The UU Innovation Mentor Program for researchers is now being launched in a new and improved form
The UU Innovation Mentor Program matches researchers (including doctoral students) with experienced people working outside of academia. They contribute their knowledge and contacts to ensure that research results find an actual use in society. Applications for a place in the program for spring semester 2022 are now being accepted.
“This is a great opportunity for researchers who have started or want to start developing an idea from research towards a broader application. Having a sounding board with relevant experience and someone who can open doors to new contacts outside academia is very valuable,” says Nhils Forslund, Advisor at UU Innovation and Program Head along with colleague Hillevi Englund.
One semester, six meetings
UU Innovation has been running the Mentor4Research program since 2016. Starting in 2022, the program will take on a new form and a new name: UU Innovation Mentor Program. In its new form, the program will run for one semester instead of its previous duration of almost a year. The program has a joint kick-off and closing meeting for all participants. It also includes a workshop on the art of networking and building a useful network. Each mentor and researcher pair will meet on six occasions, which they arrange themselves based on their own schedules. In parallel, the researcher will receive support and advising from UU Innovation on topics such as funding and intellectual property rights.
“The mentor does not replace the support from our advisors, but instead serves as extra support for the researcher and someone who can contribute other knowledge and contacts,” explains Nhils.
The shortening of the program has several advantages.
“It gives greater flexibility to those who are interested in the program but may not be able to participate for almost a full year. In addition, it will now be possible to offer the program twice a year, once per semester. All in all, it will simply give more researchers the opportunity to take part in the program,” states Nhils.
Individual development journey with mentor support
A variety of mentor programs are available at Uppsala University. The UU Innovation Mentor Program aims to give researchers even better opportunities to contribute to the utilisation of research results. The mentors of the program work outside academia, for example in industry or government, and are selected to match each individual participant with respect to the field, idea and need.
“We do not work with a pool of mentors. We instead seek out and hand pick a mentor who can best support the development of that particular researcher’s idea,” explains Nhils.
He also says that the mentors themselves often have a relationship with Uppsala University, as former students or researchers, and that they are keen to give back by sharing their experience, contacts and networks.
The heart of the program is the personal dialogue between the researcher and mentor. Each participant sets their own goals together with their mentor, so there are no expectations that they will have reached a specific phase of development or achieved a certain result by the end of the program. Things will simply be shaped differently for each participant.
“We want the researcher to become more interested and engaged in the application of research results outside academia. So, the main thing is for the researcher to find their way and their role in that process,” states Nhils.
From third-year doctoral students to professors
The program is open to third-year doctoral students and upwards, in all disciplinary domains. Nhils explains that you simply need to be at a certain stage of your research to get the most out of the program.
“The doctoral student or researcher needs to have an idea or question related to the utilisation of their own research. This is where the mentor can be of most help.”
When asked why such a program is needed, Nhils states that many doctoral students and researchers are interested in knowing how their research could be used and create benefit beyond academic publications.
“This is a program for those curious about just that, who want to learn more and are committed to moving forward with an idea and the application of their research results.”
Finding your idea
Despite having a great deal of knowledge in your own research field, it may be difficult to know which of your results have the potential to create value outside your immediate research environment. UU Innovation has developed a simple self-test that can help you get an initial idea of what it is that you actually produce in your research in terms of e.g. data, methods and models, and who could benefit from this.
“If you do not really know if you have an idea or what could be an idea in your research, the self-test is a great first step. If you also want an introduction to the test and inspiration to get started, you are welcome to take part in one of our lunch seminars in the autumn,” says Nhils, adding that they can be found in the calendar on the Staff Portal and on UU Innovation's website.
He also stresses that people should not hesitate to apply for the UU Innovation Mentor Program, even if their idea is new and loosely formulated.
“If you have research results you think could create societal benefit, we will help you put the idea in concrete terms. The willingness and courage to test your idea is key. If it does not work out, that is also a result, and you have learned a lot in the process.”
Do you want a mentor?
Applications for a place in the UU Innovation Mentor Program for spring semester 2022 are now being accepted. You can apply on UU Innovation’s website, where you can also read more about the program. The application deadline is 30 September 2021.
