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

Five 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 five new teams to the innovation programme SPARK Norway 28 January.

The project managers of the five new SPARK Norway teams, from left Tanima SenGupta, Lars Nilsson, Esmaeil Dorraji, Shadab Abadpour and Adam Filipczyk.
The project managers of the five new SPARK Norway teams.From left Tanima SenGupta, Lars Nilsson, Esmaeil Dorraji, Shadab Abadpour and Adam Filipczyk.

The new teams:

  • p95HER2-CAR T cell targeting metastatic breast cancer on-Target, but no off-Tumor
    Project leader: Esmaeil Dorraji, Institute for Cancer Research, Radium Hospital, Oslo University Hospital
    Team members: Jon Amund Kyte, Aina Rengmark, Eivind Roverud, Magdalena Gjefle and Bjørn Naume
  • Targeting the TREM2-receptor for Alzheimer’s disease therapy 
    Project leader: Lars Nilsson, Pharmacology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, UiO
    Team members: Vibeke Årskog, Sandra Kühn, Jo Klaveness
  • Metabolism-on-chip
    Project leader: Dr. Shadab Abadpour, Dept. of Transplantation and Institute for Surgical Research, OUS / Hybrid Technology Hub–Center of Excellence, UiO
    Team members: Dr. Aleksandra Aizenshtadt, Dr. Mathias Busek, Chencheng Wang, Prof. Steven Ray Haakon Wilson, Prof. Stefan Krauss, Dr. Hanne Scholz
  • Novel targets for attenuating disease progression in Parkinson’s disease
    Project leader: Tanima SenGupta, EpiGen, Akershus University Hospital / UiO
    Team members: Prof. Hilde Nilsen, Francisco G Naranjo, Kulbhushan Sharma, Swapnil Gupta, Torkild Visnes
  • Cancer Stem Cell Prognostics in Patient Prostate Tumor Organoids
    Project leader: Adam Filipczyk, Div. of Laboratory Medicine, Oslo University Hospital
    Team members: Carsten Marr, Arne Klungland, Kyrre Eeg Emblem, Rune Ougland
  • SPARK Norway now has a portfolio 22 teams – so-called SPARKees

Mentors and milestone plans next

UiO:Life Science received 12 applications in the fifth open call for SPARK Norway fall 2021.

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. 

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.
  •

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 Jan. 31, 2022 2:07 PM - Last modified Jan. 31, 2022 2:07 PM