excellence in surface plasmon resonance

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In the Tampere region, BioNavis Oy Ltd is doing what no one else in the world can: SPR Navi instruments represent a generation shift in surface plasmon resonance technology.

The potential of the company, the opportunity to build a brand and the desire to strike out on her own are the reasons why Johana Kuncova-Kallio left the academic world to join the ranks of BioNavis in 2011. She began as Business Development Manager and assumed the post of CEO last spring.

“We develop products that measure phenomena occurring at surfaces. Our devices are the only ones in the world that can work with almost any material out there,” Kuncova-Kallio says.

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SPR Navi instruments have been developed for surface analysis in a number of key application areas, expanding the use of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) from biomolecular interactions in life sciences to new applications such as material characterization and sensor development. The devices are mostly used for research and development.

“The SPR Navi devices yield measurement results that can be used to improve surface properties in all kinds of solutions from cell phone displays, windows and solar cells to food packaging. And since our technology is not limited to a single application, we are developing utilization methods together with our customers. Currently, we are researching the use of the device with biological cells,” Kuncova-Kallio explains.

​In the photos on the BioNavis website, the company employees are playing with surfaces and molecules. The photos were Johana Kuncova-Kallio's idea: business is serious, but that is not all it has to be.​
​In the photos on the BioNavis website, the company employees are playing with surfaces and molecules. The photos were Johana Kuncova-Kallio's idea: business is serious, but that is not all it has to be.​

BioNavis Oy Ltd operates in the Tampere region and has found suitable premises in Ylöjärvi. The majority of the company's subcontractors are from the Tampere region, and the local research and education support the company's operating possibilities. Since the beginning, the BioNavis has been international and oriented towards the global markets.

“Our staff includes people from a variety of countries, and guests and partners visit us from all over the world to see how research is done in these parts. Correspondingly, our own employees travel the world to provide information on our operations,” Kuncova-Kallio says.

​Johana Kuncova-Kalli​o​. Photo: Päivi Stenroos​
​Johana Kuncova-Kalli​o​. Photo: Päivi Stenroos​

Kuncova-Kallio estimates that she herself spends about 150 days a year travelling for work: at conferences and seminars presenting the technology to potential customers, or at companies and universities engaging in dialogue with a variety of people. Some 90% of BioNavis' production goes into export to Asia, Europe and North America.

“It is extremely easy to set off anywhere from Tampere, and I enjoy to travelling.” I meet smart people around the world and, at the same time, hear diverse views on life, business and politics,” Kuncova-Kallio says.

It is also nice to return to Tampere. Kuncova-Kallio originally left Prague to study in the UK. She has lived in Tampere for 15 years and feels comfortable in the town. The safety, peacefulness and nature make the Tampere region “all bright” for Kuncova-Kallio.

“The distances in the area are short – everything you may need is a maximum of 30 minutes from home. It’s easy and convenient to get around and do things with the children, and you can take a dip in the lake for a swim after work,” says Kuncova-Kallio.

BioNavis Ltd is also featured in Business and Research Directory.

Translation: Lingoneer

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