What is SPARK Norway?

SPARK Norway is a two-year innovation programme to further develop ideas within health-related topics in the life science domain. Uptake to the programme can be applied through annual open calls. UiO, OUS and Ahus affiliates can apply.

SPARK Norway is

  • An innovation programme designed to increase the success rate of projects with high potential impact, addressing critical unmet needs in the life science domain
  • Designed to increase the maturity of discoveries in academia and hospitals towards practical solutions through education, mentorship, advising and milestone-based funding
  • Based on the original Stanford SPARK programme for clinical research, which has achieved a translational success rate of > 50%
  • Developed in close collaboration with the two other European SPARK sites – SPARK Berlin and SPARK Finland
  • Led by UiO:Life Science and supported by University of Oslo (UiO) top management, Inven2 and Oslo University Hospital (OUS)
  • Uptake to the SPARK Norway programme can be applied through annual open calls

Who can apply?

Any UiO, OUS or Akershus University Hospital (Ahus) affiliate (faculty, hospital, postdoctoral fellow, or graduate student team) is welcome to apply. However, at least one person in the project team must be employed at UiO. 

Ideas in all phases, from very early to more developed are eligible.

The application process

Step 1: Submit your application when we have open calls. 
Step 2: Selection of finalists from the first open call by our SPARK Norway management team and invited experts. Finalists get an invitation to pitch their project before our external SPARK Norway review panel.
Step 3: Projects selected for uptake to the SPARK Norway programme will receive guidance and financial support (up to 500 000 NOK per year – maximum two years based on the accomplishment of milestones). Project teams will present their project status to the SPARK Norway community in regular meetings.

How does it work?

  • All projects will be treated confidentially
  • Initial review of the projects will be done by the SPARK Norway management team where all the SPARK Norway partners and invited experts are represented
  • Finalists will be evaluated by a highly competent review panel with representatives from academic, financial, clinical, regulatory and industrial environments
  • All finalists will be invited to give a pitch before the final rank is made by the expert panel
  • Projects that are accepted to the SPARK programme will commit to a milestone plan
  • Projects that receive funding will receive this as milestone payment
  • Some projects can be accepted without being funded
  • Mentors and advisors are assigned to the projects
  • Projects will meet regularly with the mentors and advisors
  • Closed SPARK Norway mentoring sessions will be held regularly for all SPARK teams (SPARKees), mentors and advisors
  • Open SPARK Norway Educational Forum will be held regularly with invited speakers in relevant areas

Your benefits

  • Funds to increase the success rate of the project
  • Advice from volunteer industry leaders
  • Mentored project management support
  • Establish defensible intellectual property
  • Learn what translation from idea to innovation is all about
  • Become educated on relevant areas of product development
  • Cross "the valley of death"
  • Bring your invention to the market and/or clinic
  • Be a member of the SPARK international network
  • Participate in a community of inventors and entrepreneurs
  • Gain access to investors and experts on commercialization

The SPARK Norway management team

The SPARK Norway management team is led by administrative leader of UiO:Life Science Morten Egeberg and has representatives from the SPARK Norway partners UiO, Inven2, OUS, the Association of Pharmaceutical Industry in Norway (LMI), the Norwegian Medicines Agency, ShareLab and the clusters Oslo Cancer Cluster, The Life Science Cluster, Nansen Neuroscience Network, Norwegian Inflammation Network and Norway Health Tech.


For queries contact us on sparknorway@lifescience.uio.no

Published Nov. 2, 2017 8:13 AM - Last modified Aug. 27, 2019 10:39 AM