Deep tech startup kiutra develops next-generation refrigeration devices based on magnetic cooling. The ESA BIC Bavaria incubatee is the first company worldwide that can consistently achieve very low temperatures close to absolute zero without the use of cryogens. Other state-of-the-art cooling methods for Kelvin and sub-Kelvin temperatures usually use expensive and rare liquified gases “cryogens”. These cryogenic temperatures are needed for various scientific and industrial applications, such as the fast-growing quantum technology and quantum communication market. kiutra’s magnetic cooling technology requires minimal effort and is scalable even in mass production.
kiutra was founded by Alexander Regnat, Jan Spallek and Tomek Schulz in 2018. The team started their one-year incubation at ESA BIC Bavaria’s Oberpfaffenhofen location on 1 January 2019.
kiutra’s co-founder Tomek Schulz is interviewed by Lena Nietbaur, Deputy Head of Marketing & Communications at ESA BIC Bavaria’s managing company AZO.
LN: Please give us a sneak peek of your product and the team behind it.
kiutra builds sustainable cooling solutions for basic science and technology. Our products are based on an innovative magnetic cooling technique and allow very low (cryogenic) temperatures to be achieved with minimal effort.
The company is a spin-off from the Department of Physics of the Technical University of Munich. Today, our team consists mainly of physicists. Most team members have a strong background in low-temperature physics or cryo-engineering and have already worked together successfully for many years.
LN: What has been your company’s biggest challenge so far?
Our cooling technology allows solutions for various applications to be built. The biggest challenge so far has been the further development of our basic technology to a first highly integrated product that fulfils real life customer requirements.
LN: Can you explain the three main ingredients of your recipe for success?
So far our main ingredients for success perhaps have been technical expertise, endurance and the support by various strong partners: Of course building a deep tech Startup requires technical expertise, but it is probably even more important to also have also the endurance to transform new ideas into commercial innovation. Finally, we believe that in addition to having a great team, building a successful company is not possible without the right partners, in our case e.g. for marketing, production and financing.
LN: What do you expect from ESA BIC Bavaria and how do you think the initiative and its network will help you to kick-start your business case?
We are very happy to be part of the ESA BIC Bavaria. Apart from the financial support to push our technical and business development, the incubation program allows us to connect with experts within the aero-space and research community and increases our visibility.
LN: What do you think to benefit from the DLR support?
For kiutra, DLR it is not only a promising development partner, but also a potential customer. Therefore we hope to get further insights about DLR’s usage and requirements of cryogenic temperatures.
LN: Let’s reach for the stars – what is going to happen in kiutra’s future?
We are working hard to establish kiutra as a reliable supplier for top-notch cryogenic equipment. In parallel, we are developing our technology further towards mass applications, e.g. in the fast growing quantum computing and quantum communications market on earth, but perhaps someday even in space.