Oslo Cancer Cluster’s highlights 2020

Networking events, political meetings, ambitious students, funding for SMEs and expansion of the laboratory… Here is a “pick and mix” of our many news from the past year.

Another year has passed and as we look back on a year filled with both challenges and successes, we are inspired with renewed energy to continue our work in 2021. It is never easy to summarise an entire year in only a few paragraphs, but here is an attempt to present a variety of the many positive experiences, fruitful meetings and engaging activities that Oslo Cancer Cluster has enjoyed.


Cancer Crosslinks 2020

The speakers, chairpersons, introducers and organizers of Cancer Crosslinks 2020

The speakers, chairpersons, introducers and organizers of Cancer Crosslinks 2020. Photo: Oslo Cancer Cluster

The year began with the 12th Annual Cancer Crosslinks on 16 January. This year’s topic “Progress in Cancer Care – A tsunami of promises or Game Changing Strategies?” included engaging presentations by leading international and Norwegian experts on the latest advances in immune-oncology. These sparked stimulating discussions between colleagues in the networking breaks. Cancer Crosslinks 2020 was one of the few physical meetings this year and gathered more than 350 delegates from all of Norway and abroad at the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park.

Please visit the official Cancer Crosslinks website at https://www.cancercrosslinks.com to register for Cancer Crosslinks 2021, which will be presented digitally on 21 January.


Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator developed cell therapy lab

Björn Klem and Janne Nestvold celebrate that the Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator has been nominated among Europe's 20 best incubators.

Bjørn Klem, general manager, and Janne Nestvold, laboratory manager, at Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator. Photo: Oslo Cancer Cluster.

Oslo Cancer Cluster (OCC) Incubator invested in the laboratory’s cell therapy infrastructure, thanks to a grant from the Oslo City’s Regional Innovation Programme. Moreover, Radiumhospitalets Legater have kindly donated a valuable instrument, called a Seahorse, which was set up in the OCC Incubator in November, to boost research into cancer cells further. Cell therapies have the potential to cure cancer and turn it into a chronic disease. More research is however needed to document the full potential of cell therapies and the OCC Incubator is happy to facilitate this.

Please visit Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator’s website to learn more about their facilities and services


First-year researchers held poster session

Linnéa M. Skille, May Dagny Kollandsrud Hutchings, Tonje Marie Bjørklund Hopen and Elakhiya Dushyanthan presented their research project at the school’s poster session. Photo: Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersem

Oslo Cancer Cluster has collaborated with Ullern Upper Secondary School for several years to inspire students to pursue careers in science, research and entrepreneurship. In 2019, we launched the research programme in partnership with the school and this year marked the end of its first year. The grand finale was a real poster session, similar to those at large science conferences, where the students presented their research projects to their mentors. We are proud of these talented, ambitious students and delighted to follow their journey onwards.

Please visit our School Collaboration website for more information


Oslo Cancer Cluster joined Oslo Science City

Christine Sørbye Wergeland, CEO of Oslo Science City, was delighted to welcome Oslo Cancer Cluster as a new member in June. Photo: Oslo Science City

Oslo Cancer Cluster joined Oslo Science City, the first innovation district in Norway, in June 2020. The district already includes more than 30 000 students, 7 500 researchers, the country’s foremost universities, hospitals and world-class research institutions, as well as more than 300 companies. Now, the aim is to become a world leading innovation district that contributes to research excellence, jobs creation, the green shift and sustainable economic development. Oslo Cancer Cluster is eager to contribute to Oslo Science City to solve the hard problems of the future, such as cancer.

Please visit Oslo Science City’s official website to learn more


Ministers met at Oslo Cancer Cluster

Danish Foreign Minister meets with Norwegian Trade Minister at Oslo Cancer Cluster

Ministers Jeppe Kofod and Iselin Nybø met at Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park in August 2020. Photo: The Embassy of Denmark in Norway

Oslo Cancer Cluster was honoured by a visit from the Foreign Minister of Denmark Jeppe Kofod and the Minister for Trade, Industry and Fisheries Iselin Nybø in August 2020. The ministers discussed current topics, such as export, international trade and foreign investments. The ministers also listened to presentations from key representatives from the health industry on the potential of Nordic collaboration on life science and cancer. A central issue was how to reduce the development time of cancer treatments from 10 to 5 years, and to make the Nordics a destination for health innovation.


Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park 5-Year Milestone

Five years ago, Prime Minister Erna Solberg was welcomed by Jónas Einarsson, founder of Oslo Cancer Cluster, at the opening of the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park. Photo: Gunnar Kopperud

This year marked five years of innovation in Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park. The milestone was commemorated with a virtual event that will be live until 31 December 2020. The virtual event includes greetings from Prime Minister Erna Solberg, perspectives from members of Oslo Cancer Cluster, reflections from stakeholders in the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park and comments from Innovation Norway, SIVA and the Research Council of Norway.


Leading the way for precision medicine

Dr. Kjetil Taskén, Dr. Åslaug Helland and Dr. Hege Russnes are part of the enthusiastic team at Oslo University who are behind the national study IMPRESS. Photo: Oslo University Hospital

Dr. Kjetil Taskén, Dr. Åslaug Helland and Dr. Hege Russnes are part of the enthusiastic team at Oslo University behind the national study IMPRESS. Photo: Oslo University Hospital

IMPRESS-Norway, a national clinical study starting in 2021 working towards implementing cancer precision medicine in Norway, was officially announced in October. IMPRESS involves the active support of leading global pharmaceutical companies that will provide the study drugs and contribute with per patient fees. Public funding will help to ensure this innovative study paves the way for more cancer clinical trials in Norway. A new public-private partnership called CONNECT is also being established with Oslo Cancer Cluster as project coordinator. CONNECT will provide an arena for all stakeholders to jointly address key obstacles and to pilot novel solutions to advance the implementation of precision cancer medicine.


DIGI-B-CUBE funding for SMEs

The first round of voucher applications by SMEs in the DIGI-B-CUBE project was a success. On 29 August 2020, the successful applicants were announced, with funding support of more than 1,4 million euros to SMEs for fostering cross-sectoral Innovation. Of the 217 applications, 22 SMEs were granted financial support to implement their customized solution innovation ideas with an overall budget of more than 1 million euros, ranging from topics like a sleep apnea test device, to Covid-19 monitoring, to in-vitro cellular immunoassays. In addition, 21 SMEs with an overall budget of more than 400 000 euros will be financially supported by the DIGI-B-CUBE project to implement their prototypes.

Please visit DIGI-B-CUBEs official website to learn more


Oslo Cancer Cluster events went digital

The Organising Partners from Europe and North America opened the first virtual version of the International Cancer Cluster Showcase this year.

This year we had to think of new, creative ways to meet and deliver key events in a new format. Here is a selection of this year’s virtual events:

In May, we live-streamed a political meeting on integrating clinical studies in standard patient care in Norway from Oslo, in collaboration with Kreftforeningen, LMI, MSD, AstraZeneca and Janssen.

On 8 June 2020, the 9th International Cancer Cluster Showcase was launched as a virtual event presenting 20 early-stage oncology companies and sparking record-high participation with about 400 registrations.

During Oslo Innovation Week in September 2020, we arranged the virtual event “What does it take to impact innovation?”, with talks from stakeholders who inspire innovation, protect innovation and provide the necessary tools for innovation.

As a long-standing conference supporter of EHiN “E-health in Norway”, we participated in the first-ever fully digital EHiN in several sessions, covering current topics such as gene technology, artificial intelligence and health data.

Please visit the Oslo Cancer Cluster Event Calendar for an overview of all upcoming events.


New members announcement

The Oslo Cancer Cluster member wheel gives a glimpse of the membership base, which has grown this year.

During 2020, Oslo Cancer Cluster has welcomed several new members to our organization. We are happy to announce that the following companies have joined us and been introduced to the rest of the cluster: Glaxo-Smith Kline, Hubro Therapeutics, Kaiku Health, Ledidi, Hemispherian, PharmaRelations, Vesteraalens, Adjutec Pharma, K og K and Worldwide Clinical Trials.

Please visit the Oslo Cancer Cluster Member Overview to see all our members and to visit their websites.



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