Do You Have a Quiet H.E.R.O. In Your Portfolio Protecting & Fighting For You? [Nordic Global #1 Technology Leader in Weather, Environmental, and Industrial Measurement]
"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." - Albert Einstein
Curiosity is a quiet kind of superpower that is key to a life of meaning and purpose. This illuminating insight by Oscar-winning producer Brian Grazer in his book A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life is distilled from his "curiosity conversations" with some of the world's most interesting people from polio vaccine hero Jonas Salk to Wal-Mart's indomitable founder Sam Walton as he seeks to understand their "emotional curiosity" and mindset that led to the discovery of vaccine to the building of multi-billion business dynasties, conversations that inspired him to create some of the world’s most iconic movies and television shows.
Curiosity comes in different shades and different intensities for different purposes. The technique is the same -asking questions - but the mission and the motivation vary, which make all the difference. It was curiosity and a desire to help people that led Jonas Salk to medicine. It was curiosity that led Salk to investigate the link between the influenza and polio viruses. “The Salk Institute is a curious place, not easily understood, and the reason for it is that this is a place in the process of creation," said Jonas Salk. "We cannot be certain what will happen here, but we can be certain it will contribute to the welfare and understanding of man.”
Grazer's A Curious Mind offers a blueprint for how we can awaken our own curiosity and use it as a superpower in our lives and embraced our curiosity to become better leaders, better creators, better managers, even better romantic partners. The power of a Curious Mind has also forged the enduring and exponential growth trajectory of our quiet H.E.R.O. innovators.
Case Story: Nordic Global #1 Technology Leader in Weather, Environmental, and Industrial Measurement
[Week 28 Sep-2 Oct: +15.4%]
Consider the story of one of our portfolio companies in the Fund, the Nordic global #1 technology leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurement, which is up 12.7% since the inception of the Fund on 28 August 2020, versus MSCI ACWI World index/NASDAQ -3.6%/-5.3% over the same period. The rising dividend-yielding company has also compounded 231% in capital gains in the recent 5 years vs MSCI ACWI World index +39.7%.
As our world faces pressing societal and environmental challenges, it’s more important than ever to base decisions on accurate, reliable data. Climate change and severe weather events drive the need for continued replacement and enhancement of weather observation and forecasting capabilities. In industrial measurements, increasing focus on energy and operations efficiency as well as increasing regulations and requirements for high quality and security drive need for high end industrial instruments and systems.
The company has the largest product portfolio based on proprietary leading technologies in environmental and industrial sensing with most accurate and reliable instruments, algorithms, and software in measurement sensors and instruments, systems, software, digital solutions and services for measuring weather, environment and industrial conditions and processes. Building on over 80 years of experience, the company’s comprehensive range of innovative observation and measurement products and services provide its customers with the means to influence and better understand their environment, and to enhance safety, efficiency, and decision making – enabling its customers to find answers, remove doubt and make smarter decisions, and making an impact on the lives of millions of people all around the world. Customers all over the world and in a multitude of industries use the company’s measurement solutions. Everywhere from forecasting weather, to staying ahead of power outages or monitoring incubators for premature children in hospitals, to helping industrial customers from semiconductor factories, life science to high-rise buildings, HVAC to reliably measure and monitor ambient conditions and minimize energy consumption for successful operations, you can find the company’s premium measurement solutions in action.
On 18 Aug 2020, the company announced that its Digital business is delivering real-time, comprehensive weather data and driving conditions from in-vehicle infotainment systems to new Hyundai Motor vehicles. The company commented: “With approximately one in every four traffic accidents stemming from inclement weather conditions, our wide-ranging service helps drivers remain aware of weather conditions along their routes and in close proximity to the vehicle’s current location. Even in locations where weather measurements are not easily obtained, our technology is able to predict conditions according to a driver’s route.” Leveraging more than 20 years of road weather experience, the company delivers industry-leading sensors, a mobile data collection system, and world-class forecasting capabilities that provide drivers with actionable real-time calculated driving condition forecasts (including the state of the road’s surface, prediction of road friction, visibility, and atmospheric weather events affecting driving) to any coordinate point around the globe. The company's forecasts are trusted in the winter maintenance industry by road authorities in a number of countries.
On 22 Sep 2020, the company announced a groundbreaking method for detecting power transformer air leaks to help its customers detect and repair any air leaks early. This can extend the lifetime of a transformer and lead to significant cost savings. With the increased number of sealed transformers, ambient air leaks have become a significant issue as oxygen accelerates the aging of paper used in the insulation. The new measurement solution will be made available via a software update on its equipment, which is the world’s first maintenance-free dissolved gas analyzer for power transformers.
