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About the Foundation

Promotes research, innovation, and independence for everyone, regardless of ability.

WHO WE ARE

The Promobilia Foundation is an organization with the vision to create a world where all individuals, regardless of disabilities, can lead independent and active lives.
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What We Do

We facilitate the development and accessibility of novel innovations aimed at fostering an independent and active lifestyle for individuals living with disabilities. We finance high-quality research in the field of disabilities, with a clear focus on utility. We encourage collaborations by serving as a meeting point for researchers, interest groups, and other research funders. Each year, we award a scholarship established to honor Dr. Per Uddén, the founder of the foundation.
More about Dr. Per Uddén Scholarship

The Board

  • Foto föreställande Jan Bernhard Waage

    Jan Bernhard Waage

    Chairman

  • Foto föreställande Eric Persson

    Eric Persson

    Vice Chairman

  • Foto föreställande Tommy Trollborg

    Tommy Trollborg

    Secretary General

  • Foto föreställande Bo Engman

    Bo Engman

    Member and Chief Medical Engineer

  • Foto föreställande Olle Söder

    Olle Söder

    Member and Professor at Karolinska Institutet

  • Foto föreställande Olle Nilsson

    Olle Nilsson

    Member and Professor at Uppsala University

  • Foto föreställande Eva Larsson

    Eva Larsson

    Member

Office

  • Foto föreställande Patrik Malunger

    Patrik Malunger

    CEO

  • Foto föreställande Tove Alm

    Tove Alm

    Scientific Director

  • Foto föreställande Dragana Krstic

    Dragana Krstic

    Assistant

Deputy Members

Kaj Sigstam, Civil Engineer, 1974

 

Technical and Scientific Committee

Olle Nilsson, Chairperson, Professor at Uppsala University, Academic Hospital
Olle Söder, Professor at Karolinska Institutet
Bo Engman, Chief Medical Technologist
Bo Håkansson, Professor at Chalmers University of Technology
Christina Brogårdh, Professor at Lund University

OUR HISTORY

The story of the Promobilia Foundation is largely the story of Dr. Per Uddén, a provincial physician. In his work, Per encountered a large number of patients with diverse needs in their daily lives. One patient group he felt had inadequate support in their daily lives were individuals dependent on wheelchairs to manage their daily activities. These patients could not venture out on their own, neither for walks in the city nor in nature, and therefore struggled to live independent and active lives. Per therefore took it upon himself to create a self-driving wheelchair capable of overcoming the challenges of navigating both urban and natural environments. To finance this work, the predecessor to the Promobilia Foundation, the Foundation for Technical Support for the Handicapped, was established. Through volunteer efforts selling various types of handicrafts and persistent lobbying efforts up to the government level, Per succeeded in advancing his wheelchair project - the Per-Mobile.

2023

The Promobilia Foundation is committed to effecting tangible change, and by successful management of the foundation’s resources, increased grants are made possible. In the past year, the foundation achieved a significant milestone by disbursing over 50 million SEK for the first time.

2022-2023

After six decades of dedicated service as chairman of the Foundation, Kaj Sigstam passed the baton to Jan Bernhard Waage. On January 1, 2023, Patrik Malmunger assumed the role of CEO and head of the office, succeeding Eva Larsson. In a bid to further enhance its operations, the Promobilia Foundation recruited its first-ever Chief Scientific Officer, Tove Alm.

2020

Strategic Initiative

Center for Bionics and Pain Research (CBPR)

An interdisciplinary center was established in Gothenburg to advance research, development, and clinical implementation of novel treatment modalities for sensory and motor disabilities, including amputations and nerve injuries. The center serves as a collaborative platform between Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, and the University of Gothenburg.

 

Read more (in Swedish)

2020

Strategic Initiative

EMG control, Sensations, and Sensing for prosthetics (ESSE).

EMG control, Sensations, and Sensing for prosthetics (ESSE).
At Lund University, a project called EMG control, Sensations, and Sensing for prosthetics (ESSE) is initiated with the aim of improving the control of advanced prosthetics. The objective is to understand and enhance the user’s control over the prosthesis and create a natural sensation through electrical stimulation and audiovisual stimuli.

 

Read more (in Swedish)

2019

Strategic Initiative

MoveAbility Lab

MoveAbility Lab is established at KTH, focusing on developing technology that deciphers and enhances human movement. The goal is to create customized aids for individuals with mobility issues, both children and adults.

 

Read more (in Swedish)

2005

The Foundation changes its name to Promobilia

In 2005, following the passing of Per Uddén, the foundation decided to sell Permobil. This sale resulted in a substantial endowment for the foundation to manage, and concurrently, the foundation changed its name to Promobilia Foundation. The sale allowed Permobil to thrive and evolve further, while Promobilia Foundation gained the capacity to annually support research and development with significant funds.

2005

Sale of Permobil AB

To enhance its focus on supporting the development of technical aids for individuals with disabilities, Permobil AB was sold in 2005 to Nordic Capital. The proceeds from the sale provided the foundation with increased resources to contribute long-term to the development of technical aids for individuals with disabilities, while Permobil gained an owner with the capital and expertise to drive the company forward for the benefit of all. Since 2013, Permobil has been owned by Investor.

1995

In 1995, Per Uddén was appointed as an honorary doctor of medicine at the Karolinska Institute. The honorary award was bestowed upon him for his pioneering contributions in two areas. Firstly, for his innovative work in developing the individually adapted electric wheelchair, Permobil. Secondly, for his involvement in the field of dyslexia. The motivation highlights his interdisciplinary efforts and projects.

60s AND 70s

During this era, the Promobilia Foundation was established, and the creation of the Permobil took shape. To realize the idea of an electric wheelchair, not only technical solutions were needed but also financial support. When development aid was not granted, Per Uddén initiated the establishment of the Technical Aid for the Disabled Foundation, now known as the Promobilia Foundation. About thirty volunteers within the foundation worked to raise funds through the sale of stamps and simpler decorative items to companies and individuals. These funds were successfully used for the development of electric wheelchairs.

 

The foundation was not only successful in raising funds for the benefit of the disabled but also in managing these funds. A significant portion of the foundation’s resources could be invested in projects at Permobil AB. The wheelchair was further developed and became known as Permobil. Permobil had been based in Timrå since the mid-1970s, focusing on the development, production, and sale of electric wheelchairs.