Driving innovation in manufacturing and pharmaceuticals: the story of Karin Kogermann

Karin Kogermann, finalist at the 2023 RIS LEADERS competition, brings a wealth of experience to the field of manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.

As a professor at the Institute of Pharmacy, University of Tartu, Estonia, Karin’s background in pharmacy, particularly in pharmaceutical technology and physical pharmacy, has guided her research towards drug development and preclinical testing. Her interest in the topic ultimately led her to become the co-founder of EsaDres, a research-based healthtech company designing and developing personalised wound care products.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

My name is Karin Kogermann, and I am the CEO and Co-Founder of EsaDres. Additionally, I work as a professor at the Institute of Pharmacy, University of Tartu, Estonia. My expertise lies in pharmacy, particularly in pharmaceutical technology and physical pharmacy. I established my research laboratory (Pharmaceutical R&D Laboratory), and currently serve as the Head of the Institute of Pharmacy. Over the years, I’ve also contributed as an expert to the Estonian State Agency of Medicine and the European Pharmacopoeia. I am a founding member of the Estonian Young Research Academy and a member of the Estonian Academical Society of Pharmacy and the European Wound Management Association. On a personal note, I am a mother of three and enjoy activities such as jogging, playing piano, and singing in a choir.

Why did you choose manufacturing as a field of activity?

Given my background in pharmacy, my research naturally gravitated towards drug development and preclinical testing. The manufacturing of drugs presents a unique challenge with its stringent optimisation and quality standards. The pharmaceutical industry is evolving towards continuous process control, integrating fast and effective process analytical tools. This transition fascinates me, as it aims to produce high-quality, safe, and effective drug products. We aim to apply these standards to the manufacturing of wound dressings, aiming for high-quality, personalised solutions at hospital pharmacies.

EsaDres team

How did you come up with the idea for EsaDres?

Over the past decade, my research group has focused on designing wound dressings using novel electrospinning techniques. Our motivation stems from addressing the needs of chronic wound patients, clinicians, and society at large. Current treatment options often fall short, leading to complications and high healthcare costs, exacerbated by the aging population. Our solution involves personalised wound dressings tailored to individual patients, offering faster healing and reduced healthcare expenses. EsaDres, with its expert team, is poised to bridge the gap between manufacturing and patients, providing personalised solutions.

What is the most exciting aspect of your work, and what is your next envisaged milestone?

EsaDres has several significant milestones on the horizon, and I’m thrilled to lead our team through this journey. We are setting up the manufacturing of wound dressings in our first clinic (first customer and collaborator), and plan to collect the clinical proof for our inventions. I believe success lies in close collaboration with customers, networking, and finding support from experts in the field.

You have taken part in the RIS LEADERS competition dedicated to women innovators in manufacturing. Can you share some advice with women who want to pursue a career in manufacturing?

My advice is simple: “Do what you believe in, and believe in what you do!” If manufacturing aligns with your passion and you have the necessary technical skills and knowledge, don’t let gender stereotypes get in the way of your career. Learn from the best and pursue your goals with determination.

Karin Kogermann, CEO & Co-founder, EsaDres

Learn more about EsaDres

Stay tuned for RIS LEADERS 2024!

Are you a female innovator? Do you have a solution that addresses manufacturing-related challenges? Then, stay tuned for the RIS LEADERS 2024 Call coming up later this spring!


About the RIS LEADERS competition

In November 2023, the “LEADERS – Women Innovators in Manufacturing at EIT Regional Innovation Scheme” prize was awarded by EIT Manufacturing as part of the Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) for the third time. Thereby, EIT Manufacturing wants to draw attention to women innovators and women in the manufacturing industry, as women are still underrepresented in this sector.

For the final pitch, six candidates were selected, whose projects play a leading role in developing solutions that address manufacturing-related challenges with strong financial, environmental, or societal impact.

What is the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS)?

More information about the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS)

Get to know the 2023 RIS LEADERS winners!