Renewable energy is one of the many areas the company contribute to the EU’s green economic recovery plan. The company’s measurement technologies help developers and owners to get more out of their wind power plants. With the help of reliable measurements, its customers can select the optimal site for their wind parks, for example, as well as monitor, predict, and plan operations. The company’s devices can also be utilized to optimize hydroelectric power plants. The company’s measurement solution for the biogas process optimization enables customers to generate more value from waste by decreasing production costs and increasing the efficiency of the biogas plant. The company’s products also support the hydrogen economy, helping optimize the performance of fuel cells.
The company's origins date back to 1930s when Professor V (1889-1969), the company's founder and long-time managing director, invented some of the operating principles of a radiosonde. In 1931, Professor V found a fallen Russian radiosonde. He admired its idea to use radio technology to retrieve observation results but, an innovator at heart, decided to build a better one himself. He worked long hours in his workplace and in the basement of his residential building in the center of Helsinki. Not flailing even in the face of failures and opposition, he finally succeeded in building the famous radiosonde and started sales in 1936. The first radiosonde pieces were shipped to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “When I developed the radiosonde, it wasn’t just an individual invention but a whole series of inventions. It was necessary to overcome an almost countless number of small and large difficulties, and an enormous amount of time was spent on conducting scientific measurements, experiments, and calculations,” Professor V described the process himself.
As the company's radiosonde became internationally renowned, the demand for them increased. In his care, a new global technology pioneer was born and became one of the first truly global Finnish companies. From a modest start, the company evolved to become a world leader in many measurement fields. Today, the company exports 98% of its production to over 150 countries. Right from the start, Professor V’s life was marked by curiosity – a legacy that is still visible in the company. His infinite curiosity and knack for problem-solving paved the way for the future of the company's measurement business and corporate culture. “I’m more of a scientist than a businessman,” he used to describe himself. Curiosity, the desire to meet challenges and an extraordinary ability to innovate are at the company's core, both past and present, and the company strives towards its mission of “Observations for a Better World.”.
CEO Mr. F shared: "Creating observations for a better world through science-based and sustainable innovations has always been at the core of our company. Climate change is undeniably a key global challenge today, making the company’s science-based innovations ever more relevant. Operating since 1936, we are committed to creating solutions that help tackle many of the most crucial challenges of our time. We do this by providing reliable, accurate, and high-quality means to observe and act on weather and environmental phenomena and their impacts as well as developing more sustainable industrial processes. Throughout our history, our company has been a key link in the chain for a well-functioning and safe society. With the increasing requirements for transparency and thorough understanding of the world’s pressing phenomena, it is becoming more important than ever to base decisions on verifiable, comparable, and accurate data. We aim to build upon our position as the global market leader providing the world’s most accurate and reliable measurements."
"Our second quarter performance was solid, and operating result improved even though customers and suppliers were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic slow-down. Our Digital business will now in line with its strategy fully focus on the forecasting and weather data services that our customers in the renewable energy sector depend on. The renewable energy segment remains a strategic growth area for our company, and it will also continue to offer remote sensing lidar products that enable optimized operations and development activities. Going forward, we will focus on developing digital solutions for transportation, renewable energy, lightning, and data-driven operations, supporting customers in making reliable decisions in weather-critical operations.”
Technological innovations and the persistent curiosity to explore the world around us have characterized the company's mission from the very beginning, reaching from land to space. the company’s innovative technology will soon land on the surface of the Red Planet once again as part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program. On July 30, 2020 NASA’s Perseverance rover headed for Mars, carrying the company’s space-proof technology. The estimated landing on Mars is in February 2021. Along the over 30-year cooperation, the company and the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) have worked together in NASA’s space exploration programs – such as with the previous Curiosity rover in 2012.
The star of the new Mars mission is the Perseverance rover, equipped with different measurement devices. One of these is the MEDA (Mars Environmental Dynamic Analyzer) device package that includes a measurement instrument designed by FMI. The instrument is based on the company's pressure and humidity sensors, used to gather accurate readings for the study of the Martian atmosphere. Since the 1990s, the company’s sensors have been used in missions to Mars that have already yielded a number of important discoveries, such as water on the dry planet. Mars provides an especially interesting area for investigation for the planet’s many similarities to Earth and can thus help us better understand the challenges we face on our blue planet – such as climate change. The unforgiving conditions in space pose strict demands on technology, requiring the most reliable sensors that can be trusted to endure without repair. You simply cannot venture out into these conditions with just any instrumentation. The MEDA device package is equipped with the company's humidity sensors and pressure sensors known for their long-term stability and accuracy. The devices are similar to the ones already delivered to Mars on the first Curiosity rover in 2012.