News

Karsa team explores Standup Paddling and Windsurfing

Taking advantage of relaxed rules on assembly due to the corona pandemic, the Karsa team enjoyed an afternoon on the water and got to finally meet in person again and get to know each other in a different environment. The weather was perfect for the occasion with plenty of sun, mild temperatures and light wind. We received instruction on standup paddling before venturing on a tour around Kuusisaari. And yes, some of our talented crew managed to stay dry!  The more fearless ones also tried windsurfing lesson and managed to sail out and back! A few of them got infected by the sailing bug and signed up to get more instruction on the wobbly board!

The day ended with a relaxing snack and drink in the sun on the terrace of a sea side cafe and an opportunity to discuss in person Karsa’s next steps and catch up with team members. 

Karsa MION provides key insights into fine particle production processes in coniferous forests.

Figure 6 of Iyer, S., Rissanen, M.P., Valiev, R. et al. Molecular mechanism for rapid autoxidation in α-pinene ozonolysis. Nat Commun 12, 878 (2021).

Karsa’s multi-scheme chemical ionization inlet (MION) sub-second reaction time was the key enabler in a study recently published in Nature Communications. A team of scientists from Tampere UniversityINAR/University of Helsinki, University of Washington and our partner company Aerodyne Research, Inc. used MION to examine large new particle formation in conifer forests by studying molecular mechanisms, specifically rapid autoxidation in α-pinene ozonolysis.

 

In a statement by University of Tampere, lead author Siddharth Iyer said: “The key issue, unaccounted for in previous studies, is the vast excess energy released in the initial reaction of ozone with the a-pinene molecule. Our research reveals how this energy can break certain chemical bonds inside the a-pinene molecule, which would otherwise slow down the formation of aerosol-forming products to the point of irrelevance. In contrast, the reaction mechanism discovered by us allows these products to form within less than one second”. 

 

Matti Rissanen, assistant professor in Experimental Aerosol Science at Tampere University explains: “The MION enabled us to study much shorter reaction times than has been achieved previously for realistic atmospheric conditions. The novel inlet design allowed to inspect the reaction products, and especially the reactive radical intermediates, even below 100 ms timeframe. This was paramount for showing how fast the autoxidation can propagate in biogenic monoterpenes, the most common direct source of atmospheric secondary organic aerosol.”

 

This and another recent study demonstrate, how Karsa’s innovative products enable ground breaking research in atmospheric science. We strongly believe that these studies are just the beginning of the discoveries MION will make possible. For more information about MION in your projects, please contact us at sales@karsa.fi.

Karsa MION direct field observations shed light on heterogeneous processes on marine aerosol

Karsa multi-scheme chemical ionization inlet (MION) was deployed during an intensive measurement campaign at Mace Head atmospheric research station in Ireland. In this study published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of AmericaMION was at the core of the bromide-based chemical ionization atmospheric pressure interface time-of-flight mass spectrometer (Br-CI-APi-TOF). MION enabled a team lead by scientist from INAR/University of Helsinki and Tampere University to measure HOI, ICl, and IBr simultaneously with high resolution. Limits of detection (LOD) were determined to be 3-5 times lower than earlier studies at 0.09, 0.15, 0.08, and 0.07 pptv (1 min-average, 3σ) for HOI, ICl, IBr, and I2, respectively.Karsa is proud that five of the authors of the study are co-founders, and demonstrate how Karsa’s products and people support ground breaking research. For more information about MION please contact us at sales@karsa.fi

Happy Holidays

The year 2020 is coming to an end. We want to thank all our customers, partners and investors for their continued support during these daring times. Karsa has certainly been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in many different ways: projects were delayed, customer installations hampered, and we had to adjust to remote working and integrating new employees through mostly video calls. Nevertheless, we achieved milestones like opening the German branch, successful demonstrations of new ultra sensitive detection applications with customers, and winning and participating in our first Horizon 2020 project. As a team, we certainly have grown stronger and look forward to an exciting and prosperous 2021 with new projects and products. We wish you all the joys of the season and happiness throughout the coming year. 

Karsa is partner in Horizon 2020 project GIDPROvis to develop novel detector technology

GID-SIPRO analyzers

A consortium led by the Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (VERIFIN) of the Chemistry Department of the University of Helsinki has been awarded a 3.9 M€ grant the EU’s Horizon 2020 Future Emerging Technologies (FET Open) call (cut-off date: 18 September 2019). This call had a total of ~450 proposals, of which 49 got funded. FET Open supports the early-stages of the science and technology research and innovation around new ideas towards radically new future technologies.

The consortium behind the project GIDPROvis (Gas Ion Distillation and Sequential Ion Processing Technologies for Identification and Visualization of Chemicals in Airborne Vapors) consists of the following partners: VERIFIN – University of Helsinki (FI, Coordinator), Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universitaet Hannover (DE), Airsense Analytics GmbH (DE), ATOS SPAIN SA (ES), National Technical University of Athens (EL), T4i Engineering (EL) and Karsa Oy (FI).

