Bridging the gap between bench and bedside

Why SPARK?

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
  • Advance the renewal and growth of the health tech and life science industries

 

Mentors

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:

  • Provide feedback on our current projects
  • Aid in the selection of new projects
  • At times, mentor specific projects on a one-on-one basis
  • Can facilitate advancement of projects by introductions to potential partners, or in some cases form companies around selected assets

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.

Member Institutions

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

Aalto University
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

 

Sponsors

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.

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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).