Tailored counseling, funding assistance, and innovation hangouts are part of the innovation package offered by the new Life Science Growth House at the University of Oslo.
“The Life Science Growth House is about utilizing the research. We are good at research, but we can become even better at transferring that knowledge to innovation and making use of it in society,” says Svein Stølen, Rector of the University of Oslo (UiO).
The new Growth House is going to have an open door with low-threshold services for researchers and students. They will have tailored counseling, including e.g. an assessment of the maturity and relevance of an idea, possible seed funding or external funding, possible collaborations with others in the UiOs innovation ecosystem, including mentoring and business partnerships, and ultimately possible meeting places, seminars, and competence courses.
At the opening ceremony, Ketil Widerberg, General Manager of Oslo Cancer Cluster, stressed the importance of start-up companies as a natural sequel to good academic ideas. “Too often ideas are hidden and forgotten in academia. Companies are only invited to “whitewash” and secure money from the Norwegian Research Council for research that is already planned in detail. Good ideas are out-licensed early on to secure next year’s budget instead of invested in Norwegian start-ups. Academics have to fight the system daily to be able to contribute to development,” he said.
The Life Science Growth House will arrange innovation hangouts four times per year. This is an informal meeting place where students and researchers from the university may interact with actors from the public sector, hospitals, companies, mentors, business clusters, and incubators in their innovation ecosystem. The hangouts include inspirational talks, matchmaking, food and beverage, and mingling.
From the left: Svein Stølen, Ivar P. Gladhaug, Solveig Kristensen, and Hilde Nebb opening the Life Science Growth House at the University of Oslo on 17 February 2022. Photo: UiO, Life Science Growth House/Fartein Rudjord.
Source: Wenche Gerhardsen/Oslo Cancer Cluster