Five new projects have completed UiO:Life Sciences' innovation program in health-related life sciences, SPARK Norway. This was marked in a ceremony with the presentation of diplomas to the graduated projects. Leader of SPARK Norway, Morten Egeberg said that he is impressed by the progress the projects have had; excellent research is the starting point for all the projects, and during the time in the programme they have developed a more business-oriented way of thinking and understanding. The sum of this constitutes the core of the SPARK Norway programme. It is very motivating to work with all the talented and innovative researchers in SPARK Norway. We also learn from them and it is a great inspiration for us who run SPARK Norway to continue developing this unique programme.
- The SPARK Norway programme has proven to be one of the most successful innovation initiatives at the University of Oslo. We have worked systematically to develop an innovation ecosystem to facilitate the establishment of new enterprises and businesses, which now includes the new Life Science Growth House and the development of the Oslo Science City, the first Innovation District in Norway, that hopefully will provide an environment that will stimulate and help young scientist to follow an entrepreneurial path and establish new businesses based on their scientific achievements, says Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation Per Morten Sandset.
The project managers, also called SPARKees, presented their projects and pitched for the Vaccibody Innovation Award 2022, which was awarded to the most innovative SPARK Norway project among the graduating projects. There was strong competition, it was however the project Slimstitch - A medical device for obesity treatment that made it to the top. The jury consisted of Markus Dietrich from Headen Ventures, Per Morten Sandset from University of Oslo and Caspar Foghsgaard from Nykode (formerly Vaccibody).
Vaccibody Innovation Award
In 2020, the founder of Vaccibody, Agnete Fredriksen, won the Research Council of Norway's Innovation Award. She donated the prize money of NOK 500,000 to SPARK Norway. From 2021, these funds are used to award a prize of NOK 100,000 to the most innovative SPARK Norway project that is graduating. The prize money will help the project further in the commercialization phase after the programme period in SPARK Norway is over.
About the innovation programme SPARK Norway
Since the beginning in 2018, UiO:Life Science has admitted 34 projects to SPARK Norway. The programme will guide the projects to further develop ideas in health-related life sciences, so that they benefit patients and society. Each project receives a mentor, guidance and project coordinator in addition to funding. Read more about SPARK Norway
- Healthy soils for a healthy life, Project leader Kamran Shalchian-Tabrizi
- Human antibodies for therapeutic, selective Notch targeting in rheumatoid arthritis, Project leader Guttorm Haraldsen
- MyFood – a decision support system to prevent and treat disease-related malnutrition, Project leader Mari Mohn Paulsen
- A medical device for obesity treatment, Project leader Christer Tønnesen
- Inhibition of aortic valve calcification, Project leader Kåre-Olav Stensløkken