In regelmässigen Abständen versorgt uns Sunnie J. Groeneveld mit einem spannenden Interview. Diesmal hat sie sich mit Rico Chandra, CEO von Artkis, getroffen.

rico chandra

Arktis Radiation Detectors wurde 2007 gegründet und ist ein Spin-off der ETH Zürich. Das Unternehmen ist spezialisiert auf die Erkennung von strahlendem Material zur Unterbindung von Schmuggel radioaktiver Materialien sowie andere Anwendungen im Bereich der nuklearen Sicherheit.

In den letzten beiden Jahren hat das Unternehmen grössere Finanzierungsrunden mit internationalen Investoren abgeschlossen und zählt u. a. das US Department of Defense zu seinen Auftraggebern. Erste Kontakte in den USA haben sie bereits 2007 geknüpft, als Co-Founder Giovanna Davatz Teil der Schweizer Startup Nationalmannschaft, den venture leaders, war.

SUNNIE: What do you do?
RICO: We detect radiation signatures from shielded nuclear materials such as plutonium and uranium. Our technology enables you to detect and differentiate weak radiation signature from the natural background radiation. That’s very important in the field of security. If you are not good at making that distinction you have a lot of false alarms.

SUNNIE: How did you get to do what you are doing today?
RICO: I studied physics at ETH and later completed my phD at CERN where I worked on a technology for studying dark matter in the universe. This technology lies at the heart of Arktis radiation detectors.

SUNNIE: Who are your customers?
RICO: We started out as a security pure-play; our clients include the US Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment. Recently we have also expanded into private industry. For example, we just installed a radiation portal monitor at a steel mill in Europe. The private industry is increasingly going to be a growth-market for us.

SUNNIE: What’s the vision for Arktis?
RICO: We want to make the world a safer place. We want to do this by providing the detection technologies that enables not just governments or professional specialists to detect nuclear radiation, but also everyday users. We see it as one big market and we want to take a leadership position in it.