There is an inherent risk that early-stage projects will fail during development, no matter how promising the science. Such nascent projects are unlikely to attract interest from industry or investors until they have reached significant milestones. Unfortunately there is very little funding available from the government, foundations, or private investors for this critical transition.
Too often people also think that development programs and financiers should focus on picking the winners. In real life it is extremely difficult task.
We focus on dedicated project owners – scientists, students and healthcare professionals – that are constantly on a learning curve and have relevant ideas for unmet health related needs. We support them in their path and allocate our resources for it.
SPARK Finland program is designed to increase the maturity of academic and clinical discoveries towards practical and value creating solutions in the health tech and life science space.
Program supports also career development by educating scientists, students and health care professionals on drug and health tech development and building the understanding of business aspects related to the discoveries.
We work in close relationship with innovation and technology transfer offices of our associated institutions.
In March 2021 Labiotech.eu – the leading digital media covering the European Biotech industry- selected SPARK Finland as TOP25 biotech incubators in Europe.
The Stanford SPARK program is the cornerstone for our program. It 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.
You can find the project and alumni list at Projects section… According to the recent numbers more than 60% of projects that go through the program will achieve their product and business related goals.
Institutions participating at SPARK Finland are (in alphabetical order):
Helsinki University Hospital/The Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa
Kuopio University Hospital
Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
Tampere University Hospital/The Hospital District of Pirkanmaa
Tampere University: coordinator of SPARK Finland in 1.4.2020-31.12.2023
Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Turku University Hospital/The Hospital District of Southwest Finland
University of Helsinki: founding coordinator of SPARK Finland
University of Eastern Finland
University of Turku
Åbo Akademi University
SPARK Finland is a collaborative program. First three years (March 2017 – March 2020) it was financially supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and in the founding and development phase members of Health Capital Helsinki alliance and University of Tampere (as representative of Tampere3 alliance) were other key financiers. Since August 2018 key institutions from Health Campus Turku alliance brought Turku Region to the program and in 2020 University of Eastern Finland brought Kuopio and Joensuu regions to SPARK Finland.
Since April 2020 SPARK Finland is fully funded by the member institutions and supporting cities. In 2020-2023 program is nationally coordinated by Tampere University and regionally by University of Helsinki (Faculty of Medicine), Tampere University, University of Turku (Faculty of Medicine) and University of Eastern Finland (Kuopio campus).
Other regional organizations and programs that are working in collaboration with us:
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).