This is the first time Karsa Oy participates in a Horizon 2020 project. The three-year project started on October 1, 2020 and Karsa will contribute with its expertise in mass spectrometry, chemical ionization and is leading the work package to test the devices under real world conditions.

In GIDPROvis, two original breakthrough technologies – Gas Ion Distillation (GID) and Sequential Ion Processing (PRO) – provide live visualization (vis) of volatile chemicals in ambient environments giving humans access to a molecular world heretofore unseen. Molecular auras in GIDPROvis are delivered by small, portable GIDPRO analyzers based on high speed separation of ions derived from individual chemicals and their identification using an emerging generation of ion analyzers. While GIDPROvis is principally technology driven, aspects of emotional responses of humans to massive access to chemical information, impacts from these perceptions and human psychology will be explored in simulated, controlled visual experiences of chemical auras. Our aim is to launch a fourth generation of methodology for chemical analysis aligned intrinsically to 5G and IoT communication with miniaturized, ultra-low detection level, live data analyzers to detect and identify chemicals in complex matrices.

 

 

We were looking for a Full Stack Developer to join our team.

New Karsa team member will start in September!
Thank you all for your interest in this position.

In this position you will develop the operating software for our ultrasensitive chemical threat detector. We mainly use Python and JavaScript in our software development and therefore hope you have gained experience coding with these languages in your previous work, studies or own projects. Particularly, you should feel comfortable on the interface between front-end and back-end. We also appreciate experience and eagerness to learn API design, hardware programming, data-based software development and software lifecycle. Most importantly we value high motivation to broaden your personal skills amongst our team.

You have the opportunity to join an internationally operating tech start-up developing chemical detection technology for the benefit of public safety, healthcare and science. Once on board you will receive support from your colleagues as you continue to grow and take ownership and larger responsibility of our software development.

Our ideal candidate has:

  • Experience in Python and JavaScript
  • Ability to comprehend and manage software back-end and front-end development
  • Enthusiasm towards technology
  • Eagerness to learn
  • A team-oriented mindset
  • Excellent English language skills

Interests in following will be an advantage:

  • API design
  • Hardware programming
  • Automation
  • Big data
  • Research

What we offer you:

  • Professional challenges and developments
  • Possibility to receive large responsibility of the software development
  • Chance to develop breakthrough technology for a better world
  • Opportunity to work remotely part-time
  • Great atmosphere during and after work time
  • Fringe benefits, coffee, cake and much more

Who we are

Karsa Oy is a start-up that creates innovative chemical threat detectors. Based on Karsa’s own technology, which was originally developed for highly sensitive atmospheric research measurements, we have developed a prototype of a chemical explosives detection system that has been successfully tested by administrations in various countries. Karsa was founded in 2016 and is located in Helsinki.

Are you ready to take the challenge?
Please submit your CV and application letter in PDF-format and tell us, why you want to join Karsa: careers@karsa.fi

Please mention your salary request, possible GitHub (or similar) profile and possible starting date in your application documents.

Download the Full Stack Developers position from here.

Karsa Oy brings technology solutions to Germany

Karsa Oy, developer and manufacturer of chemical threat detectors for security applications, has launched a new business enterprise, Karsa Oy (Deutschland), in the Republic of Germany. Its innovative Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry technology was originally developed for climate change research and has been initially adapted for the detection of explosives in air cargo.  

Finnish startup launches ultra-sensitive chemical threat detection technology to academia, law enforcement, and military.

Since opening our branch in January 2020, we have already signed a contract with a new customer.” said H.J. Jost, co-founder and chief executive officer of Karsa Oy. “With our own representation we can better tailor our products to the needs of users in academia, military, law enforcement agencies and in the broader homeland security market in Germany”. 

BACKGROUND

Karsa Oy was founded in 2016 by a team of sampling and detection experts from the University of Helsinki, international industry partners and Lifeline Ventures, the leading venture capital investor in Finland, and with the support of Business Finland, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation.

Karsa Oy is developing chemical threat detection equipment with high sensitivity and specificity to provide dramatically increased detection capabilities at lower costs than current technologies. Bringing this technology to the global market place is expected to transform the security industry with options that will raise the level of security in markets including civil aviation, beginning with air cargo screening. Karsa’s technology also has applications for customs and border protection as well as emergency management.

The branch address is Elberfelder Str. 2, 40213 Düsseldorf

karsa@karsa.fi

Auf deutsch / suomeksi

Season greetings

As 2019 draws to a close, we want to thank all our customers, partners and investors for their support. We wish you all the joys of the season and happiness throughout the coming year. We are looking forward to an exciting and prosperous 2020 with new projects and products.

