9. mars 2024

Kerecis Receives the Export Award and Laufey Honored


Award recipients with the President of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, and Hildur Árnadóttir, Chairman of the Board of Íslandsstofa.

On Saturday, March 9, the President of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson presented Icelandic biotech company Kerecis, which received the Export Award 2024 for its outstanding results in international markets. The Export Award aims to draw attention to the macroeconomic importance of foreign exchange and international business and honor those who have achieved excellent results in selling and marketing Icelandic products and services abroad. Guðmundur Fertram Sigurjónsson, CEO of the company, accepted the award at a formal ceremony at Bessastaðir.

Concurrently, the President honored Laufey Lín Jónsdóttir for her music, spreading Iceland's reputation and contributing to Iceland's positive recognition internationally.

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Guðmundur Fertram Sigurjónsson receives the award document from the president


For years, Kerecis has produced fish skin used to treat chronic wounds, such as those from diabetes, burns, and other persistent injuries.

Guðmundur Fertram's idea to create medical products from fish skin was very innovative. It first gained attention when Kerecis received the Westfjords Innovation Award in 2009. Grants from the Technology Development Fund in 2009 and the Innovation Fund in 2010 helped pave the way in the early years. The company opened a research laboratory in Ísafjörður in 2009 and hired its first employee. A year later, Kerecis opened an office in Reykjavík.

The fish skin is processed medically to heal difficult-to-treat wounds, such as burns, chronic wounds from diabetes, and post-surgical grafts.

In 2015, Kerecis received a grant from the United States Department of Defense to develop medical products for burn and blast wounds. The funding significantly boosted the company's operations in the United States, and a year later, the company opened a branch in Washington. In 2023, Kerecis opened a research laboratory and distribution center in Minneapolis, USA.

The company has experienced tremendous revenue growth in recent years. In 2016, its revenue was about half a million dollars, doubling yearly. In 2023, the revenue reached 110 million dollars, with the company employing around 600 by the end of last year. In August 2023, Danish company Coloplast A/S acquired Kerecis for 1.3 billion dollars, making Kerecis Iceland's first "unicorn."  

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Laufey Receives Honorary Award for Her International Work                                                                                                                                                                   


President Gudni Th. Johannesson presented musician Laufey Lín Jónsdóttir, who was chosen and honored for her international work. For many, Laufey does not need any introduction. Here is a brief background: She was born in Reykjavik in 1999 and was drawn to jazz and classical music from an early age, growing up surrounded by rich musical culture. At four, she began learning piano, and at eight, the cello. She first appeared on the big stage when she soloed at the Iceland Symphony Orchestra's Christmas concert at 15. Singing was always part of her life, and she began performing as a singer in her teenage years, including appearances on Iceland's Got Talent and The Voice, where she reached the final competition.

Laufey graduated from the Commercial College of Iceland and MIT in 2019 and subsequently received a presidential scholarship from Berklee College of Music in Boston. There, she studied cello, composition, and more. After graduating, she moved to Los Angeles, where she now resides. Laufey released her first EP, "Street by Street," in 2020, which was a hit on the radio. In 2021, her EP "Typical of Me" was released, and a year later, her first album, "Everything I Know About Love," was released.

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Guests at Bessastaðir

Laufey's second album, "Bewitched," was released in September 2023. It was a huge success and became the second-most-played album on Spotify—the best achievement for a jazz album in Spotify's history. Today, her music has nearly two billion streams worldwide.

Laufey's music combines jazz, classical, and pop. She aims to increase her generation's interest in jazz and classical music. She has achieved this partly through significant visibility on social media, with her followers reaching 10 million. In February, Laufey received the prestigious Grammy award in the traditional music category for the album "Bewitched."

Below are some photos from the event

Kerecis Receives the Export Award and Laufey Honored

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