Minesto – Harnessing Tidal Power as a Prime Mover

Minesto is an innovative Swedish company that extracts energy from tidal currents. The technology is unique as it allows for energy production even in slow ocean currents where other technologies cannot operate effectively. The solution is based on an underwater kite that, propelled by the lift from the ocean current, flies in a figure-eight pattern. By harnessing energy from the currents, it drives a turbine and generates electricity in a manner that is efficient, environmentally friendly, and innovative.

The value of the company is directly linked to the technical principle and its related technologies. Therefore, the patent portfolio is crucial for the company.

Minesto originated from SAAB in Linköping and Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship, where research ideas are put into practice. Early on, they ensured that the core technical solution was protected by patents. Subsequently, they have continued with follow-on patents for critical subsystems and associated technologies, such as patenting anchoring solutions and system configurations. All sub-patents refer back to the foundational patent and today, the company holds close to 90 patents in various parts of the world. Patenting has been crucial for Minesto and necessary to attract investors.

Good help from patent attorney

Today, the company collaborates with established partners in industrial contexts in the EU, Asia, and the USA, where the patent portfolio is a cornerstone for large-scale initiatives, often centred around preservation and defence. From the outset, Minesto has used the same patent agency with the same patent engineers, who have written and shaped all the patent applications. They are now deeply familiar with both the technology and the company.

Ett porträtt på VD Martin Edlund
Martin Edlund

Minesto has the whole world as a potential market, but certain areas are particularly suitable initially due to the geographical conditions with tides and the surrounding industrial infrastructure. Martin Edlund, CEO of Minesto, states that their goal is to become leaders in renewable energy production and contribute to a sustainable energy transition.

– Our technology is an essential component for balancing greenhouse gases with the base power that tides provide. This technology does not take up any land area, can be implemented in most locations, and forms an important part of the global solution for achieving Net Zero, says Martin.

The challenges with the technical solution and type of energy the company offers are that it is entirely new in commercial and strategic electricity contexts, explains Martin. Educating widely about energy storage and alternative technologies is hard work that the company dedicates itself to in all collaborations. Here, they call for more support from societal actors to establish the first commercial facilities.

– The global energy transition will not succeed without innovation, asserts Martin.

Do you have any advice for an innovative start-up?

– A technology startup often has limited resources. You should never skimp on IP protections, it's the worst thing you can do. Utilize qualified advice early on, apply for grants to file patents, it's important! says Martin.

The interview was made in 2024. Photo: Minesto