Karsa is hiring

Karsa is hiring! We are always looking for talent: send your resume to careers at karsa.fi. Are you interested in experiencing Helsinki, startup life, and security applications of ultra-sensitive chemical detection methods originally developed for atmospheric research? Check out our current openings on LinkedIn.

Karsa at Bosch Connected World in Berlin

At Slush 2018, Karsa won the Bosch Pitching Challenge “Safety & Security in Smart Cities” and has been invited to exhibit in the startup area of Bosch Connected World from May 15-16 in Berlin, Germany. Our CFO Aleksei Shcherbinin will present Karsa’s vision for Smart City Security. Please stop by our booth STM1 and say hi! Contact us karsa@karsa.fi for your chance to win a ticket to BCW2019

Press Release: Karsa Oy joins European Organisation for Security (EOS)

Joining the Association Provides Karsa Oy with Increased Visibility to European Stakeholders and Opportunities to Collaborate with Key Institutions 

HELSINKI – April 29, 2019 – Karsa Oy, developer and manufacturer of chemical threat detectors for security applications, has joined the European Organisation for Security (EOS), the voice of the European security industry and research community.  

“EOS offers Karsa Oy a seat at the table where future security policies are developed,” said H.J. Jost, co-founder and chief executive officer of Karsa Oy. “Karsa will actively participate in the Security Screening and Detection Technologies Working Group by providing its talent and expertise to help shape the future of explosives vapour detection. Karsa’s broader mission of chemical threat detection is well aligned with EOS goal to keep European citizens, infrastructures and economies secure from evolving threats.”

Karsa Oy is developing explosives detection equipment with high sensitivity and specificity to provide dramatically increased explosives detection capabilities at lower costs than current technologies. Bringing this technology to the global market place is expected to transform the security industry with options that will raise the level of security in markets including civil aviation, beginning with air cargo screening. Karsa’s technology also has application for customs and border protection as well as emergency management.  

“We are pleased to have Karsa Oy join EOS” said  Paolo Venturoni, EOS CEO, “Our members are dedicated to finding economical but effective solutions to CBRNE threats worldwide through superior detection technology. “ 

Karsa Oy was founded in 2016 by a team of sampling and detection experts from the University of Helsinki, international industry partners and Lifeline Ventures, the leading venture capital investor in Finland, and with the support of Business Finland, Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation. 

Karsa reaches important funding milestone in investment deal with Springvest

The additional funding will accelerate the product development and speed up market entry

HELSINKI – April 25, 2019 – Karsa Oy, developer and manufacturer of chemical threat detectors for security applications, has reached the minimum level during a funding round by investment house Springvest Oy.

“Karsa has been looking for ways to accelerate the development of the ScentHound product including the sophisticated software.” said H. J. Jost, co-founder and CEO of Karsa Oy. “While an organic growth scenario was feasible, the team felt strongly that speeding up the market readiness was warranted, given the positive results from different tests of the ScentHound.”

Karsa Oy started working with Springvest Oy in January 2019 and by April 8, 2019 the funding round was live with a target of 1.1-2.1M€ to be raised. Yesterday, the minimum was reached, and the round is progressing rapidly (see below for live update). The funding will enable Karsa to accelerate the productization of the ScentHound and to prepare the international launch activities.

Karsa Oy is developing explosives detection equipment with high sensitivity and specificity to provide dramatically increased explosives detection capabilities at lower costs than current technologies. Bringing this technology to the global market place is expected to transform the security industry with options that will raise the level of security in markets including civil aviation, beginning with air cargo screening. Karsa’s technology also has application for customs and border protection as well as emergency management.  

Karsa Oy was founded in 2016 by a team of sampling and detection experts from the University of Helsinki, international industry partners and Lifeline Ventures, the leading venture capital investor in Finland, and with the support of Business Finland, Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation.

Below you can find a live update on the progress.

Press Release: Karsa Oy Secures Aviation Security Expert, Mark Laustra, for Its Board of Directors

Karsa Oy Secures Aviation Security Expert, Mark Laustra, for Its Board of Directors 

The Addition of Laustra to the Board of Directors Further Strengthens the Position of Karsa Oy, Bringing a Heightened Level of Expertise to Its Board

HELSINKI – January 9, 2019 – Karsa Oy, commercialising chemical ionisation(CI) technology originally developed at the University of Helsinki for security applications, today announced the addition of aviation industry expert, Mark Laustra, to its board of directors. Laustra is venerated as an authority in the space with more than 25 years of experience heading development and strategy for leading companies like Smiths Detection, Astrophysics, and most recently Analogic where Laustra was instrumental in building a U.S. domestic and international market for checkpoint CT technology to make airline passengers safer than ever before.

