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The Idea: More Efficient Know-how Transfer for Competitiveness

IKT AG is based on the idea of improving systematically the efficiency of know-how transfer between universities and globally active industrial companies. The idea was devel­oped at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with partners from Zu­rich, Berlin (Germany), Minneapolis (USA), Yanji (PR China) and Pusan (South Korea) during 1998-2000, when Ernst Joerin was the President of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences at Winterthur.

A think-tank of professionals with industrial as well as academic background was es­tablished in order to  elaborate a truly customer oriented concept for knowledge transfer. The result of the studies was the “Know-how Transfer Center” (KTC), a professional business tool for the decisive initial rapid analysis phase of problem solutions with the primary objective of first understanding the basic alternatives and then bringing a team of the right people together to work with highest possible efficiency during the practical implementa­tion phase.

The Realization 2001/05 (History)

The implementation of the KTC concept into practical use was started under the leader­ship of the university. Early in the realization phase, it was recognized that a private com­pany would be the much better venue for such an undertaking than the government de­pendent university organization. As a consequence, the private company “IKT Consulting Joerin” was established in December 2000. IKT Consulting Joerin was an instant success. Consequently, it was decided to set up a privately-held limited company, IKT AG, in July 2001. The new company started with a turnover of CHF 200’000.- in 2001 and reached a first record of CHF 850’000.- in 2003, thereby making also the first profit, according to the plan. The big shadow, however, came over the company in 2004, when the main development project in Azerbaijan had to be stopped for reasons of unacceptable payment disputes with the Government and International Financing Organization, among other internal reasons. A considerable unexpected loss in 2004 was the impact to a radical business reorganization 2004/05. Supported by internal refinancing the 2005 turnaround was made.

The first 5-years business was made with Swiss industrial and university consulting (40%), the Central Asian development project (50%) and other mixed university/industry promotion between Arab States and Switzerland (10%). For the latter activities a subsidiary was founded in Baku and some partner  office co-operations were established in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Shanghai, beside several less formal university expert and business partner relations to more than 20 global regions. About 25 major customer consulting and realization projects were done in the first 5 years. 10 of them were terminated with great success, 10 others with acceptable results and 5 of them with no success. Two third of the projects were realized in Europe. The originally starting activity fields “IT” and “Business Center Promotion” were left in 2003, the company IKT Baku Ltd was sold in 2004.

The radical new focus 2006 : product niche business ECC + MAS

The founder, main shareholder and CEO decided to quit the consulting business and to develop stepwise a product niche  business  -  based on the systematic evaluations done in 2005.

The first step consisted in a non-exclusive distribution  co-operation with the US company MTL Measurement Technology Corporation , Minneapolis. Originally the representation in Europe for the full range of MTL products was intended : environmentally controlled rooms, chambers, filter weighing robotics, filters and measurement analysis service. The products are used mainly by the Automotive industry for their particulate matter filter weighings in order to check the compliance with the dramatically reduced particulate matter emission of the diesel engines, as implied by the environmental regulations, after the USA since 2006, also for EU  after 2008.

The second step consisted in selecting the niche and developing the product used for a focus at IKT, because the full range of MTL products was too broad. IKT took the chance of getting its own product by developing and manufacturing the ECC2 chamber, together with the Swiss production partner Sepp Oberholzer AG. The similarly developed MAS Measurement Analysis Service product , in co-operation with Mettler Toledo (CH, Vaisala (SF/D), Schiltknecht (CH) and a few other EU/US components suppliers represents a matched service /consulting product used for the clients analysis and financial project risk reduction ( USD 100 – 500`000.--).

The perspectives to 2010

Based on the first  sales and client`s operational success already made in 2006, with important clients like HORIBA (USA), NISSAN and VOLVO, the perspectives for a strongly increasing turn-over of a few million USD are very promising. The focused activity will be continued until 2010 before considering new  or additional strategic opportunities.

Thereby the substantial IKT international consultants and partner companies network from the past will be used especially in the consulting type acquisition phase  for the new automotive and other industrial/scientific clients segments.

The former project activities like for instance “Advanced Efficient Waste Removal Systems and Components” were transferred from IKT AG  to the IKT Development Ltd.

The Network

IKT’s success depends on its ability to bring together a team of experts to carry out the consulting task at hand. In the beginning, about 50 experts from a wide range of fields registered with the company. Typically, these experts are freelancers, because they are usually engaged as managers or specialists in the industry, as scientists or professors at universities or they work for their own, independent business. Together with the 30 partner companies this network can be used now especially in the consulting analysis type acquisition phase for the new ECC product business.


