Slush offers researchers meetings, networking and useful feedback

During the two-day event, nine research-based innovations and Y Science, the official Slush side event, not forgetting stakeholder meetings for decision-makers and business partners, showcased the University’s innovation activities to thousands of interested attendees.

How can vaccines be protected over long journeys? How can a new technique for producing hydrogen from water help various industries progress towards carbon neutrality? How can artificial intelligence enhance cancer diagnostics?  

University of Helsinki researchers offered science-based solutions to such challenges that focus, among others, on health, energy economy and sustainability, when they presented their commercialisation projects and spinouts at Slush, a major gathering of startups and funders held in late November and early December.  

The University of Helsinki and its technology transfer and commercialisation company Helsinki Innovation Services participated in the event for the ninth time as Slush’s major partner.  

The researchers who attended Slush returned with positive memories:   

“While Slush was a sweeping and intensive experience, it was also an inspiring and eye-opening event – especially when you receive positive feedback from people from all walks of life and have the opportunity to hear speakers of a very high profile,” says Postdoctoral Researcher Karolina Punovuori from team Multivision Diagnostics.

Potentially significant encounters also took place during the event:  

“We had a number of interesting meetings with not only funders, but also other entrepreneurs, service providers, politicians and students intrigued by what we do.  

We have not yet reached the stage where we would be looking for investors, but we had a few thought-provoking discussions with various investors, and agreed to meet with them at a later stage,” explains Punovuori.  

University’s stand attracted thousands of interested visitors from politicians to CEOs

The University of Helsinki stand was well positioned by the main stage. During the two days of the event, the stand attracted, besides thousands of individual visitors, various delegations, such as the Nokia leadership team and German government representatives.   

In addition, the leadership of the University and Helsinki Innovation Services presented innovation activities in events directed at business partners and members of parliament.  

Minister of Science and Culture Sari Multala and Minister of Economic Affairs Wille Rydman visited the University of Helsinki stand.  

The members of parliament who visited the stand included Tuula Haatainen, Chair of the Education and Culture Committee, Ari Koponen, Vice-Chair of the Education and Culture Committee, and committee member Hanna Kosonen. Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen also paid a visit to the University’s stand. 

University representatives and the politicians focused especially on the research and development funding plan currently being prepared by the relevant ministries and how the plan should take into account funding for innovation activities at universities. 


Pitching and networking at the Y Science side event

On Thursday, Helsinki Institute of Life Science HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, organised Y Science, an official Slush side event, to bring together researchers and businesses in life sciences to explore solutions to questions related to, among other things, health, food systems, forests, and the environment.  

In the Y Science pitching final, Multivision Diagnostics, which also featured at the University’s main stand, won the Health & Pharma competition.  MyShroom, another University of Helsinki spinout, won the Food Systems category. 

“Winning the Y Science pitching competition was a great experience, which also certainly increased our visibility. The other projects in the competition were of a high quality and I enjoyed learning about them in the process. 

The jury had good questions exploring the topics in-depth. I was pleased to see that they could identify with our vision of harnessing next-generation imaging technology for clinical use,” concludes Karolina Punovuori of Multivision Diagnostics.