Innovation in Neuroscience: From Research to Business

Innovation in Neuroscience: From Research to Business

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So welcome everybody to our last this  year webinar on innovation neuroscience,   and my name is Dovile Kurmanaviciute. I'm an innovation  agent and doctor candidate at Aalto University   and I'm a part of organisers for this webinars.  And today's topic is "From Research to Business",   same name as Business Finland funding call. For this reason, we also have Helsinki Innovation  services today with us, thanks Kajsa for joining!   In this webinar we aim to show you examples and  share experience on the innovation path from   lab research to market. And without further do I briefly introduce our first speaker, researcher and  

innovator Timo Myöhänen. Timo is group leader in NeuroPREP project at the University of Helsinki. He holds a title of docent at division of faculty  of Pharmacy. Timo is also assistant professor   at faculty of Pharmacy, senior research at  division of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy,   principal investigator at Regenerative Pharmacology  group and also supervisor for doctor program in   drug research. Welcome Timo and now screen is yours!  Okay, thank you very much for the introduction and   invitation for this Innovation in Neuroscience  seminar. So I'm gonna present a little bit about  

our NeuroPREP project. As you can see this  NeuroPREP has very ambitious aims. It's   about stopping the Alzheimer's and Parkinson's  disease and I'm gonna introduce you a little bit   how we aim to get here. And as maybe many of you  know, neurodegenerative diseases are quite a lot   set of diseases. Parkinson's disease has  approximately 10 million patients worldwide.   Alzheimer's then again way bigger with 50 million  patients and common for all of these is that there   is a neuron degeneration in some part of the  brain causing clinical symptoms that then can be   movement disorders or dementia. And  another common thing for this is that  

there is no curative treatment for  neurodegenerative diseases. So, current   treatments they can only relieve the symptoms but  they cannot really block or even delay the neural   degeneration that then continues all the time in  the brain causing all time more severe symptoms.   And what's important is that this amount of  these diseases, amount of the patients with these   diseases is basically constantly increasing. In  the western countries the aging has been already   slightly flattened but then again, there are these  former third world countries, like China, where   the aging is has already has started to increase.  And we have to remember that the age is the most  

significant risk factor for these diseases. So  basically, aging increases the risk and, therefore,   when there's more age people, there will be  more cases with the neurodegenerative diseases. And since, we are speaking about  the Business Finland project,   we always need to remember a little bit of market,  and it's also an increasing market. Already, with  

the current therapies, that are not curative, the market is estimated to be 9 billion USD.   And it's gonna, it's been estimated, that it  elevates to 12 billion US dollars in 2024.   So it's clear that we are in the need of new  treatments that would be able to at least reduce the disease progression, or even block them,  which would be of course the optimal situation. And our approach has been PREP, really little  peptides, but let's just say it as a PREP and it's   a serine protease. It cleaves out peptides. And  back in the old days, they noticed that there is is changes in PREP enzyme activity during  the aging, and in the sort of neurodegenerative diseases. And this served as a background  to develop small molecule, PREP inhibitors. And this drug development was quite  intense, let's say from 90s to 2005.

And for example, our reference compound  KYP-2047 was developed by that time. And the idea was that, if we block  the enzymatic activity of PREP,   we are able to elevate neuropeptide levels in  the brain and enhance memory. The idea was good.   Preclinical models showed some effect, good enough,  that a couple of the PREP inhibitors were tested in the clinical trials. But there there wasn't any  effect and looking at back now, getting a memory   effect on aged healthy individuals is  probably very difficult no matter what you try. But the important part was that  PREP inhibition was shown to be safe   in phase one and two clinical trials. Three of  them were tested KYP-2047 wasn't one of them  

but they would turn not to be safe. But when the  clinical trials failed, of course the interest   in PREP slightly decreased. Until 2008, a group  from Belgium, they showed that PREP can enhance   the aggregation of alpha-synuclein which is,  basically, very easy to get in an in vitro setting,   what happened here. But important was that by  using PREP inhibitors, they were able to block   this effect. And why this alpha-synuclien is then  again so important? So alpha-synuclein   is one of the main components of Lewy bodies  that are then again used as a hallmark for   Parkinson's disease and a couple of other diseases  called synucleinopathies. So, the alpha-synuclein,   when it finally forms the Lewy body,  it's in this very tightly aggregated form.  

