Prime Minister Solberg to open ShareLab
The level of activity is high on the first floor of Oslo Science Park, up the stairs to the left of the main entrance. In March, the Prime Minister herself is coming to open ShareLab, and by then, CEO Esben A Nilssen hopes that more researchers and enterprises will have moved in.
‘We are a different incubator in the sense that our activities are based around the lab facilities. We have all the equipment you need to do research in life sciences, and we also offer highly competent staff to assist the researchers,’ says Nilssen.
The lab, which already looks finished, has capacity for 24 people. A place in the lab costs NOK 16,000 a month, but Esben says it will be possible to share a place as experience shows that the lab is only used 40 per cent of the time it is available.
‘In addition, we have 36 office spaces, meeting rooms and social zones that we share with the entrepreneurs in the D block, including StartUpLab. We will probably have slightly more weather-beaten employees with many years of education behind them, but it’s good to share the perks, and we believe this location will lead to more innovation and ideas,’ says Nilssen.
Innovation in a new way
Innovation is the keyword in ShareLab’s concept. They believe there is a huge untapped potential for innovation in academia, but that it is difficult to realise this potential as long as you are part of a research-focused academic environments where innovation is just a buzzword used by the management.
‘Our hypothesis is that it can be challenging to be the lone bioentrepreneur in a lab at a university where everyone else has academic ambitions. We want to offer those people an environment,’ says Nilssen.
He points out that ShareLab intends to be a supplement to the other incubators in Oslo, such as the Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator, which focuses on cancer, and Aleap, which focuses on health.
‘We want to cover the rest of the life sciences field, and particularly to promote more simple ideas that don’t necessarily take such a long time to get on the market but can nonetheless solve important societal problems.’