There is an inherent risk that early-stage programs will fail during development, no matter how promising the science. Such nascent programs are unlikely to attract interest from industry or investors until they have reached significant milestones, and very little funding is available from the government, foundations, or private enterprise for this critical transition.
SPARK Finland program is designed to increase the maturity of academic and clinical discoveries towards practical solutions in the life science and health tech space.
Program supports also career development by educating scientists, students and clinicians on drug and health tech discovery and development, and building the understanding of business aspects related to the discoveries.
We work in close relationship with innovation and technology transfer offices of universities, research institutions and hospitals.
The Stanford SPARK program was established by Professor Daria Mochly-Rosen in 2006 for advancing new biomedical research discoveries into promising new treatments for patients. It provides top-notch mentoring and education, and a cost-effective model to generate proof of concept by using industry standards.
The partnership between industry, clinical and academic competencies form the core of the SPARK program.
Our mentors from the industry, financial, clinical and academic institutions provides valuable advise for SPARKees (scholars, clinicians, students) on product development, clinical care, business, and more. Their invaluable support helps prepare SPARKees also for careers in the commercial sector that link investigation with important new solutions in health tech and life science.
SPARK mentors have several roles in the process:
Our mentors represent locally and globally acknowledged competencies on industry, business, finance, product development, regulation and clinical expertise. You can reach our mentors through SPARK educational and mentoring events.
Institutions participating at SPARK Finland are (in alphabetical order):
Helsinki University Hospital/The Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa
Tampere University Hospital/The Hospital District of Pirkanmaa
Tampere University of Technology
Turku University Hospital/The Hospital District of Southwest Finland
Turku University of Applied Sciences
University of Helsinki
University of Tampere
University of Turku
Åbo Akademi University
SPARK Finland is a collaborative program, and in the development and piloting phase (2017-18) it was initially financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Health Capital Helsinki alliance and University of Tampere (as representative of Tampere3 alliance). Since the beginning of August 2018 also the key institutions from Turku Region joined the program through Health Campus Turku alliance.
At the developing and piloting phase SPARK Finland is coordinated regionally by University of Helsinki (Faculty of Medicine), University of Tampere, and University of Turku (Faculty of Medicine). Program will become national at latest in 2019.
Universities start program to accelerate growth of research-based companies in the health sector (University of Helsinki, 2017)
Health business with Stanford’s teachings (University of Tampere, 2017)
SPARK partnering with Business Schools – Case Finland Report. By Teemu Heinonen, Waltteri Sorvisto, Pasi Sorvisto and Juho Väisänen – in collaboration with SPARK Global network (SPARK Finland, 2018)
Rescuing the Lost in Translation (2016) by Sinje Gehr and Craig C Garner
A Practical Guide to Drug Development in Academia: The SPARK Approach.
By Daria Mochly-Rosen and Kevin Grimes (2014).