And recent studies have shown that it's, actually,  something that happens in between. This,   when alpha-synuclein starts to aggregate and before  it forms a Lewy body, that's toxic for the cells. And that's something we've been  able to target interpret inhibitors. So there's  

about 10 years of science behind this, and this 15  minutes is not enough to go through that. But what   we noticed is that PREP makes a direct interaction  with alpha-synuclein. It enhances its aggregation   and it also regulates autophagy, which is kind of a  cellular recycle center that, then again, decrease   these synuclein oligomers aggregates and  other toxic species. And both of these   are not related with with this enzymatic effects  of PREP. But it's a protein protein interaction. And in the best case, what we've been able to do in  the animal studies, we showed that when we give   an animal an overdose of alpha-synuclein by using  virus vector, it starts to generate behavioral   deficit. And when we start the treatment when there  is already a behavioral deficit, we are able to  

reduce, or actually, almost completely remove  this behavioral problem, and reduce the synuclein  oligomers. And of course, this was very nice finding  but, then again, we started to think, that well maybe   we need to now do something else with the PREP  inhibitors. And that's when we actually started to   plan and apply this Business Finland project.s because  these former prep inhibitors, like KYP-2047,   they are very very widely patented, like in the  old days, and then there are even some new buttons. Where they cover, usually a lot  of neurodegenerative diseases. The other thing, what we found in our  assays that this ic50 that we used to show that how effective these   PREP compounds, PREP inhibitors are to  inhibit the enzymatic activity of PREP.  

It doesn't correlate with, for example,  synuclien aggregation or autophagy induction.   There were some very important PREP inhibitors  that didn't do anything and then some, that were   considered not potent at all in the micromolar  range, and they were actually quite effective. And   this served as an idea for us to start developing  new replicants and initiate this project. And during this neuroPREP, Business Finland  project, we have developed five different series   of new PREP inhibitors, or I would say PREP ligands.  And as you can see, this red arrow is the KYP-2047.  And for example, HUP-46, this blue arrow, they are  way more effective in synuclein aggregation or to   block synuclein aggregation and the induced  autophagy. And we've been doing this cellular   screenings and, eventually, progressed to the animal  models with this. And it was quite interesting to  

see, that when we used, or basically repeated  this virus vector study, that I showed earlier,   but they used a alpha-synuclein vector, that  was more toxic than the one we used earlier.   KYP-2047 couldn't anymore block the behavior deficit but our new compound HUP-46 was   able to do it. And it turned out to be a bit  more effective, or reducing synuclein, and   it solved both of them, showed some  neural protection but it appeared   that HUP-46 was a bit more effective. Also  on this one we are still under the   studies. So therefore, these are quite preliminary  still, but it seems that these new compounds, that  

were pretty good in the cell models, they  were, also, effective in the animal models. And I was speaking about Alzheimer's  disease as well at the topic,  though, I didn't show any data about that.  Hopefully, we have pretty soon, I hope it will   be as a Christmas present for me, that we get the  good results from the Alzheimer mouse model, but   so far there isn't any results from that. But, we  have to remember that there are several common   toxic mechanisms in among the neurodegenerative  diseases, for example, cellular stress,   neuronal over activity cell to cell  spreading and this toxic protein accumulation.

