Pre-SPARK Concept Discovery Program

Unlock and ignite the potential of your research finding within Biotech & Pharma!

Are you ready to embark on an exciting journey of discovery in the world of biotechnology and pharma by developing your research finding from the bench to the beside? Or are you a student who wishes to gain practical tools for designing a concept of a value creating and a fundable development project? Apply for the Pre-SPARK Concept Discovery Program – piloted in Spring 2024!

🌟 DISCOVER AND DEVELOP: This program is your gateway to uncovering practical and value-creating concepts that can transform the future of biotechnology and pharma based on your own or already published research discoveries. Explore the realms of real-world challenges, idea development, product creation, and delve into critical aspects of business, such as regulatory compliance, intellectual property, competitor analysis, and market understanding.

🚀 WORLD CLASS LECTURERS, MENTORSHIP AND PEER SUPPORT: Receive invaluable guidance and mentorship from seasoned industry professionals who will be your compass throughout the course. Collaborate with peers who share your passion and ambition, fostering a supportive and innovative community. Listen to top experts from Finland and from abroad informing you on topics such as design thinking, product development, funding, regulatory & IPR strategies, market understanding etc.

🌐 BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS: The course will be organized by SPARK Finland – you get a unique chance to immerse yourself in the SPARK network that transcends academia, opening doors to exciting career possibilities and nurturing your journey towards developing fundable research projects.


🔬 Master’s and Bachelors students
👨‍🔬 PhD candidates and PostDocs
👩‍⚕️ Scientists and Clinicians

Eligible candidates are affiliated with University of Helsinki, Aalto University or HUS and have a background in or affinity to biotech & pharma.

If you’re a student without a research discovery of your own, no worries! You can draw inspiration from existing literature and learn how to translate academic research towards a practical and value creating concept.

🤝 TEAMWORK: We believe in the power of collaboration. You’ll work in small groups, sparking the concept forward through collective brainstorming and dynamic problem-solving.

🕓 WHEN & WHERE: The course will run from January 31 until April 24, 2024. The lectures will take place on Wednesday afternoons from 16.30 to 18.00, with some exceptions on the starting time. The 1-1 mentoring times will be agreed on separately for every team. The final schedule of the lectures and the weeks when 1-1 mentoring meetings will take place will be released closer to the start. The lectures will be on-siteΒ at the University of Helsinki Viikki Campus in Biokeskus 3 at Viikinkaari 1, Helsinki.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to transform your career and make a lasting impact in the biotechnology and pharma industries!

For questions and information about the Pre-SPARK program please reach out to Anu Meerwaldt ( or +358 50 320 4176)


Please fill in the application form and we will contact you to inform when you have been selected for the program. Please note, we have a limited amount of seats available – only enroll once you have made sure you have the sufficient time to participate actively! Application period is open from 24 November 2023 until 30 December 2023.

We will do continuous selection of the applicants and we have a limited availability in the course. Therefore we advise to apply sooner rather than later.

Subject to change, detailed program will be published in January