Four new projects have completed UiO:Life Science's innovation programme in health-related life science, SPARK Norway. One of them won the Vaccibody Innovation Award 2023.The graduates from SPARK Norway's innovation programme. From left Marianne Hiorth, Hendrik Frølich Stange Fuglesang, Deo Pandey and Anette Weyergang. Photo: Fartein Rudjord/ UiO.
The projects have worked with a wide range of solutions within health-related life sciences such as treatment of dry mouth, kneecap fractures, brain cancer and a new tool for diagnostics and precision treatment of cancer patients.
Per Morten Sandset, UiO's Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation, referred to the SPARK Norway programme as the most successful innovation initiative within life sciences at the University of Oslo. - We have worked systematically to develop an innovation ecosystem that facilitates the establishment of new companies and businesses, and to create an environment that stimulates and helps researchers to follow an entrepreneurial path, the UiO Growth House has been founded, the Life Sciences building will be ready in few years and will have a central location in Norway's first innovation district, Oslo Science City.
The completion was celebrated in a ceremony to honour the graduating projects.
Leader of SPARK Norway, Morten Egeberg, said that he is impressed with the progress the projects have had - excellence in science is the core of the projects, and during their time in SPARK Norway, they have all developed a more business-oriented mindset and understanding. He also used the opportunity to thank Agnete Fredriksen for always being willing to share her experiences so that other innovators can benefit from it, and for the creation of the Vaccibody Innovation Award.
The winner of Vaccibody Innovation Award 2023From left, Morten Egeberg, founder of Vaccibody (now Nykode) Agnete Fredriksen, winner of Innovation Award 2023 Anette Weyergang and Per Morten Sandset. Photo: Fartein Rudjord/UiO.
The project leaders pitched their business idea in front of a jury consisting of Agnete Fredriksen from Nykode (formerly Vaccibody), Georgina Askeland from Hadean Ventures and Per Morten Sandset from the University of Oslo. They were all strong candidates, however Anette Weyergang with the project A Predictive tool for Antibody Drug Conjugates won.
The award was created in 2020, when 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 have be used to award a prize of NOK 100,000 to the most innovative SPARK Norway project. 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 40 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
- Liposal™ – Prolonged relief of dry mouth Project leader Marianne Hiorth
- 3.5 patella fracture plate: a solution to the knee-cap fracture problem Project leaderHendrik Frølich Stange Fuglesang
- Targeting transcriptional addictions in brain tumors Project leader Deo Pandey
- A Predictive tool for Antibody Drug Conjugates Project leader Anette Weyergang