Bridging the gap between bench and bedside


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

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.

SPARK Finland follows the same principles that have been cornerstones of SPARK at Stanford, and our program is an official member of SPARK Global network.


Mission of
SPARK Finland


  • Advance scientific and clinical competencies towards practical solutions in health-tech and life science space
  • Generate new solutions for health and wellness
  • Support career development of scientists, clinicians and students
  • Build “systemic memory” of success
  • Advance the renewal and growth of the health tech and life science industries


Member Institutions

Institutions participating at SPARK Finland are (in alphabetical order):

Aalto University
Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences
Helsinki University Hospital/The Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa
Laurea University of Applied Sciences
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
University of Eastern Finland
University of Turku
Åbo Akademi University

Supporting cities:
City of Helsinki
City of Espoo


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 key institutions from Turku Region joined the program through Health Campus Turku alliance. In 2020 University of Eastern Finland brought Kuopio and Joensuu regions to the SPARK Finland family.

Since January 2020 SPARK Finland is coordinated regionally by University of Helsinki (Faculty of Medicine), University of Tampere, University of Turku (Faculty of Medicine) and University of Eastern Finland (Kuopio campus).

Tampere Universities
UEF logo

SPARK Global

SPARK is proud to support the programs at institutions across the world working to develop their own translational research programs.

Read more about Spark Global


For further reading

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

Moving medicine forward faster (2015)

Repair Reproducibility (2014)

Stanford program gives discoveries a shot at commercialization (2011)

A Practical Guide to Drug Development in Academia: The SPARK Approach.
By Daria Mochly-Rosen and Kevin Grimes (2014).