A spin-off from the Technical University of Denmark
TICRA was founded by Professor Jesper Hansen and two researchers, N. Christian Albertsen and Niels Eilskov Jensen, at the Laboratory of Electromagnetic Theory (now Electromagnetic Systems) at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).
To start a company required initiative, but equally important was the professional background of the three engineers, who were all engaged in research at DTU. At DTU, Jesper, Niels and Christian won a contract to study the VHF antenna on the forthcoming European Communication Satellite (ECS) by Method of Moments.
Subsequently, the European Space Agency (ESA) sent out a request for quotations to determine the best positioning of the antenna booms on the ECS, and the three engineers wanted to submit a proposal again.
In an effort to strengthen their bid, the Swedish company, SAAB-Scania, saw an opportunity to cooperate with DTU, and they also asked for a quote for the same project. However, DTU did not see itself able to undertake the same work for two different stakeholders, ESA and SAAB-Scania, and DTU declined to act on the invitation to tender.
Jesper, Niels and Christian found it frustrating that DTU would not be able to bid for the antennas for the ECS satellite. While discussing the issue over a cup of coffee, they realised that this could be their great opportunity to demonstrate the value of their work. This required a private company.
They named their company TICRA, which is short for electromagneTIC RAdiation, and the company’s first address was at Niels Eilskov Jensen’s home address in Hillerød, Denmark.
In the end, SAAB-Scania and TICRA did not win the final contract, but TICRA was now started, and Niels and Christian were already negotiating new contracts.
The founders, from left Niels Eilskov Jensen, Jesper E. Hansen and N. Christian Albertsen at TICRA’s 25th jubilee in 1996.