Updates and stories
Wants to help researchers navigate the field of intellectual property rights
Liza Nilsson is a new intellectual property advisor at UU Innovation. She has a broad background from the patent industry as well as research and development work in the industrial sector. Here she answers four questions about her new role at the University and the importance of having an understanding of intellectual property rights as a researcher.
Mentor Programme sparks idea development
Hello there Emmi Puuvuori, PhD in translational medicine. Apart from recently receiving your doctorate degree from the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, you also participated in the UU Innovation mentor programme, which is open for applications.
Student project turned into start-up idea
Hello Ivana Suchankova and Chiara Dalla Santa. You are Master’s students from Uppsala University competing with your start-up idea in the Venture Cup Startup regional final in May 2023.
Bright future for the intrapreneur
Intrapreneurship is a key issue for all organisations, whether in the private or the public sector. So says Katarina Blomkvist, who has spent her entire research career studying how existing companies can improve their innovation capacity and competitive ability.
Mentoring provides new perspectives
With his innovative metal 3D printer, Emek Abali wants to make production more sustainable. The UU Innovation mentor programme gave him an extra helping hand to move forward with the commercialisation of his research-based idea.
Time to apply for UU Innovation’s Mentor Programme in autumn 2023
Now you can apply to the UU Innovation Mentor Programme and gain new skills and networks to take your idea to the next level. Apply by 15 May 2023 for the chance to have a mentor for the autumn semester.
Project to improve support for innovations in healthcare
Hello there Hillevi Englund, advisor at UU Innovation who is involved in a project aimed at shortening the time it takes for new, innovative solutions to be implemented in Swedish healthcare.
UU Innovation launches new credit-bearing course
Hello there Nhils Forslund, advisor at UU Innovation and responsible for the course “Strategic management of research results”, which starts in May 2023 and is now open for registration.
First Attractive Innovation Projects of the year
Barely one quarter into 2023 and five projects have been awarded the Attractive Innovation Project Award by UU Innovation after significant progress on the path from idea to innovation. The promising innovations include rapid diagnostics for respiratory diseases, tools for innovation in organisations, and new radiotherapy for a currently incurable cancer.
Summer job led to starting a business
Passionate about biology and chemistry, she can't resist a challenge or learning something new. Viktoria Engqvist is a pharmacy student at Uppsala University who runs her own business selling products for healthier nails, skin and hair.
Support provided greater confidence for commercialisation
Marcus Wanselius began his doctoral project with a single goal – a finished dissertation. But once he had promising results in hand, he realised there could be more to it. He is now packaging his method for sale to the pharmaceutical industry.
Start-ups from Uppsala University on inspirational trip to the US
Hello there, Frida Henningsson Johnson, business advisor at UU Innovation, who’ll be taking three spin-off companies from Uppsala University to the innovation hub of Boulder in the US in February.
Get publicity for your research
The application for the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences’ (IVA) 100 list 2023 is now open. Increase the publicity around your research, your contacts with the business community and the innovation readiness of your research results. Apply by 28 February 2023.
Five innovation projects receive awards
With the award Attractive Innovation Project, UU Innovation recognises researchers and students who have taken great steps towards translating ideas and research results into innovation and societal benefits. UU Innovation announces five new award winners of 2022.
Desire to experiment provides starting point for new virus test
An enthusiastic researcher, a lab experiment that was actually supposed to go wrong, and dedicated innovation support. That is the recipe for how a new rapid test for diagnosing respiratory diseases could see the light of day.
Aiming to improve the quality of care
Max Schoenberg went all out to get into the Master's programme in Entrepreneurship at Uppsala University. And it was in Uppsala that he found the inspiration and support to dare to go for his idea. Now he is building a team to realise his vision of a solution for quality monitoring in healthcare.
The researcher chose entrepreneurship
Most people do not go into academia because they want to become entrepreneurs. Neither did Emil Rosén, but the idea he developed during his doctoral studies was too promising to resist.
“It's not that dramatic. More than anything, I'm a problem solver.”
