In 2020 Finnish SPARKees were successful in raising awareness in many forums. Awareness transformed also to raised funding.
Researchers at Tampere University received in 2020 four Pioneer Innovator Grants from the Danish Novo Nordisk Foundation. Professors Tero Järvinen, Heli Skottman and Dario Greco are developing new treatment and research methods at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology while professor Esa Räsänen is doing the same at the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences.
The granted sums range from DKK 500.000 to DKK 1.000.000 equalling €67.000 –€134.000. Of the 26 Pioneer Innovator grants in 2020, twelve universities in different Nordic countries were awarded 1–3 grants each. In this round of applications, Tampere University did better than such strong performers as the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and Aarhus University in Denmark.
“This wide-ranging success in a tough Nordic competition for innovation funding is very exceptional. The result reflects the high quality of research at Tampere University in the field of life sciences and especially our researchers’ desire to turn research results into clinical and commercial applications,” says Juho Väisänen, manager at SPARK Finland and senior innovation specialist at Tampere University.
Interestingly all of Tampere University projects are currently, or have been, in the SPARK program and Tampere University has integrated SPARK into the core of innovation services already 3½ years ago.