And we know, that with PREP inhibitor we can target  on several of those and that's why we think that   the PREP inhibitors can be applicable for several  neurodegenerative diseases. We do have some data on   on the Alzheimer's cellular models but I didn't  present them at this time. So that's why we kind   of think, that our approach, this multi-targeting  approach, might be successful in term, if you   compare it to the former approach, where you target  generally on one toxic mechanism at the time   Okay, that's all I had to say about this. Of  course, acknowledgements, there is a lot of   science behind this, before even the scenario  project and i'm happy to answer your questions.   Thank you very much Timo for a great presentation.  And now, let me introduce our next speaker  

who is an enthusiastic innovator and researcher  with entrepreneurial mindset Marko Havu, who will   tell us about MEG-MRI projects at Aalto  University. Marco is doctoral candidate in MEG-MRI  research group at the department of Neuroscience  and Biomedical Engineering in Aalto University.   and thanks Marko for coming, now screen is yours!  Thank you Dovile. Right, like Dovile said I'm from  

the MEG-MRI research group at Aalto University.  And I'll first tell a bit about the project   and then move on, to challenges and experiences, that we've gained during the project. And also what makes this successful  commercialisation projects in neuroscience,   in my opinion. The first, worldwide one out of  six people suffer from some kind of brain disorder  

and in Europe the annual cost for society  is over 800 billion euros. Functional brain   imaging is a tool used in diagnosis  and treatment of many of them. However,   today imaging the electrical activity  in the brain requires two studies.   First, we need functional data that comes from  magnetoencephalography or electroencephalography  but, in addition to that, we need anatomical  or structural data, that usually comes from   magnetic resonance imaging. The necessity  of two studies, makes this process   inaccurate, impractical and costly. So  our value proposition is a hybrid brain   scanner, that can get both, the functional  and the structural data in a single scan.  

this improves the workflow and saves a lot of time.  It also means, that we can totally eliminate the   worst-case, localisation errors, and in addition,  our technology enables complete new kinds of   brain research. It has, for example, a  unique contrast for cancerous brain tissue. The technology has been developed for over  a decade, in the the first EU funded project ,  in MEG-MRI, a scientific proof of concept was  built. It had sensors at the back of the head.

Then there was another EU funded project. a FET project, Feature in Emerging Technologies,  in a Horizon 2020 program, called BreakBen, and   that culminated in a whole head research prototype.  So, now we have world's first prototype, which   is able to measure whole head at once. Right  now, we're further refining the prototype and   the clinical validation will start next year.  We have two ongoing commercialisation projects,   another EU funded project Max Pass is a FET  innovation launchpad project and then we have the   Business Finland funded TUTLI project. One pattern  for the pre-realization method was granted in 2017  

and we have two more applications in the PCT phase. The clinical foundation studies that we  have planned, include patients with epilepsy,  Alzheimer's disease and brain cancer. In the  case of epilepsy, we seek to decrease the time   it takes for a clinician to analyse the data, and  in brain cancer, early detection could save lives.  

It's been estimated that spotting Alzheimer's  disease early, could save almost 8 trillion   US dollars during the lifetime of the  current population, in the United States alone. This is our team in the TUTLI project. Koos Zevenhoven, is the research group leader. He's been   developing the technology since the beginning,  and is the world's top most expert in ultra low-   field MRI instrumentation and physics. Professor  Risto Ilmoniemi is the head of our department. He's the father of the project.  He's had a great track record   in in converting groundbreaking research  into businesses, he's a pioneer in MEG, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and he  also served as the CEO of the Next STIM   in the beginning. Thomas Lemström is an expert in  strategy and roadmaps, and I'm a product developer  

with entrepreneurial background. I joined the  project four years ago, while the   BreakBen project was ongoing, and it had,  I think, started one year before where I started. Brain imaging is one of the fastest growing  imaging segments with seven to nine percent   growth per year. And we estimate that the  immediate market for MEG-MRI will be 150 million  

by 2029. In addition, there is  potential for another 350 million, if   finding support to use in  all key application areas. Our competition comes mainly from the existing  functional imaging modalities. They all have   their shortcomings but they also have a large  installed base. Here, you can see comparison of   some key metrics between the existing functional  imaging modalities and our technology. The unit cost for a scanner will be in the range  from 2 million to 4 million euros and we're going   to the market in three phases. First, we're going  to target research institutes, because that's where  

