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Innovation and life sciences at UiO: Six new teams ready for SPARK Norway

Six new teams have been admitted to UiO´s innovation programme SPARK Norway. They will develop their ideas within health-related life sciences for the benefit of patients and society.

The UiO:Life Science board admitted six new teams to the innovation programme SPARK Norway 29 January.

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The project leaders from left to right: Deo Pandey, Håvard Jostein Haugen, Hendrik Frølich Stange Fuglesang, Anette Weyergang, Tor Kristian Andersen and Shoshy Alam Brinch.

The new teams:

  • Targeting transcriptional addictions in glioblastoma
    Project leader: Dr. Deo Pandey, Dept. of microbiology, Oslo University Hospital
    Team members: Silje Lier, UiO
  • Blueskin
    Project leader: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Håvard Jostein Haugen, Department of Biomaterials, Faculty of Dentistry, UiO 
    Team members: Dr. Dung Tien Nuygen, Dr. Claudio Mortier, Prof. Jonathan J. Blaker and Ståle Petter Lyngstadaas
  • A solution to the kneecap fracture problem
    Project leader: MD PhD Hendrik Frølich Stange Fuglesang, Orthopaedic department, Akershus University Hospital
    Team members: MD Max J. Temmesfeld
  • A Novel Biomarker for Antibody Drug Conjugates
    Project leader: Dr. Anette Weyergang, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital, Norwegian Radium Hospital
    Team members: Dr. Kristian Berg and Dr. Olav Engebråten, The Radiumhospital Research Foundation
  • Broadly reactive vaccines against seasonal infectious disease
    Project leader: Dr. Tor Kristian Andersen, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Department of Immunology, UiO
    Team members: Dr. Gunnveig Grødeland, UiO
  • Tankyrase inhibition for therapy of fibrotic diseases
    Project leader: Shoshy Alam Brinch, Hybrid Technology Hub, UiO and Department of Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, Oslo University Hospital
    Team members: Jo Waaler (OUS/UiO) and Stefan Krauss (UiO/OUS)
  • SPARK Norway now has a portfolio 18 teams – so-called SPARKees

Mentors and milestone plans next

UiO:Life Science received 18 applications in the fourth open call for SPARK Norway fall 2020.

Each of the admitted projects is now assigned a mentor, advisors and project coordinator who is responsible for following up individual projects. The projects start with setting up milestone plans that respond to the challenges identified by the evaluation committee. The projects receive partial payments related to the milestones, a maximum of NOK 500,000 per year for 2 years.

Facts SPARK Norway

  • a two-year innovation programme to further develop ideas within health-related life sciences for the benefit of patients and society
  • the aim of the programme is to get more innovation out of basic research
  • researchers from UiO and affiliated research groups at OUS or Ahus can apply UiO:Life Science to be included in the programme through annual calls
  • researchers who are admitted to the SPARK Norway programme receives mentoring from seasoned experts from academia, hospital, industry and venture capital funds, milestone-based funding, guidance and education
  • established in the fall 2017 and funded and managed by UiO:Life Science
  • based on the prestigious Stanford SPARK programme
  • supported by UiO's top management, Inven2 and OUS. Representatives from the clusters Oslo Cancer Cluster, The Life Science Cluster, Catapult Life Science, Nansen Neuroscience Network, Norwegian Inflammation Network and Norway Health Tech, as well as the Association of Pharmaceutical Industry in Norway (LMI), Centre for Digital Life Norway, Aleap, Oslotech, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and School of Health Innovation are members of the SPARK Norway management team
  • the initiative to establish the SPARK programme in Norway originally came from Oslo Cancer Cluster and the Norwegian Inflammation Network. The other two European SPARK programmes – SPARK Berlin and SPARK Finland – were closely involved when UiO:Life Science established the programme at UiO.
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The applications were evaluated by a committee based on the criteria in the call

  • Unmet medical need/need in the market
  • Novelty/uniqueness of the new solution
  • Strength of Proof-of-Principles
  • Market potential and fit
  • IP strategy
  • Strength and motivation of the team
  • Fit with SPARK Norway 


Published Feb. 3, 2021 12:03 PM - Last modified Feb. 3, 2021 3:39 PM