Prestigious Environment Prize to Solar Lighting Innovators

"We are extremely honored and inspired. This really confirms how our little project is developing and becoming quite meaningful," says Marcus Fransson, Managing Director of Parans, based in Gothenburg, Sweden The prize, which will be awarded during IVAs annual meeting on 24 September, is a good example of sustainable technology development. It is also an example of successful cooperation between enthusiastic and motivated individuals from varied and complimentary backgrounds. Parans was founded in 2003. However, construction engineer Torsten Mattson, began contemplating how to effectively illuminate dark areas inside buildings many years earlier. He later met Bengt Steneby, an architect who solved the problem by using fiber optics to collect and lead light into buildings.
In 2002, two innovators from Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship, Nils Nilsson and Marcus Fransson met and developed a product together. Rikard Edwards got involved in the project that same year and was responsible for market research in Europe.
Parans has expanded and entered the international market and has approximately 50 installations throughout Australia, the Philippines, China, India, USA, Canada and Europe. In Sweden, Parans technology can be found primarily in hospitals and public facilities. The hospital in Södertälje and IKEA in Bilbao are among their customers. "The prize money will be used to finance an exciting research project which will further improve our technology," says Marcus Fransson.

The jurys motivation: "The WWF Carl Mannerfelt Prize 2008 has been awarded to a group of five entrepreneurs who have developed a system where solar panels and fiber optics collect and lead natural sunlight to lighting fixtures in dark areas of buildings. The system has gained attention and been installed in many areas around the world. It is an excellent example of an initiative which combines environmental issues with longterm, sustainable economic and technical development.

Watch the video about Parans innovative solution:

For questions, please contact,: Rikard Eduards, Marketing Manager, Parans: +46 (0) 31-20 15 90, +46 (0)708-755 785 Marie von Zeipel, Press Officer, WWF, +46 (0)8-624 74 03, +46 (0)70-629 10 77 Birgitta Björkskär, Press Officer, IVA, +46 (0)8-791 30 41, +46 (0)70-747 58 68 Lars Jilmstad, Press Manager, Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, +46 (0)8-55 34 30 50

Facts: WWF Carl Mannerfelt Prize will be awarded for the fifteenth time. The prize is a result of a donation by Dr Carl M:son Mannerfelt, who combined his work as a business leader with his interest in conservation and Physical Geography. The motto for the prize is "Conservation and development." The jury consists of representatives from WWF Sweden, The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and The Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences, IVA.

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