we can immediately bring in value. Also, getting  approvals from FDA, CE or the FDA and CE   approval, can take time. And then also may require  clinical studies, so hospitals will come later.  First, the research-oriented university hospitals  and once the clinical value is proven,   the other hospitals. So that's what I have to  say about the the project and then I'll tell a  

bit about the experiences we've had with  the project, and also SPARK Finland program. So why apply for research to business funding? Well, first of all, I really like the application   process. It's it's smooth and it, actually, improves  your project because. It's a bit different,  from what they use, you you're supposed  to first pitch the idea and then, if you get a   green light then you can send-in the  actual application, or the project plan. So   it requires you to think all the impact  of your projects and the alternatives for it.  

At least in Aalto, I thinking, is in Helsinki  University as well, maybe in all universities, the   innovation services organized pitching workshop. So, you can prepare for this, and I would, actually,   suggest that you start from really really short  pitch, say one minute pitch, to really  crystallize what's important in the project  and then you can add more stuff later on. Second of all, it's full funding  in the sense, that you can,   it's substantial enough for you to, actually,  complete the commercialisation project. Many of these fundings you get are  are fairly small so it's not you won't be able to go through a hopeful  commercialisation project with that funding only   but with this one you can, actually, plan a project that will take you,   as far, as to the market, if your field is all right for that.   And you're able to get enough funding for that  the the amount of funding you get from Business   Finland is 70. So, you still need to have some on top of that but the scale is right. We're also SPARKies, so, we're members of  the SPARK Finland community. And the number

one reason we joined that, was networking  with advisors, investors, potential customers. we joined SPARK, one year ago. And at that point, we were still looking for a startup professional   to join the steering group of our TUTLI project  and through SPARK Finland we got a great   additional member, who not only is a startup  professional, but he used to be a country manager   for a large med-tech company in Finland. And is familiar with all the problems we face, as   a newcomer, trying to to get into a  market where these big players are,   already have established their position  there. And, in addition to this networking,

constant feedback and benchmarking it's a  very valuable asset you get from SPARK Finland.  And, as an extra, we've also benefited from  training, for example in regulatory matters, so   for all neuroscience projects that apply  for TUTLI funding, I also recommend SPARK Finland. So what can I offer, as a step for success? First let's look at the challenges we've had.  First of all, technology in our case, in other cases  it might be scientific challenges, but in our case   the technology is challenging, mainly  because the difference between the   smallest signals we're trying to measure  and the pre-polarisation pulses we use   is 14 orders of magnitude, which is  huge in any field of engineering. Also resources, both financial and human. So,  financial resources, especially after TUTLI, 

like I said, TUTLI funding is substantial  so it covers pretty much everything we need   at this point. But apart from planning the project,  your number one concern during TUTLI survey  covering the funding for after TUTLI ends, or  Research to Business, as it's called these days.  Especially in capital intensive  fields, like like ours, or projects, which   end with low technology readiness level, it might  not be so easy to... Or after the total project you   won't be ready to enter the market yet. You still  need some additional funding, and even in case you  

have some kind of easy, or relatively easy projects, for example an app. You still need some funding for   it. Venture capital or whatever  it is but you still need to   get some funding to get to the market.

One way to succeed is need-based  innovation, so you identify a need,   and then develop a solution to the underlying  problem. But since we're all researchers, then   this may not be sort of the path  to take. You already have a scientific   or technological challenge, that you wish to  solve. And that's how our project all also started,   combining two inherently incompatible  technologies with the challenge, that   they wanted to to overcome, and that's  been the focus. But since the beginning there has been a focus on the impact, focus on the  value and that's what I encourage you to do.  