The Company and its main Product:

ECC Environmentally Controlled Chambers

The ECC2
lled Chamber System

for the
Weighing Accuracy
Performance Level

1 µg

Made in Switzerland

The picture shows:  

  • The Weighing Chamber on the left hand side;
  • The Technical Components Box on the right side;
  • The Control Unit (including PC and Screen) in the right part of the Technical Components Box


The IKT “ Two-Step Problem Solution “ Tradition

IKT focused its consulting in the past specifically on the first step, the start of a project. We believe that the success of any  task depends on the rapid analysis of the problem at hand, the evaluation of basic solutions and the presentation of alternatives, because there is never only one way to solve a problem. Finally, a proposal for the optimal way for realization is elabo­rated.

This is still true. The realization of the first step in the ECC product business is made with all the measurement equipment and know-how comprised in the MAS.    

With this specific information presented to the customers they really feel free in the problem solving approach and in the following second step, the realization.

The realization of the second step is the reliable delivery and after sales service comprised in the ECC Chamber Product.


The Competitive Advantages:

Rapid Analysis with Superior Graphical Illustration (MAS, first step)

Product Efficiency Performance (ECC, second step)

The key factor for success is first  to make the right decisions with limited time and information. Second, our products are directed to the client`s use and priority criteria: more efficient compared to competitors solutions.


The Founders

Ernst Joerin, Dr. sc.nat. ETH, founded first IKT Consulting Joerin and then IKT AG, be­cause he understands the needs of scientists as well as industrial managers and aims to build a bridge between both areas by providing the means to enable a systematic and efficient know-how transfer as well as the product business.

His  understanding comes from his experience as the President/CEO of Zurich University of Ap­plied Sciences in Winterthur in the years 1998 – 2000. He was the leading President and CEO for establish­ing the new university, the largest of its kind in Switzerland (3’000 students, 400 profes­sors, 200 employees), by merging three, previously independent schools (Business Ad­ministration, Engineering and Communication/Translation) into one entity, with the aim to provide higher education for students, which covers the rapidly changing needs of organi­zations in today’s business environment. Previous to this engagement, Ernst Joerin was a scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Institute for Physical Chemistry. Afterwards he held  top management positions in International Swiss high-tech export companies during more than 15 years. He is the maker.

André Haelg, lic.iur./MBA was a most important co-initiator in developing the idea of the Know-how Transfer Concept. Today he serves as the Chairman of the IKT Board. To fulfill this task, he brings with him 15 years of experience from top positions in Swiss Banking and International Travel Agency Business. He was elected as Director of Administration at the Zurich University of Applied Science in 1989 and is currently the Dean of the Business, Management and Law  Faculty.

Alfred P. Müller, lic.oec HSG and attorney-at-law is the Vice Chairman of the Board. His thourough knowledge of Swiss and International business and finance law and his experience in mergers & acquisitions are an important contribution  to IKT’s expertise. He has a well established company in Eastern Switzerland.

Furthermore, the company is today supported by a few smaller shareholders which contribute actively to the business promotion with the related stakeholders. Among them are Dr. phil.nat. Ulrich Joerin, contributing to the MAS, including the geo-technical, client specific proposals, and Lic.Oec.FH Ruedi Bieri, contributing to the legal and financial security of international projects.


The new Board 2007

As a consequence of the new product business focus with ECC2 and MAS the board was changed. Together with the founder Ernst Joerin  the younger generation, represented by Ulrich Joerin and Rudolf Bieri, direct the enterprise to the next milestone 2010.

The IKT Group is located at the Technopark Winterthur, in the Greater Zurich Area / Switzerland. The CEO Ernst Joerin was the Initiator and Co-Founder of this Technopark, which is closely co-operating with the Swiss Largest University of Applied Sciences in the same City of Winterthur.


IKT AG Winterthur, Switzerland

The International Know-how Transfer and Trading Network


Today, IKT AG  supplies the complete MAS measurement analysis service, which is needed for micro gram accuracy weighing chamber or room projects. The main product is the Swiss made Environmentally Controlled Chamber ECC, which guarantees the reliable temperature, humidity and other client specific parameters control, mainly used by the Automotive Diesel Engine Emissions Test Centers and Productions (Particulate Filter Weighing).

The company works with about 30 major international business partners and with a small core-team at the IKT Headquarter and Test Center, located in the Technopark Winterthur. 

In the past, the main target of the company was  the promotion of efficient know-how transfer between universities, technology and industrial business partners together with the concerned investors. Usually this consulting activity was  focused on the evaluation phase or starting phase of a project. Sometimes it was extended to the realization phase according to the Client’s need. IKT’s role could  then be a prime or sub-contractor in larger projects, including Government  Administration related programmes.


IKT AG, Im Technopark, Jaegerstrasse 2, CH-8406 Winterthur, Switzerland

Tel. +41-52-214 35 55

Fax +41-52-214 35 56

Mail: info@iktag.com






Copyright © IKT AG, 2003-2010
Last update: 2009-09-14