Ten billion and growing

The year 2018 has been a particularly eventful year for Inven2. We have had a high level of activity and achieved many of our objectives of taking research results and turning them into products or services in the market.

Ole Kristian Hjelstuen fra Inven2

If there is one thing I would like to highlight as particularly pleasing, it is that many of the companies we have established are doing very well in fierce global competition. Our portfolio of innovative businesses was worth NOK 10 billion at the turn of the year. This is more than triple the total value from three years ago and shows that there is a demand in the market for the products developed from research conducted at the University of Oslo, Oslo University Hospital, and all the health trusts that fall under South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority.

It is motivating for us to see that the projects we work with over time have sound foundations, when we establish a company with a view to providing the greatest possible chance of success. Nordic Nanovector alone is worth NOK 2.5 billion, and that is before the development of its cancer treatment Betalutin has been completed and the drug becomes available on the market. Ultimovacs is not yet listed on the stock exchange but could be an exciting listing in 2019. Elliptic Labs, Vaccibody and Oncoinvent are other companies of significant value, and the start-up Pre Diagnostics was one of three of Inven2’s companies that each received more than Euro 2 mill in EU funding last autumn in fierce competition with others.

Other good news in 2018 is that the number of clinical trials appears to have stabilised at an acceptable level and that the Minister of Health’s policy is to seek an increase this number. We are currently experiencing a mobilisation to increase the number of trials, and certain clinical environments in particular stand out in this respect. I would like to point to Oslo Myeloma Center, trials on children, and the Department of Oncology, all of which are based at Oslo University Hospital. At the Department of Oncology, the number of clinical trials has risen again after a period of slight decrease. These trials are important and give people afflicted by serious illnesses a new opportunity when all other treatments have fallen short.

Research and technology can be groundbreaking and momentous, which we again demonstrated along with our partners at the seventh Cutting Edge event. Cutting Edge is Norway’s biggest research and technology festival and is a shop window for Innovation 2.0 at both the University of Oslo and on an international level. Of the presentations given, I would have to say that the 3D printer, which can print small organs like ears. stood out. Hopefully in the not so distant future, the 3D printer may also be used to test the effect of different cancer treatments in a simple and cost efficient manner.

Collaboration is vital to Inven2 on many levels. No one is an island in innovation and the commercialisation of research. In recent years, we have placed great emphasis on facilitating collaboration between established industry and the skilled researchers we know at the university and hospitals, and have, among other things, organised several matchmaking events. The close cooperation with UiO:Life Science on the SPARK projects, and with Aleap, Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator and the clusters on the further development of the companies we establish, has been particularly useful.

It is also important that we have been able to contribute funding in the very earliest stages of the companies we establish. One useful measure for giving more investors access to our project portfolio at an early stage is the Invent2Pitch seminars, where researchers pitch their discoveries. This attracted major interest in 2018, and we will continue to hold new seminars in 2019. Last, but definitely not least, it is important that we have established an even closer collaboration with Oslo University Hospital’s innovations department throughout 2018, and the fruits of this collaboration has been more innovation from the hospital.

I look forward to continuing Inven2’s important work in 2019.