The Previwo Team (from left) Aud Kari Fauske, Cristopher Nilsson, Karoline Skaar Amthor, Øystein Klakegg, Kira Salonius and Camilla Skagen.

Kistefos does not wish to reveal the amount it is investing, but has made commitments in terms of both funds and company directors at the start-up company Previwo.

Previwo works with preventive applications addressing fish health and welfare in the aquaculture sector, which is experiencing major financial losses linked to bacterially-induced ulcers in salmon.
“Losses linked to these problems are estimated to be close to NOK 2 billion annually”, says Erik Borge, Investment Director at Kistefos, in a press release issued by Previwo. “Moreover, the positive ripple effects of this work will be of even greater value to the industry”, he says.

Good bacteria boost productivity

The use of beneficial bacteria has been shown to improve productivity and fish welfare. The first commercial product from Previwo is a probiotic protocol called Stembiont. It involves a method in which the fish are immersed in a tank containing a special bacterial flora which does not harm the fish but which prevents attack by harmful bacteria. The product has been developed in close collaboration with partners and clients. Full-scale clinical field trials carried out on about four million farmed salmon in Norway in the period 2014 to 2018 have consistently demonstrated improved growth, reduced ulcer development and lower levels of mortality.

Professor Henning Sørum at his laboratory together with Ann Ingeborg Wålen from Kjeller Innovation. Professor Sørum is continuing his commitment to research and the development of new products. Photo: Previwo.

Designed for growth

Stembiont can be applied in all regions where Atlantic salmon are farmed. There are currently plans to introduce it to the Chilean and Canadian markets next year. Equity capital investment from Kistefos will now enable Previwo to accelerate its growth phase.

“Kistefos appears to welcome our ideas, and with them on our team we now have sufficient funds to push on”, says Kira Salonius, General Manager at Previwo, in Monday’s edition of the financial daily Finansavisen.

About previwo

  • Established in 2013
  • Has five employees
  • Manufactures probiotics and vaccines for the aquaculture sector.
  • The company was founded as a result of a verification project conducted jointly by the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and Kjeller Innovation. The project is supported by the Research Council of Norway’s FORNY2020 programme and Innovation Norway.
  • Located at Kjeller and in Oslo.