From scientific research to business idea: The Story of Fibion


From scientific research to business idea: The Story of Fibion

The times when researches stayed behind laboratory doors have changed. Today researchers are bringing their findings forward and successfully turning them into businesses. This is the story of Fibion.

Implementing research evidence into practice is a very challenging but rewarding  process. This is an inspiring story about a group of researchers, who came up with an unique business idea while working on their scientific research projects. They identified the underestimated problem of excessive sitting in modern life and the potential of their solution to find a niche in the app and gadget market for physical activity and health.  

Two years ago a company named Fibion was established with a mission to show people how to get rid of the health hazards of sitting. In 2016 their product appeared to the market, offering comprehensive sitting and activity analysis, which was designed to provide fitness and health professionals with an easy, yet credible, evidence-based tool.


The story of Fibion stretches back to a research group at the University of Jyväskylä’s Department of Biology of Physical Activity in 2009. An active member of this group, Olli Tikkanen would go on to publishing the world’s first PhD studying the health impacts of everyday activities using electromyography that detects even smallest of small muscle activities.


As the research group gathered interesting scientific findings that they felt would make a difference outside of laboratory, eventually it was decided to spin a company out in 2014. Together, Tikkanen and fellow researcher Arto Pesola teamed up with Tommo Reti’s information technology and entrepreneurship know-how and Fibion Inc. was born.

Releasing its landmark product onto the market beginning of this year 2016, the company has picked up already considerable traction among corporate wellness practitioners and health professionals, as well as among enthusiasts who are ready to step up to even more accurate self-monitoring.

By resting in the pocket next to the thigh, Fibion follows orientation and movement of the thigh and can accurately detect the full spectrum of physical activities, including any previously undetectable time spent sitting and standing. The resultant data is collected during waking hours over seven days, helping to determine whether the person meets recommended levels of sitting time and how well they can interrupt harmful long-term sitting periods.


From the behavioral point of view, the shift from conventional encouragement of physical activity to merely changing sitting habits is a key to sustainable results. In fact, people might feel bad for not exercising three times per week, but at the same time they might be sitting for 12 hours in a bad position every single day without even thinking about it.  “In developed countries, millions of people are suffering from a sedentary lifestyle, obesity and resulting health problems,” Olli Tikkanen, partner and PhD (Sports and Health) at Fibion Inc. explains. “Sitting is associated with weight gain, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and even premature mortality.”


In fact, such inactivity has become the fourth leading cause of premature death in the Western countries.

The value of individuals and companies as fastest drivers of change can not be underestimated. There is an opportunity for everyone to see the results of their research being implemented. However, success requires the researcher to be self-aware of own strengths and weaknesses, to take the initiative in own hands and build a team with complementary skills.

We hope to see more researchers follow Fibion’s lead and take proactive actions in bringing their solutions to the hands of the users!

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