#ENRIITCyourCoffee Season 4 Episode 4 on Kyma – the spin-off company success story

Welcome to the recap of the #ENRIITCyourCoffee season 4 episode 4 to learn more about the strategies adopted by Kyma /kee-ma/ to move from a spin-off company to the international market of permanent magnet devices. The episode was hosted by Jimmy Andersen, Head of Innovation and Industry at ESS and we had the joy to hear from Raffaella Geometrante, General Director of Kyma SpA Undulars and Permanent Magnet Devices.

This episode was cheerfully started off with Jimmy sharing his “reappearance” and how that feels a bit like being on the sitcom Friends and he is a reappearing character. In reality, the weekly coffee ENRIITCers are all collaborating co-stars in this classic ILO-ICO show and this time we were talking about spin-offs.

Raffaella started the overarching topic of the coffee break, which is to give an economic value to products and research.

Kyma (wave in Greek) was founded in 2008, but the wheels were set in motion before when Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste needed potential suppliers/partners for realising the undulators for the Elettra project Free Electron laser Radiation for Multidisciplinary Investigations (FERMI). Elettra had the knowledge, but not the team nor facilities. Kyma was born from the knowledge drawings and other non-financial intangible assets of Elettra and a financial contribution of Cozylab and Euromisure as depicted below.

The laboratory was set up in 15 min drive away from Elettra location in Trieste Italy, across the border in Sežana, Slovenia as a symbol of multinational collaboration. Raffaella emphasised the importance of a hot start for Kyma, meaning starting with a project at hand. At the start, the project for FERMI demanded 18 undulators, but in 2021 Kyma delivers more than 60 undulators with different characteristics to different locations. The first step for Kyma was to establish itself as a reliable partner and in a way an extension of their customers’ laboratories. At 08:30 in the video, you can see pictures of the different equipment.

After gaining a foothold in the worldwide market with undulators, the next step for the company was to expand the production to permanent magnets and Kyma went for a search for a partner in China due to its richness of natural resources. Kyma didn’t want just a supplier, but they shared their procedures and devices of measurement, to make sure that the supplier can answer the need for high-quality magnets.

In the progression of the company the collaboration, reliability and quality was the main focus, which can be hard for a start-up since the team and resources were small.

This mindset lead to many expansions of products accompanied by collaborations with other institutions such as Cornell University.

Raffaella left us with the below tips for a successful start-up in the field. Listen to her iteration of the below points on the video at 15:15:

  • Hot start – an important contract granted
  • Very careful planning and implementation
  • A very precise definition of:
    • Skills and competencies necessary for the whole business
    • Processes
    • Methods and procedures
  • Develop a whole product – alliances, partnership
  • Create a market: Conferences, trade shows
    • Formalized relation valid for communication.
    • Individuals from the different companies trust each other
    • With large partners: work from the bottom-up, focus energy to establish a relationship with the district office level AND…
  • Do not be surprised that the most difficult partner to manage is your own company

At 18:40 you can drop into our discussion on and if you have further questions to Raffaella, please reach out to her via raffaella.geometrante@kyma-undulators.eu. Raffaella’s presentation can be found here.

Thank you for joining us today, near or far and we welcome you to catch up on the rest of the season here: https://enriitc.eu/enriitcyourcoffee/

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