Join next round of commercialisation readiness assessment

The centre has partnered with the health startup incubator Aleap to help research projects in the centre bridge the knowledge gap between discovery and commercialisation. Two projects have gone through the project assessment pilot this year. Read about their experience and let us know before 10 December if you think your project is ready to attend the next round early 2021. 

Last year, The Centre for Digital Life Norway (DLN) partnered with the startup incubator Aleap to help DLN projects bring their research to market.

Shane West

“There is incredible innovation going on at DLN”, says Shane West, head of Aleap. “People are exceptional in their field but there is a knowledge gap between discovery and commercialisation”. DLN is helping to bridge that gap by bringing in experts from Aleap’s worldwide network to guide researchers toward commercial success. 

Two research groups, Calcification inhibition – development of pharmacological treatment of calcification of heart valves and blood vessels (Calinhib) at the University of Oslo and Double Intraperitoneal Artificial Pancreas (DIAP) which is a part of Artificial Pancreas Trondheim (APT) at NTNU, went through the programme this year.

Extensive support from commercial experts with backgrounds in their scientific field

They first completed an extensive application that guided them through the process of identifying exactly what their product is and what market challenges they will face. It’s a difficult application and the programme isn’t right for everyone.

West cautions, “this isn’t a forum to learn the basics of patents or quality control. But for those mature groups that are at a critical decision point, the assessment offers a sounding board and expert advice about where to go next”.

Researchers who go through the programme receive extensive support from commercial experts with backgrounds in their scientific field. These experts assess the project in detail, from regulatory and intellectual property aspects to customer value creation. 

“They helped us cut down from 60 or so different ideas to the 2–3 that we could really focus on and commercialise” says Sven Magnus Carlsen director of Artificial Pancreas Trondheim. 

“I have no background in business but they understood the science and gave us a commercial evaluation that was helpful and easy to understand”. Carlsen expects the advice will help them innovate and secure funding for his project in the future.

Researchers were initially hesitant to step into the commercial world. Keeping intellectual property (IP) secret for later patents was a chief concern, but this turned out to not be an issue.

The industry experts signed non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and were dedicated to helping the researchers innovate. Communicating with people from an entirely different field was also a concern. However, the researchers were pleasantly surprised to find that the commercial experts had relevant scientific backgrounds and were able to understand them easily. 

These backgrounds helped Jarle Vaage and Arsenii Zabirnyk, in the Calinhib project working on pharmaceutical remedies to heart valve calcification. Experts from pharmaceutical companies taught them about company routines, distribution, and timing: concepts that were unknown to the researchers but essential to commercialisation. 

“We felt like amateurs” Vaage says. But after getting a look at the commercial side from the experts, he was grateful for the help.

Show your interest for the next round

Beate Rygg Johnsen

The innovation coordinator in the Centre for Digital Life Norway, Beate Rygg Johnsen, is happy to announce that centre has renewed its partnership with Aleap and the project assessment will start up again in 2021. 

“This has been a fruitful collaboration and we look forward to continuing to provide our members with expert advice”. 

Research groups who are ready to take the next step toward commercialisation can expect to come out of the assessment with confidence and clear direction. It is a great way for researchers to take advantage of Norway’s strong startup environment.

Please contact Beate Rygg Johnsen b.r.johnsen@med.uio.no before 10 December if you want to discuss if your project should join the next round spring 2021.

By Matthew Davidson and the Centre for Digital Life Norway
Published Nov. 25, 2020 8:10 AM - Last modified Nov. 25, 2020 8:28 AM