Slush 2015: Astounding scientific innovations and fierce competition

9.11.2015
The commercialisation of research-based innovations is on the rise at the University of Helsinki. This year, the University community has registered more inventions than ever before. Spin-out companies based on research are also being established at an accelerating pace.

The University of Helsinki’s investments in the commercialisation of research results are bearing fruit. The University’s booth at Slush will present 15 of the most promising research-based innovations and two recently established spin-out companies. The intention is to find entrepreneurs and investors to help boost them forward.

The University’s booth at Slush is run by Helsinki Innovation Services (HIS), which is in charge of commercialising the University’s research results. The innovations will be introduced by the commercialising experts from HIS and the researchers behind the inventions.

PeptiCRAd will revolutionise cancer treatment

One of the innovations presented is PeptiCRAd, an invention made by Associate Professor Vincenzo Cerullo, which harnesses the body’s own immune response to battle cancer. In animal tests, the new technology has already been used to destroy cancerous tumours typical to humans. Cerullo works at the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Pharmacy. At the moment, HIS is trying to find an entrepreneur and investors to partner with Cerullo and help the invention take over the world.

Right now HIS is interviewing top international experts who would be able to move PeptiCRAd from lab to clinical use. Some who were interested had even contacted HIS directly before HIS had time to contact them. This tells something of the great interest in the possibilities.

"This is a very new way of thinking about the viruses altogether. So far, it is like having a Ferrari and trying to use it as a boat and wondering why it doesn't work as it should. When you start to use it as a car, things look a bit different," Italian-born Vincenzo Cerullo says.

Innovations to fund research

In addition to the innovations, two companies, Etsimo and Disel21 will be presented at the booth.

Etsimo has developed a search engine which combines human and artificial intelligence to conduct intelligent searches and research as well as handle big data.

“Etsimo is a great example of the kinds of business opportunities afforded by top research. As soon as it was established, Etsimo received extensive global interest for its unique search technology," explains Jari Strandman, CEO of HIS. “We are creating international success stories in Finland. We can help spin-out companies find the right partners and investors. Our goal is for in-house innovations to help fund research in the future," he continues.

Eight finalists based at the University of Helsinki

This year, Slush is organising a Science Pitching Competition for the first time, with ten of today’s most interesting research-based innovations vying for victory. Eight of the ten finalists have a connection to the University of Helsinki.

Of them, three are already involved in the commercialising process at HIS: PeptiCRAd, CoPassion and Copla. Two of the finalists are also in the Helsinki Challenge final: Moralities of Intelligent Machines and NEMO – Natural Emotionality in Digital Interaction. The Lab Impact Africa project reached the semifinal stage in the Helsinki Challenge.

The competition will take place on the Slush main stage on Thursday, 12 November, 14.30-15.30.

University innovations to serve family businesses

On Wednesday, 11 November, 14.30–15.00, the University of Helsinki booth will host a discussion on how innovations created at universities could be used in Finnish family businesses. The discussion will feature the rector of the University of Helsinki Jukka Kola and the CEO of the Finnish Family Business Union Leena Mörttinen. Another discussion will be held with the CEO of HIS, Jari Strandman, and the CEO of MOPRIM, Petri Martikainen, on how a research paper wound up on the front lines of the Internet of Things.

Representatives from the University of Helsinki's Think Company will also be at the University of Helsinki booth to talk about their work and the 4Uni competition.

Wellcome to the University of Helsinki booth (2b) at Slush on 11–12 November 2015 to hear about our inventions, listen to interesting discussions and cheer on the Science Pitching Competition finalists on the Slush main stage!

Slush 11.-12.11.2015

Helsinki Innovation Services (HIS)

Slush Science Pitching Competition