The 2017 Biodesign Finland team of Sami Elamo, Kalle Kotilahti and Jari Rantala spent the month of May looking for medical needs at the Meilahti emergency radiology unit, which is part of the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS). They made more than 200 observations during that time. After the observation period, the group began to analyse the observations in order to select a need for which they could start developing a commercial product or service as a solution.
The Biodesign Finland project in 2017 runs April through December with three talented fellows: Sami Elamo, Kalle Kotilahti, and Jari Rantala (see www.biodesignfinland.fi/
The first Biodesign Finland team got funding from Tekes to prepare for the commercialization of the idea they came up with during their Biodesign fellowship. The idea that the team is working on aims to improve dental health by killing bacteria that cause cavities. Dental diseases are one of the most common diseases in the world with some 50–80% of the population affected by dental caries in the Western world.
In August, the Biodesign Finland team participated the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship Bootcamp at UC Berkeley, as part of the Aalto University Center for Entrepreneurship’s pilot to launch a similar bootcamp in Finland. The 5-day bootcamp offered intensive learning about new venture creation, how to launch your idea, and how to take new technology to market. During the program, participants attended sessions that weaved together lectures and interactive exercises, received one-on-one mentoring from UC Berkeley faculty and industry experts, and learned in a collaborative environment.
Biodesign Finland was featured in Mediuutiset 16/2016 (”Sairaala muuttui yrityshautomoksi”) and Lääkärilehti 17/2016 (”Tavoite: 150 kehitysideaa ja yksi start-up-yritys”). Both of them interviewed biodesign fellows at the hospital during the immersion.
Biodesign fellows started their project on March 16. The first fellows are:
Katja Ivanitskiy, M.D.
Jukka Kärkimaa, M.Sc.
Sakari Nikinmaa, M.Sc.
Anssi Mikola, M.Sc.
Their brief bios are available at www.biodesignfinland.fi/fellows
The Biodesign Finland Workshop held on January 25 - 26, 2016 at Aalto University introduced the Biodesign process to the local community. In the workshop, Prof. Balram Bhargava and Dr. Prashant Jha (School of International Biodesign, New Delhi, India) engaged the participants in learning by guiding them through mini biodesign projects.
At first, the participants were divided into small interdisciplinary teams, and the teams were given clinical observations. The teams then applied the biodesign process by developing need statements, selecting the most promising ones, and brainstorming a few concepts. Finally, each team built a prototype and developed a business case for their product.