So think about the value and impact. There are  tools, like for example, lean canvas, that you can   use to to design the value proposition,  and I recommend those. There, they also,   usually, improve the research project, like I said,  in pitching you need to think about the impact and   alternatives. And once you go through this process,  it usually also gives ideas for for research and,

if nothing else, they improve improve your  chances to to get also scientific funding. And as last point, I would like to  say, that team is the most important  thing in any commercialisation project,  so try to get the people you need. People with money, or people who are smarter  than you are good members of the team. And   a bit short staffed on the engineering side  at the moment. So, all that when I saw that  

team photo, everyone we got, is in that  photo and we would need some more people. So,   if you know talented people who would like to  join in imaging projects, and i'd be happy to know.  Thank you I'll be happy to answer  any questions you might have.   Thank you Marko, so let's go to our next speaker,  Philip Scheperjans, who is inovator and medical doctor.   He obtained his medical degree in Düsseldorf   University, Germany. He also holds a docent title and focus  

on microbial role in Parkinson's  disease, and as you may guess,   today he will tell us about microbiome-based  diagnosis for Parkinson's. So thank you Philip,   for giving us a great opportunity to learn about  your project! Screen is yours. Okay, thank you very much for   the invitation. All right, so my presentation  is rather short, because I just want to leave also  

enough time for for discussion. So my story is  a bit different from that of the previous speakers,   in the sense that this project was not, it  didn't, was not supported by TUTLI, because  it is not related to this stage anymore  to the university and, so TUTLI projects are   required that that the university has a stake in the project and so in this case for several  reasons it's not the case, so in that sense,  the the whole process of funding, and then   progress is a bit different in this case. So  maybe even though Timo already gave a very   nice introduction, I also have a few main points  about Parkinson's disease. So, Parkinson's disease  

is my main focus clinically and also in  research. And it's the second most common   neurodegenerative disorder, and the main  symptoms, as Timo mentioned, is a movement disorder   syndrome. So, slowness of movement, muscle stiffness,  trauma, and in the advanced stages, also   posture instabilities. So problems with balance.  And we have about 15 000 in Finland, and so,  

Timo mentioned, ten million patients. In my  source, it was mentioned five million patients, so probably the truth somewhere in between. So, there's  many million patients in in the world and   there are several problems related to  the treatment of Parkinson's disease. First of all,  we diagnose Parkinson's quite late. So,  in the stage when the patients exhibit   motor symptoms, we know that already about 60% of  the dopamine producing nerve cells in the brain   have died. We know that this correlates with  the motor symptoms and, obviously, in terms of  stopping, or slowing down a disease, such as  Parkinson's disease, we would like to treat   as early, as possible. So we're not very well in  picking Parkinson's disease up, currently. And 

we don't know what is causing Parkinson's disease,  but we know that it is chronically progressing,   and that nerve cells progressively die.  But we don't know, exactly why   this, is the case. And I think, what is the most  striking thing about our current treatment of   Parkinson's disease, is that the best drug,  the most effective drug, that we're using for   Parkinson's disease which is named Levodopa, it has been discovered in 1967. So it was before  

the first man landed on the moon. And  it is still the most effective   treatment for Parkinson's disease, and then no  really, any major revolutions have happened. In the pharmacological, a non-invasive  treatment of Parkinson's disease.   We have learned quite a lot in in recent years,  about the how and where Parkinson's disease   starts. And, especially, it has been recognised  that the gut seems to play an important role   in Parkinson's disease. Recently we  have even seen reports, that there may be  

a certain subgroup of Parkinson's patients where  the disease, actually, starts in the gut, and   not in the brain. But then the pathology would  like spread from the gut upwards to the brain stem.   And only then we would see the classical motor  symptoms. And so, there is quite strong evidence   that there is widespread dysfunction  in the gut. There is a low-grade inflammation  

