Proof of Concept (PoC) funding

The University of Eastern Finland started Proof-of-Concept (PoC) funding to accelerate the commercialization of ideas emerging from research. 
The funding intends for the creation of clearly defined business opportunity plans that can be utilized later on in applications for external funding, such as Tekes and EU funding, in the establishment of start-up companies, or in licensing for an existing company. 

Funded ideas

Annakaisa Haapasalo: From preclinical markers of neuronal damage to biomarkers for brain diseases, A.I.Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences

Currently, there are no suitable biomarkers for early diagnosis or estimating therapeutic efficacy in neurodegenerative brain diseases. This project aims at creating multiplex platforms utilizing the ultrasensitive single molecule array (Simoa) technology for novel candidate molecules indicating neuronal damage, which have been identified at UEF. These platforms will be offered as service for researchers, research institutes, and pharmaceutical and bioscience companies to be used in the characterization of cell-based or animal disease models, preclinical animal studies, and biomarker and drug research in patients.  
Harri Kokko: Arctic light, Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences

The aim is the development of the closed re-cycling method for arctic bramble production, enabling energy-efficient and year-round farming in LED plant factories, in order to get rid of t disease and pest problems of open field cultivation.
Jussi Paananen: PharmAI – artificial intelligence for pharma development, School of Medicine

Drug development companies are in a trouble. There is a lack of new innovative drugs and therapies, while bringing a new drug to market costs  $2.6 billion on average. Industry deeply needs new ways to boost and optimize drug development processes. At the same time, new biomarkers are needed for planning and monitoring personalized precision treatments. Our solution is a web-based artificial intelligence system, which integrates open and closed data, while providing a researcher friendly user interface that can be used to discover and evaluate novel drug targets and biomarkers. Our solution is based on our long research and software development background, and the real market need expressed by pharmaceutical companies. Our solution scales to bring the system available for all pharma industry players. 
Matthieu Roussey: SoILeaf: Additional layer enhancing commercial solar panel efficiency, Department of Physics and Mathematics

Solar energy is abundant but can sometimes be difficult to capture, depending on the country latitude for instance. Solar panels should remain discreet to not modify the city’s landscapes. Solar cells should be more efficient to save the amount of solar panels needed per unit of energy collected and therefore save material resources. We propose the development of a solar cell enhancer. The goal of the project is the setting up of a demonstrator showing that we can accomplish at large production scale and low cost the three challenges stated above.
Pasi Tavi: Mathematical modelling of cell- and tissue physiology, A.I.Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences

This project aims to develop a platform of mathematical cell models for simulation of variety of cell types, based on mathematical models developed in basic research. Especially the project aims at elucidating the commercial potential of the developed solutions.