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Lobby in Snellmania building, Kuopio campus.

Three new Proof of Concept projects funded by UEF’s strategic implementation fund

The University of Eastern Finland opened this spring an internal call for Proof of Concept (PoC) funding to accelerate the commercialization of ideas emerging from research.

The funding intends for the creation of clearly defined and tested business ideas that have business potential and that can be utilised later on in the establishment of start-up companies, in licensing for an existing company, or in applications for Business Finland funding (Research to Business funding).

The following Proof of Concept ideas were granted funding:

  • Tarja Malm: Functional biomarker for Alzheimer's disease; A.I. Virtanen Institute; 19 696 €
    Alzheimer's disease (AD) a progressive neurodegenerative disease without a cure. At the time of AD diagnosis the neuronal damage is beyond repair and only palliative treatment possible. Thus, there is a pressing need for reliable biomarkers which can detect AD at an early stage. New approaches for early diagnosis of AD are of a great importance for identification of optimal starting point for disease-modifying interventions. Here we test our newly identified functional biomarker approach in AD patient cells.
  • Marja Hedman: A mathematic algorithm for the personalized prediction of aortic rupture; School of Medicine; 12 000 €
    Aortic dilatation is a very common incidental finding in the diagnostic imaging of the chest. It is especially common in middle aged men (up to 40 %). It is called as a silent killer, since it can lead to aortic dissection and rupture without pre-existing symptoms. This is why it causes extensive human uncertainty and fear. Currently, there are no methods to identify the high risk patients. That leads to a practice where all patients are followed with repeated aortic imaging using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography. We have developed a personalized risk evaluation method for aortic rupture (aortic rupture index). The method is based on computer based analysis using geometric and flow dependent mathematic modelling of modern 4D flow MRI data joined to patient's clinical history. The analysis helps to identify the patients at high risk to aortic rupture to be guided into preventive operation or frequent follow up. The study is performed in collaboration with University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Kuopio university hospital, Middle Finland hospital district and JAMK university of applied sciences. The ongoing studies aim to validate the algorithm in clinical patients with aortic dilatation. At the same time the market and competitor analysis is performed in collaboration with UEF Business School. We have been accepted into SPARK Finland 2 -year program from the beginning of this year.
  • Ossi Turunen: Extremophilic industrial enzymes; School of Forest Sciences; 12 000 €
    The goal of the project is to develop new enzymes than function in challenging industrial conditions. Based on the knowledge of the protein structure, enzymes cleaving biomass fibers are designed to function at high temperatures and other extreme conditions. The increased efficiency and durability allows the use of enzymes without additional adjustment of industrial process conditions. The use of enzymes increases the efficiency and environmental friendliness of biomass processing


For further information, please contact

Irina Lavikainen

Senior Innovation Specialist