in the intestines, and that we can also see the  alpha-synuclein inclusions, that Timo mentioned, or   already in his talk, that we can see  the same neuropathological changes, also   in the gut. And there's, even though all  mechanisms are not known, but we know that   that there is neural inflammation going  on, which is probably progressively, also   (or) is related to the disease progression,  mitochondria, just function with oxidative stress.  So, that is, I think, also one problem of  the whole Parkinson's disease field, is that   we still have a lack of understanding how these  manufacturers, really interact and contribute.   And that is why we get interested in the gut–brain access, and its role in Parkinson's disease.   So, just to quickly, get your acquainted  with the concept of the gut–brain axis   Basically, it means that, we have learned,  how much the gut, and in particular gut bacteria,   are interacting with the brain. For example, by  programming the immune system, but also by directly  

affecting the vagus nerve, and also by producing  neurotransmitters and other metabolites, such   as short-shaped fatty acids, that affect brain  function and also structural integrity.   And so, our interest is in finding out  whether we could develop a completely new way   of tackling Parkinson's disease by using the  gut–brain axis to influence the pathological   process of Parkinson's disease. I did that,  in that context, we and all others, that are   trying to to develop treatments for Parkinson's  disease we're faced with the problem that   there is a strong heterogeneity in the  symptoms, but probably also in the pathology.  Between the mechanisms that are involved  in Parkinson's disease, between different patients. And so, at this stage we don't  have any tool that we could use to,   specifically identify certain subgroups of  patients, and could try to develop specific   treatments for these subgroups based on  their underlying pathology. And I think that   one of the main reasons why, so far, all  efforts to slow down Parkinson's disease have failed is, that usually these treatments  or these drugs are being tested in a group of   patients that probably consists of different  subgroups, where you could have certain individuals,   that have a very strong response to the specific  treatment. But you could also have a reasonably  

large group, that doesn't respond at all,  because they have a different underlying   mechanism. And so this, the same, seems to be  true also for the involvement of the gut   in Parkinson's disease. And so, we desperately  need biomarkers that we can use to identify   those patients, that are the most suitable for  the the treatment. Concept that we   would like to test and, so we started, studying the the gut microbiota in Parkinson's   disease in 2012. And we were fortunate,  in the sense, that we were the first to be   able to publish about these findings, and since we  were the first, we were also we had the chance to   to try to get patents for certain applications  or for microbiome analysis, in the diagnosis,   or diagnostic process of Parkinson's disease, and also related to certain treatment  aspects. So, here I will focus on the  diagnostic side of it, and so what we  

found, was basically a reduction in the abundance  of Prevotella bacteria in the stool of Parkinson's   patients, and an increase of of Akkermansia. We  also found some other bacteria that were altered   but the strongest signal was this contrast between  Prevotella and Akkermansia. We were also quite fortunate,   because those findings, eventually, turned  out to be the best reproduced findings,   across different cohorts and continents and ethnic groups   to be altered in particular disease. And so it seemed, it was the most robust, the most robust finding as well and, based on literature, and subsequent research,  there is some evidence for these  bacteria being related to the integrity of   the mucus barrier of the gut. So basically,  protecting, or protecting the especially   Prevotella protecting the gut and the human organism from, for example, toxins and other   pro-inflammatory factors, that can be in the gut lumen. And also, they seem to be related   to the production of short-chain fatty acids,  that also regulate the immune system. 

And that may even affect neural inflammation  in the brain, and so with respect to  the application of potential microbiome, modifying treatments. We think that it is   crucial to identify those patients that have  the highest chances of benefiting from such a   treatment, and it turned out, that what you see on  the right side in the graph, is that, actually, when   you look at the whole population of participants  patients, there is only about 25% of patients   that actually have a clear, clearly abnormal microbiome, whereas the rest is, basically, you   cannot really discern them from healthy control  subjects, in terms of their microbiome. So this   again, emphasises my previous point that that we  need to find markers to identify such subgroups. And that's what we basically did. So, we  took our data from our research and   our studies on the underground microbiome repair  in this disease, and developed a test platform   that allows us with a turnaround of about  one to two weeks, to identify from a   fecal sample of a Parkinson's patients, whether this patient has   an abnormal microbiome in comparison to other Parkinson's patients and health controls. And those   would be the the patients you see on the right  side, those large black dots, would be those so-called dysbiotic patients. So, that have an  abnormal microbiome. and so for the  