“The addition of Mark Laustra to our board of directors represents a significant advantage for Karsa Oy as we develop and launch our products into the civil aviation security market,” said H.J. Jost, co-founder and chief executive officer of Karsa Oy. “Mark will be a guiding force, helping direct our product launches and strengthening our position in North America with his background in building the marketplace for aviation security technology in the U.S., and we are thrilled to announce that this industry insider is joining our board of directors.”

Karsa Oy is developing explosives detection equipment with high sensitivity and specificity to provide dramatically increased explosives detection capabilities at lower costs than current technologies. Bringing this technology to the global market place is expected to transform the security industry with options that will raise the level of security in markets including civil aviation, beginning with air cargo screening. Karsa Oy technology has application for customs and border protection as well as emergency management.

“I am pleased for the opportunity to work with Karsa Oy as it brings new, revolutionary technology to the civil aviation space,” said Laustra. “My career has been focused on bringing technologies to market that secure environments and help keep people safe, and I hope to contribute to that goal with this appointment.”

For more information about Karsa Oy and its technologies, please visit www.karsa.fi.

About Karsa Oy

Using technology originally pioneered for ultrasensitive atmospheric trace gas measurements, Karsa is developing explosives detection equipment with very high sensitivity and specificity which will revolutionise the security processes in civil aviation, being more reliable and cost efficient than current approaches. Karsa’s ScentHound platform uses a proprietary version of Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionisation Mass Spectrometry and will be initially targeting air cargo screening for explosives. Karsa envisions to deploy its ultrasensitive chemical threat detection technology into all areas of homeland security, including civil aviation, customs and border patrol, and emergency management. Karsa Oy was founded in 2016 by a team of sampling and detection experts from the University of Helsinki, international industry partners and Lifeline Ventures, the leading venture capital investor in Finland, and with the support of the Business Finland, the Finnish Agency for Innovation. For more information, please visit www.karsa.fi.

Contact:
H.J. Jost, CEO, Karsa Oy
hj.jost@karsa.fi

Press release : Karsa Wins Prestigious Technology Incubation Competition

Helsinki, Finland. – September 14, 2018– Karsa Oy (“Karsa”), a Finnish technology firm, announced today it has won the Cargo Challenge Experience, a technology competition sponsored by Bedek Commercial Aviation, a division of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Karsa will join Bedek’s HANGAR innovation accelerator lab and receive technical and commercial assistance to introduce Karsa’s ScentHound explosives and contraband detection platform to the global air cargo screening market.

Karsa’s ScentHound platform uses a proprietary version of Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionisation Mass Spectrometry.  Originally developed for atmospheric research, the technology is far more sensitive than other methods or technologies such as Ion Mobility detection, making it a more cost-effective explosives and contraband detection solution than other products.

“We are honored HANGAR and IAI have given us the opportunity to help air cargo companies improve security and reduce costs,” said Karsa CEO and co-founder H.J. Jost. “ScentHound accurately detects and identifies explosives and narcotics in cargo containers, without swab samples or opening cargo containers, packages or bags.  Combined with a lower false alarm rate than other technologies, ScentHound is ideal for important security screening applications.”

“Participating at HANGAR’s program for 2018, will allow BEDEK and IAI to add value to customers, both airlines, air cargo shipping companies and enterprises to shorten lead-time at airports, reducing TAT (Turn Around Time) significantly,” says Zviya Baron, the director of HANGAR.

Karsa is preparing to certify the ScentHound platform to the forthcoming European Civil Aviation Commission (ECAC) Explosives Vapour Detection Standard.  The company believes by screening air cargo faster, it could save the European air cargo industry approximately €150 million per year, while improving security.

Karsa was one of only three firms chosen by Bedek, and the only non-Israeli firm selected.  Bedek’s HANGAR innovation laboratory is one of the few accelerators in its field, and the only one in Israel. IAI will make its premises available to allow its physical infrastructures and test aircraft worth tens of million dollars to be used. In addition, it will help in licensing of Karsa’s technology with the Civil Aviation Authority, accessing a fleet of international customers and more.

About Karsa Oy

Karsa Oy was founded in 2016 by a team of sampling and detection experts from the University of Helsinki, and with the support of the TEKES, the Finnish Agency for Innovation. For more information, please contact H.J. Jost, CEO, Karsa Oy at hj.jost@karsa.fi or visit www.karsa.fi.

Israel Aerospace Industries

IAI Ltd. is Israel’s largest aerospace and defense company and a globally recognized technology and innovation leader, specializing in developing and manufacturing advanced, state-of-the-art systems for air, space, sea, land, cyber and homeland security. Since 1953, the company has provided advanced technology solutions to government and commercial customers worldwide.  IAI also designs and manufactures business jets and aerostructures, performs overhaul and maintenance on commercial aircraft and converts passenger aircraft to refueling and cargo configurations. IAI is Israel’s leading Aerospace company, with an annoual revenue of $4Bl.