Several innovation companies from Uppsala University on prestigious list
Each year, Sweden’s Ny Teknik magazine presents a list of the top 33 young tech companies in Sweden that are judged to be a leader of the future, and each year the innovative potential at Uppsala University is reflected in the list. This year’s top 33 list includes six innovation companies linked to research and education at the University.
New Attractive Innovation Project Award winners announced
From an app that makes life easier for doctors to a new technique for cleaning the air inside vehicles, UU Innovation has announced four new winners of the Attractive Innovation Project Award among staff and students at Uppsala University.
Apply for a spot in the UU Innovation Mentor Programme
Now you can apply to the UU Innovation Mentor Programme and gain new skills and networks to take your idea to the next level. Apply by 15 November 2022 for the chance to have a mentor for the spring 2023 semester.
Strong team drives development of new eye disease treatment
It takes a wide range of skills to drive an innovation project forward. Lena Claesson-Welsh and Elisabet Ohlin Sjöström are drawing on each other’s strengths to jointly develop a new treatment option for severe eye diseases.
UU Innovation Mentor Programme provides additional support to ten researchers
The UU Innovation Mentor Programme matches doctoral students and researchers with experienced mentors working outside academia. A new round has just started and all participants met with their mentors at the kick-off meeting to discover what awaits.
The UU Innovation team grows stronger
Hello, Mathias Blob! As of 1 September 2022, you are a business advisor at UU Innovation.
Breathing new life into orchids
By pooling their knowledge of conservation genetics and orchid-growing, Linus Söderquist and Simon Hultby have developed a method to reintroduce endangered orchid species and strengthen their populations. The company they co-founded is now putting that method into practice.
Hjärnäpplet award goes to Johan Elf and Özden Baltekin
In just 30 minutes, their test can determine which antibiotic is required to treat a urinary tract infection. Johan Elf and Özden Baltekin are recognised for their innovation, which will help reduce antibiotic resistance and advance personalised care.
Popular 18th-century medicine in a new form
Hello to Nils-Otto Ahnfelt, PhD pharmacist and visiting researcher at the Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences. Together with the historian of science Hjalmar Fors, you have developed a reconstruction of the 300-year-old medicine Hjärnes Testamente in the form of a bitter schnapps. How did you come up with the idea of recreating an 18th-century medicine?
“I want the method to be utilised, not stored in a drawer”
With his novel and patented method to fabricate a membrane electrode assembly, Robin Dürr, a PhD student in physical chemistry, hopes to accelerate the use of electrochemical cells and hence the transition to renewable energy sources. UU Innovation has asked him a few questions about his invention and the plan for getting it out into practical use.
New approach to reduce shoplifting
Adib Ahrari and Ali Jumaa have started the company Datana together with five fellow students from Uppsala University and KTH Royal Institute of Technology. They aim to reduce thefts from shops using smart technology that helps store staff to work preventively.
New chemical biology method aims at more specific disease diagnoses
Are there more effective ways to detect diseases in biological samples than the standard ones today? A new method developed at Uppsala University seems promising. Daniel Globisch, an associate professor and former SciLifeLab fellow at Uppsala University, believes his method will be a tool for future clinical use.
How innovation from Uppsala University can reduce antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Treating severe infections with a combination of antibiotics has long been standard practice in Swedish medicine. Despite this, at present there is no clinical test to prove how well it actually works. Researcher Nikos Fatsis-Kavalopoulos wants to change that.
She is creating brilliant chances for cancer patients
Radiopharmaceuticals that fight cancer are on the rise and Marika Nestor is doing everything she can to contribute to their development. An antibody from her lab offers hope for a future treatment for those affected by anaplastic thyroid cancer, a currently incurable form of cancer.
Collecting recipes and the stories behind them
Historical recipes and cookbooks abound to teach us about past foods and dietary. Less is known about the people who actually wrote them. A historical documentation project based in Uppsala University is trying to change that.
In the head of a business advisor
Hello there Susanne and Ingrid, business advisors at Uppsala University, who work in the field of utilisation and play a supportive role with both students and researchers.
Honoured for progress from idea to innovation
UU Innovation recognises research-based innovation projects that have engaged funders, investors and customers for further development and exploitation. Six new projects have been honoured with the Attractive Innovation Project award.
