Commercialisation of research requires deep knowledge, collaboration and partnerships

In 2023, there was a rise in the number of patent families at the University of Helsinki, leading to the creation of new commercial agreements and spinout companies. Additionally, researchers submitted a total of 101 invention disclosures. All this was attributed to the close collaboration and expertise of the team.

Since 2015, Helsinki Innovation Services Ltd has guided nearly 100 research teams at the University of Helsinki. It has assisted in protecting and commercialising inventions resulting from top-level research, and by the end of 2023, there were over 50 patent families and 23 University of Helsinki spinout companies with science-based innovation at the core of their business.

The number of successful commercialisation projects, licensing agreements and new spinout companies correlates with the amount of commercialisation funding available. A key role for the University of Helsinki is played by the Research to Business funding from Business Finland. It is granted for the pre-commercialisation phase of commercially potential research-based innovations, usually for a maximum period of two years.

Bringing new technologies "from the laboratory to the market" requires not only adequate funding but also an efficient technology transfer process, a deep understanding of the code-of-conduct of university research, and a grasp of the start-up world and commercialisation. The business development and IPR experts at Helsinki Innovation Services are familiar with all of these challenges, and by helping the university's top research teams they transform science-driven inventions into commercially viable technologies and successful businesses. 

Success depends on the entire university research community, including researchers, faculty and university administration, as well as the efforts of the university's legal and Inno teams. The impact of this collaboration can be seen in many ways; in the number of invention disclosures made each year, in raising public awareness of the commercialisation of research, and in fostering a positive innovation culture.

A busy and productive 2023 for the commercialisation of research

A review up to 2023 reveals that the researchers at the University of Helsinki made a total of 101 invention disclosures. New patents were granted, and patent applications were filed in various disciplines. The number of patent families increased to almost 60. In addition, several commercial agreements were signed during the year and three spinout companies were set up.

“All in all, 2023 was a great year for the commercialisation of research activities. At the University of Helsinki, 11 new research commercialisation projects were kickstarted. We at Helsinki Innovation Services also developed the university’s licensing processes and expanded our technology transfer networks and enhanced the expertise of our entire staff,” says Kajsa Kajander, Interim CEO at Helsinki Innovation Services Ltd. 

“Although there was no significant increase in the number of all areas of commercialisation activities, compared to the previous year, our commercialisation project portfolio pipeline saw a significant increase with record number of new Research to Business projects starting in January. By the beginning of September, we had a total of 19 ongoing projects, all of which were showcased during Slush and Y Science. These projects hold a great commercial potential, and it remains to be seen what the outcome will be.“