the concept of using microbiome analysis in  the diagnostics of Parkinson's disease we have granted patents in Europe and the US,  but we also have undisclosed proprietary   algorithms that we use to analyse  this data and to perform this testing.   And so what we're doing in the next step is, and what we have received funding for us,  we will start recruiting, actually, we have  started recruiting patients now, so we will   conduct a clinical trial in three  centers in Finland, where we will recruit   our 48 Parkinson's patients and we will  use the test that we developed to identify   only those patients, that that have a a an  abnormal microbiome and so we will restrict   the the study to people that have the abnormal  microbiome. And when we, in these 48 patients,   we will give them a what is called a fecal  microbiota transplantation, so essentially,  replacing their abnormal microbiome with that of  a healthy donor and we will then follow up,  the safety of the procedure and the  functional efficacy, so how it potentially   alleviates Parkinson's symptoms, and will be also  a large area of target engagement studies. And   so, we hope, that this will help us to  to establish this test platform as a an easy   and clinically feasible tool to identify  a subgroup of Parkinson's patients that is   most likely to benefit from microbiome modulation  treatment. And yeah, this was actually my   my last slide and I'm happy to further  discuss on this topic, or to to answer   any questions. Thank you very much. Okay, thank you very much Philip! And lastly we will have Kajsa  

telling us about Business Finland call. Yes, okay, good afternoon everybody. I'm quite sure, after   this inspiring talks by the gentleman,  hopefully quite many of you have gotten   interested in probably  commercialising some of your own ideas, or   inventions, this is actually, the perfect  timing for that. The Research to Business   funding tool has two funding calls annually,  and the next one is in March next year (2021),  but before getting there, are  some critical steps still to pass.  And that's why, actually, it is good to activate  yourselves now, if you're interested in this funding type. The advices I will be sharing here,  are for the University of Helsinki researchers.

They will be sort of detail of  the process at University of Helsinki. The application process as you already  learned, includes a mandatory sales pitch   to Business Finland, that will be about  one month before the application deadline.   That will be sort of your entrance ticket  to the whole application process, because you   will need to get the either, a yellow or a green  light, from Business Finland, in order to actually   even be eligible to apply, or let's say they  will encourage you to apply. The innovation units   at different universities  coordinate these application   types, and in addition to the coordination,  HIS, Helsinki Innovation Services,   which is, essentially, the innovation you need at  Helsinki University, also supports the applicants.  I'm quite sure that all of you are very  experienced in writing grant applications,   but I think ,especially, Philip, pointed out that,  this requires a bit different mindset, as this   is commercialisation funding, and therefore, we  have seen that it's valuable to have a short   preparation process for this. The preparation  process at our university is essentially   the so-called NABC training program. The letters  come from Need, Approach, Benefit and Competition.

This is the format that Business Finland  encourages you to use when pitching   and preparing your project plan. So, the  training will consist of three afternoon events, in the current state, held via Zoom and  then, an internal university training pitch.   Also the afternoon sessions will include pitch  training, so in addition to the pitch training,   we'll offer you project plan  and application advice and  small hands-on workshops. Business Finland will  evaluate certain aspects of your application.  

They will be interested in the  scalability of your business ,  the commercial skills in your team,  the business model you are planning . So there are certain topics, that probably will  benefit from brainstorming and sparring   together in these sessions. You're very welcome  to register to this NABC training program,   latest 18th of December (2020). The link  for the application you will find   either via the HIS, or the  webpage, and my colleague, also copied the link to   the chat box. You can reach us via our webpage,  you can email me, you'll also find us on Twitter   and LinkedIn. So please, feel free, to be in  touch with us, if you have any questions about this  

funding type or, if you have questions already  now, I'm happy to take them, of course. Thank you!

2021-03-08 06:30

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