SPARK Norway's first graduation ceremony
After being corona-delayed by six months, it was time to celebrate the first graduates from the innovation program SPARK Norway. The graduation of a total of nine projects was marked with the presentation of diplomas and presentations given by all project managers, also called SPARKees.
All SPARKees expressed that the participation in the program has been very useful, educational and stimulating. Special help from the mentors, access to a large network of expertise and the opportunity to be exposed to industrial players and investors were highlighted as important elements. In addition, the SPARKees pointed out the importance of belonging to a "SPARK community" where they meet other SPARKees in the same situation as themselves. For many, participation in the program has also led to funding from other sources.
The initiator and leader of SPARK Norway, Morten Egeberg said that it has been very rewarding to see the development and progress among the participants during the project period and especially the change from "a very basic research-focused way of presenting and discussing the project, to becoming a more of a business-oriented thinker.” He also highlighted the collaboration with SPARK Norway's partners as extremely valuable, an innovation process contains many phases, each phase requires a specific expertise that the partners of SPARK Norway possess and have contributed to the program.
The SPARK Norway programme has proven to be one of the most - and perhaps the most successful innovation initiatives at the University of Oslo. UiO has great ambitions for life sciences, in research naturally, but also how we can best develop the research result for the benefit of society. We have worked systematically to develop an ecosystem within innovation to facilitate the creation of new businesses, and have taken the initiative to establish Norway's first innovation district, Oslo Science City, precisely to stimulate young researchers to start their own companies based on their scientific results, says Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation Per Morten Sandset.
Since it was established in 2018, 23 projects have been included in the innovation program. New admission to the program has been announced, the application deadline for admission is 12 November.
- Targeted pharmacological treatment of ventricular arrhythmias, Magnus Aronsen and Jonas Skogestad
- Novel therapy for currently untreatable hypertension Henriette Andresen
- Novel therapy for ischemic reperfusion injury, Ana Isabel Costa Calejo
- Petomics: a commercial Norwegian microbiome service for performance animals and pets, Pål Trosvik/Eric de Muinck
- RACeR: Improvement of A Genetic Tool that Enhances Homology Dependent Gene Repair, Francesca Ferrucci
- Restoration of a functional urinary bladder using cutting-edge technology, Jean-Luc Boulland
- Tankyrase inhibition in cancer immune therapy, Jo Waaler
- A novel strategy to tailor the pharmacokinetics of IgA antibodies, Simone Mester
- Influenza vaccine that can be rapidly produced to counter an emerging pandemic threat, Gunnveig Grødeland