Highlights from Oslo Cancer Cluster in 2023

2023 written in front of circles of pearls in variants of red and orange.OCC/ Dark Arkitekter / Hufton Crow

Here are seven highlights from this eventful year.

2023 has seen the crystallization of several significant developments at Oslo Cancer Cluster. We’ve immersed ourselves in the cancer mission, initiated new endeavors both nationally and across Europe, and welcomed new members into our community.

Growing the Community

Throughout the year, we’ve been delighted to witness growth in both our membership and physical space. Discover more about some of our new members through these articles:

For a sneak peek at the ongoing construction between the Innovation Park and the Institute for Cancer Research, you can visit the live building site webcam on the Innovation Park website.

Connecting Efforts

A new cluster collaboration came to life in 2023. A primary task at Oslo Cancer Cluster is to foster connections within the cancer innovation sphere. Facilitating investment opportunities for emerging companies is a vital part of this process. At the start of the year, we reinforced our collaboration with other health and life science clusters in Norway to achieve this, aiming for increased success among Norwegian companies. This initiative is led by The Life Science Cluster and supported by Viken County for two years.

Read more about the collaboration in this article from February.

Two men and two women looking into the camera wearing dressed up clothes

The leaders of the four health and life science clusters, from the left: Ketil Widerberg, Oslo Cancer Cluster, Hanne Mette Dyrlie Kristensen, The Life Science Cluster, Arild Kristensen, Norwegian Smart Care Cluster, Lena Nymo Helli, Norway Health Tech. Foto: Jofrid Åsland, Norwegian Smart Care Cluster.

The non-profit company HealthCatalyst brings together Oslo Cancer Cluster, Norway Health Tech, and the Norwegian Smart Care Cluster to enhance testing facilities for health companies. In June, the company forged a new collaboration agreement with NorTrials Medical Equipment, aiming to elevate Norway as a testing ground for health technologies.

Explore the collaboration’s details in this article on our website.

The CONNECT consortium for precision cancer medicine has had a remarkable year. Discover this year’s milestones for the consortium in a separate article on the CONNECT-website. ADD LINK

And here is the animation explainer that CONNECT made to explain personalised medicine (in Norwegian only).

Big and Small Meeting Places

Cancer Crosslinks 2023 centred around the theme “New dimensions to the hallmarks of cancer: How is the last decade of discoveries advancing our understanding of cancer biology and transforming precision medicine.” It served as a day of inspiration, insights, and interactions for professionals from across the cancer field in Norway and beyond.

Read this article about the 2023 Cancer Crosslinks.

Interested in joining Cancer Crosslinks 2024? The theme for next year is “Bridging innovations to improve clinical outcomes for cancer patients.” Registration is open!

Throughout the year, we’ve organized smaller gatherings for our members and community, such as the Summer gathering and the December gathering. These meetings occur every June and December, and we hope to see you there next year!

Our incubator has also facilitated smaller meetings between start-ups and potential investors. During one such occasion in the summer, US healthcare and life science investors visited. Read about their interaction in this article.

Finally, we were present at the large venues too. One of these was the Nordic Life Science Days in Copenhagen, where Oslo Cancer Cluster coordinated the joint booth Norway for Life Science, promoting the Norwegian healthcare and life science industry.  This is the article and this is part of our team in front of the Norwegian booth:

5 people smiling in front of a poster.

The Oslo Cancer Cluster team representing and networking in Copenhagen. From Left: Charlotte Homme, Dave Tippett, Thomas Andersson, Janne Nestvold and Bente Prestegård.

Our Take on the Cancer Mission

This year, we’ve raised the question, “How can Norway succeed with the EU’s Mission on Cancer?” loudly and clearly. Explore discussions and insights from two seminars in the meeting series “The Future of Cancer Treatments” held during 2023. The seminars are also available on our YouTube channel.

Find more about the meeting series on our project page.

Three men and one woman are in a discussion on a stage, sitting, one of which is Camilla Stoltenberg, who is engaged with her arm in a gesture. The other people are Espen Solberg (NIFU), Leif Rune Skymoen (LMI) and Ole Alexander Opdalshei (Norwegian Cancer Society).

Espen Solberg (NIFU), Camilla Stoltenberg (FHI), Leif Rune Skymoen (LMI) and Ole Alexander Opdalshei (Norwegian Cancer Society) discuss how to perform the Cancer Mission in Norway.

The Cancer Mission Hub Norway is another crucial arena for the same topic. Oslo Cancer Cluster proudly collaborates within this hub. In May 2023, we commenced work with 56 other organizations spanning 28 countries in the EU project called ECHoS. It received a 6-million-euro grant from The European Union. Read about our plans through this consortium in these two articles:

Health Industry Milestones in Norway

Oslo Cancer Cluster continued to act as a Changemaker in 2023. In the cluster strategy for 2023-25, this is one of our three roles, aiming to improve the framework for cancer innovations in the Norwegian health industry. This involves contributing input to relevant national policies and addressing specific challenges. Discover more on our webpage or read our input to the State budget proposal. Additionally, watch our participation in the parliamentary health committee hearing on our YouTube-channel. Note that most of the content is in Norwegian.

In late summer, the government published its roadmap for the health industry, focusing on commercializing research and developing health as a green export success. Read more in this article.

Young Talents

Ullern Upper Secondary School and Oslo Cancer Cluster have a mutually rewarding school collaboration. In 2023, numerous engaging activities took place with students, their mentors, student research projects, and student work placements.

Explore the students’ activities on the school collaboration homepage (all news in Norwegian) and contact us if you have questions about the collaboration. You can find our emails on the team page.

Woman laughing in an office, paper in hand, in front of a black screen.

Bente Prestegård is project manager for the school collaboration with Ullern Upper Secondary. Photo: Fartein Rudjord

Projects Coming Together

Throughout the year, we’ve closely followed the AnteNor-project, learning extensively about polygenic risk scores (PRS) and their significance in future cancer prevention and early detection.

Discover more about the AnteNor-project in these articles:

5 people sitting on stools in fromt of a white screen, being part of apanel for discussion.

The panel discussion about implementing PRS tests included (from left to right): Peeter Padrik, CEO and founder of Antegenes, Solveig Hofvind, Head of the Mammography Programme at the Cancer Registry of Norway, Ole Alexander Opdalshei, Deputy Secretary General at the Norwegian Cancer Society, Lovise Olaug Mæhle, senior consultant at the Department of Medical Genetics at Oslo University Hospital and Ketil Widerberg, general manager at Oslo Cancer Cluster, as moderator.

Exploring the improvement possibilities in manufacturing T-cell therapies was the focal point at a workshop organized by the CellFIT project in Trondheim in October. The seminar convened project partners and experts to address a significant challenge for cell-based cancer therapy – the need for efficient and scalable production. Discover more about their discussions in this article.

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