Success for Empa spin-off

Bruker announces majority investment in MIRO Analytical AG

Oct 4, 2023 | ANNA ETTLIN
As of today, the Empa spin-off MIRO Analytical AG is part of the Bruker Corporation. The spin-off was founded in 2018 by Empa researchers Morten Hundt and Oleg Aseev and develops analytical instruments for measuring greenhouse gases and air pollutants.
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The two co-founders of "MIRO Analytical AG" Oleg Aseev (l.), CTO, and Morten Hundt, CEO. Image: MIRO

Bruker Corporation, a provider of analytical instruments for science and industry, today announced a majority stake in Empa spin-off MIRO Analytical AG, which makes instruments for measuring greenhouse gases and pollutants in the atmosphere.

The spin-off was founded in February 2018 by Morten Hundt and Oleg Aseev, at the time postdocs in Empa's Air Pollution / Environmental Technology laboratory. They succeeded in developing a measuring device that can detect ten greenhouse gases and air pollutants simultaneously, and with high precision: carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, ammonia, water vapor, nitrogen oxides, nitrous oxide and ozone, as well as sulfur dioxide and methane.

Previously, a separate measurement method – and a separate instrument – was required for almost every one of these gases. Hundt and Aseev developed their method based on laser absorption spectroscopy. Using several quantum cascade lasers, different gases can be detected and quantified quickly and accurately in a compact device.

The idea was well received: the start-up was accepted into the ESA BIC Switzerland funding program in 2019, and in the same year also won an EIC Accelerator Grant under the EU's"Horizon 2020 funding program, as well as further funding from the Technology Fund (2020) and from the Swiss Climate Foundation (2021) in subsequent years.

The number of customers also increased, mainly institutions such as the Jülich Research Center and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). As part of the Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS), a network of more than 140 stations for measuring greenhouse gases in Europe, Empa also uses one of the MIRO instruments, while another is used for climate research in an aircraft of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The high-end instruments offer the high precision that is required in research.

The majority investment by Bruker Corporation is another success for MIRO. "We are excited to be part of the Bruker family," says Hundt, now CEO of the start-up. "Together, we will provide significant benefits to our customers in the environmental, climate research and industrial sectors."