Submit your research-based idea now – we will help commercialise it

“Any research-based idea that could improve the wellbeing of people or the world should not be left in a desk drawer,” says Vice-Rector Paula Eerola. The Your Idea 2020 campaign provides encouragement to take ideas further.

While conducting research, Vincenzo Cerullo, professor of biological drug development, had an idea on how to make the human immune system fight against cancer cells. But how could this idea about a cancer vaccination be made available to everyone? Would the idea be feasible and could someone help?

Yes, they can. The purpose of the University-owned Helsinki Innovation Services (HIS) is to help researchers commercialise their research outcomes. Indeed, Cerullo received help from experts at HIS, where his idea was studied and found to be feasible. The idea was developed further and in 2016 Valo Therapeutics Ltd was established, part-owned by the University of Helsinki Funds. The clinical tests of the developed vaccine are due to start this year.

Entrepreneurship has improved research

Vincenzo Cerullo currently works both as a researcher at the University of Helsinki and as an entrepreneur. He believes his work as an entrepreneur has also improved his work as a researcher. Apparently there are a number of reasons for this, but he especially wants to mention one:

“When research is not only conducted with a view to publishing something but also because you want to do something meaningful and contribute to change – that’s when you are extremely committed to the work and the work bears fruit,” says Cerullo.

It is worthwhile finding out about commercialisation opportunities for ideas

Making various innovations available to people is among the responsibilities of the University and one of its core duties, public engagement.

"Any research-based idea that could improve the wellbeing of people or the world should not be left in a desk drawer,” says Vice-Rector Paula Eerola.

Eerola emphasises that innovations may have their origins in different kinds of research. They run the whole gamut of services and technologies. Thus far research conducted at the University of Helsinki has spawned spinout companies, from a nanomedicine to early childhood education applications.

“If you get a feeling that ‘there might be something here', it is worthwhile to hear what the HIS team thinks about the commercialisation potential of the idea. Ideas can come about as a side product of research or by accident,” says Paula Eerola.

Aiming for 200 ideas in 12 months

Every year approximately 100 idea and invention disclosure notifications are submitted at the University of Helsinki. In comparison, approximately 300 are submitted annually at the University of Oxford and approximately 200 at the University of Oslo. The University of Helsinki has set a goal of doubling the number of notifications.

This aim is supported by the Your Idea 2020 campaign, which will have a visible presence on campuses and digital channels in a variety of ways. During the campaign, all researchers or researcher groups submitting an idea or invention disclosure notification will be paid a small fee as thanks. The fee amount is €300 if the notification is submitted by a single researcher. A notification submitted by more than one researcher will be paid a fee of €500, which will be evenly divided between the researchers.

“The reward is a small thanks for submitting a notification. The real reward comes if the innovation can be successfully commercialised. In this case, the researcher behind the idea will either be a partner in the company established and benefit in this way or, if the idea is licensed, the researcher will receive a significant part of the income created by licensing,” says Jari Strandman, CEO of HIS.

The campaign will run from 6 April 2020 to 5 April 2021. Read more about the rules of the campaign.

Additional information:

HIS contact information  

Your Idea 2020 campaign


Your Idea 2020 campaign

Has your research revealed an insight or an idea that could solve a small or larger problem globally? Maybe your idea could become a product or a service that will benefit people or the Earth?

If this is the case and you would like to discuss your idea, the team at Helsinki Innovation Services (HIS) will be happy to help you. HIS serves to commercialise research outcomes attained at the University of Helsinki.

Campaign information:

  • The aim is to increase the number of research-based innovations to 200 during a campaign lasting 12 months.
  • The campaign period is 6 April 2020–5 April 2021.
  • Idea and invention disclosure notifications submitted during the campaign period will receive a fee of €300. If the notification is submitted by more than one person, the fee will be €500 and it will be evenly shared among the individuals participating in the notification. The fee will be paid to the first 200 ideas. Read the rules here.

The Acon the Right in Inventions Made at Higher Education Institutions sets out the provisions regarding the commercialisation of research outcomes attained at higher education institutions.

Helsinki Innovation Services

  • Helsinki Innovation Services Ltd, or HIS, was established in 2011 to commercialise research outcomes attained at the University of Helsinki. HIS is wholly owned by the University of Helsinki.

  • The 12-member HIS team has international experience of investment markets, startup entrepreneurship, business life, research and the protection and licensing of intellectual property rights. Many HIS employees have a background in research.