Eight Uppsala University research projects on IVA 100 List
The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) has announced its 100 List 2022. The theme for the list is technology in the service of humankind and the chosen projects are all deemed to be ready for utilisation in the immediate future. Eight of the 70 projects on the list are being conducted at Uppsala University.
Uppsala researcher honoured as innovative entrepreneur
Anders Ajaxon Persson, a researcher in space technology at Uppsala University and co-founder of the company Fourth State Systems, is one of the ten innovative entrepreneurs in Sweden to be awarded the ÅForsk Entrepreneurial Grant for 2022. He is being recognised for his drive to equip the healthcare sector with a new solution for monitoring the health of premature babies.
Successful matching in UU Innovation’s mentor programme
The UU Innovation’s mentor programme offers extra support for those looking to develop an idea towards innovation. The application deadline for the autumn semester is 30 April. One of the researchers currently in the programme is Daniel Camsund, who has a technical idea that could speed up the development of biologic drugs.
Frida Henningson Johnson joins the team at UU Innovation
Research, innovation and communication are close to her heart. Frida Henningson Johnson has now switched back to academia after several years in the business world, joining the UU Innovation team as a new business advisor on 1 April 2022.
Vem formar framtiden? (inspelning)
Se inspelningen från UU Innovations digitala seminarium 8 mars 2022 om inkluderande innovation, som nu finns tillgänglig med undertexter på både svenska och engelska.
Mentor as a sounding board for utilisation
Hello there Liza Löf, researcher at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology. You are one of the researchers participating in the UU Innovation mentor programme, which is once again open for applications. What do you consider the best thing about the programme?
Sight set on new treatment for COVID-19
Hello there… Jens Carlsson, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology and one of the researchers behind a promising new molecule for a drug to combat coronavirus.
Hjärnäpplet - an innovation prize with many dimensions
The “Hjärnäpplet” Innovation Prize was first developed to reward materials researchers with sustainable business ideas. Now it rewards all kinds of innovation at Uppsala University, and does so with plenty of built-in symbolism. Former researcher Richard Karmhag is responsible for the design.
UU Innovation Mentor Programme open for application
Applications are now being accepted for the UU Innovation Mentor Programme for doctoral students and researchers interested in getting an extra boost in their utilisation projects. Apply by 30 April for the opportunity to be awarded a place in the programme for the autumn semester 2022.
Useful knowledge to realise the value of research results
Three questions to Arindam De Tarafder, PhD student in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology who took UU Innovation’s postgraduate course on intellectual property in research in the fall of 2021. A new round of the course is currently ongoing.
Materials company in Uppsala launches special toothpaste
Hello there... Håkan Engqvist, Professor of Materials Science at Uppsala University and co-founder of Psilox, the company bringing new biomaterials to the dental market. Psilox has now launched its first product under the brand name Caposal.
Cleaner air on the bus could soon be a reality
During the corona pandemic, most people who had a choice steered away from travelling by bus. We have been urged to avoid and not contribute to congestion on board. New technology for air purification in buses offers hope for safe public transport even in times of pandemic.
Learn the essentials of intellectual property
The course on intellectual property in research is now open for registration. Learn about useful strategies and practices in this course that is aimed for doctoral students and researchers and provided by UU Innovation in collaboration with the Swedish Patent and Registration Office, PRV.
From medical genetics to Russian studies - 14 researchers join UU Innovation's mentor program
The UU Innovation mentor program of spring 2022 is now up and running. At the kick off on 24 January, all participating researchers met their mentors on Zoom, marking the beginning of a six-month collaboration.
Get publicity for your research
Increase the publicity around your research, your contacts with the business community and the innovation readiness of your research results. Apply to IVA's 100 list 2022.
Apply for ÅForsk’s Entrepreneurial Scholarship 2022
ÅForsk’s Entrepreneurial Scholarship is for entrepreneurs who are connected to a university environment, either as a student, a doctoral student, a researcher or as teacher. Sweden's 10 most innovative entrepreneurs will be awarded SEK 200,000 each. The application period is open.