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Co-cluster project at OCC stimulates IT-Biotech collaborations


Oslo Cancer Cluster (OCC) is currently involved in a big European collaboration through the cluster-to-cluster project PERMIDES.

The project aims to utilize novel IT-solutions to accelerate drug development in biotech companies.

“I know of companies who still manage their clinical trial studies using Excel. This is not a good idea. An Excel sheet may only hold a limited amount of data before it crashes and you lose everything”, says Gupta Udatha, the PERMIDES project leader in Norway, to OCC.


Udatha divides his time between Oslo and Halden, where the NCE Smart Energy Markets-cluster is situated. This cluster is mainly involved in IT. Other clusters participating in the project are from Austria and Germany.

Ambitious goals

Before PERMIDES ends in 2018, it aims to have 90 innovation projects between IT and biotechs that will have received funding through a voucher system, 120 IT companies and biotech companies that will have benefited from technology transfer activities, 75 enterprises that will have participated in networking conferences at both regional and European levels and 100 companies that will have placed their profile in a semantic matchmaking portal: the PERMIDES platform.

The PERMIDES platform is designed to match IT-companies and biotech companies. As a supplementary service, Udatha and others involved in PERMIDES are currently busy arranging matchmaking events all over Europe. They try to find the perfect match between IT- and biotech companies interested in collaborating on projects on personalized medical treatment. Through PERMIDES voucher funding, a biotech company can avail services for up to 60 000 Euros from an IT-company. This gives them a market advantage in digitalizing their processes.

“The health care and biopharma sectors must understand that new IT solutions are the way forward. Tasks which a company may spend weeks and months doing, may easily be done by a few smart IT-solutions, in just few clicks,” says Udatha.

Source: Oslo Cancer Cluster

Photo showing Project Manager Gupta Udatha (in the middle) and General Manager Ketil Widerberg from Oslo Cancer Cluster in conversation with research associate Birthe Mikkelsen Saberniak at the lab. Photo: Christopher Olssøn