slush14

Katri Saarikivi: “All innovations are based on new understanding of the world.”

Researchers brought science into the spotlight at last year’s Slush. This winter you should too. Here’s why.

Text: Kristiina Markkanen, photo: Vilja Pursiainen

Startup entrepreneurs take a lot of risks, work like crazy and sleep too little. But above all, they are so passionate about their ideas they can hardly contain themselves. All of this applies also to another specific group of people: researchers, states Katri Saarikivi, cognitive brain researcher from the University of Helsinki.  

In 2015, science met startups for the first time at Slush. Ten finalists took the stage at Slush Science Pitching competition and presented their research ideas in three minutes to an audience of startup oriented conference guests and an unwavering jury. One of the researchers in the spotlight was Saarikivi herself.

I talk about science a lot because I think it belongs to everyone.

“I talk about science a lot because I think it belongs to everyone. Scientists generate huge amounts of information that could have value in the business world. All innovations and exciting new things are in one way or another based on new understanding of the world”, she says.

Saarikivi leads the multidisciplinary project NEMO that concentrates on enabling more empathy in digital interaction. The team is investigating ways to improve the quality of interaction in digital environments. Although Saarikivi’s pitch didn’t win the Slush contest, she definitely didn’t finish 2015 empty handed. NEMO won last year’s Helsinki Challenge, a year long science based idea competition. From there her team received 250 000 euros of research funding.

Researcher, don’t let the hype freak you out

Compared to conventional conferences Slush is like the energetic and slightly over-zealous second cousin that’s always on the move. According to Saarikivi there was something almost religious about the event with all its impressive keynote speakers and panel discussions.

“There's much more hype at Slush in comparison to a traditional research conference. But what brings the two together are the tangible excitement and passion. At Slush you could definitely feel that. People are interested in what you do and want to have conversations with you”, she recalls.

”I hope there were more opportunities for researchers and entrepreneurs to interact together.”

That was apparent from the moment the Science Pitching was over. Saarikivi was instantly approached by like-minded people who were convinced by her pitch. Although these encounters didn’t lead to further collaboration, they gave food for thought.

“I hope there were more opportunities for researchers and entrepreneurs to interact together both in general and at Slush. Those kinds of meetings of the minds could lead to interesting business ideas as well as research ideas that probably wouldn’t come up otherwise.”

Science Pitching can turn your idea into action

All in all Saarikivi thought Slush was a great event to see. It was useful to find out what investors or other potential collaborators are on the hunt for and what sort of questions the jury asks about the research. This sort of know-how can come in handy in the future when trying to find partners for projects that emphasize collaboration outside the academia.

“If you’re a researcher and you have a concrete idea for a product or an application, you should definitely participate in the Science Pitching event. This is also an important opportunity to reveal your own passions and show why scientific discovery takes humanity forward”, Saarikivi says.

You have three minutes. Are you ready?

Read more about the Slush Science Track here.

Jaa teksti:

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Lue myös nämä

Is it possible that you really don’t have choice?

kesä 5, 2017

Is it possible that you really don’t have choice? Miguel Moreno is a PhD student at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Helsinki. He works on…

How computer simulations help spy on atoms

kesä 5, 2017

How computer simulations help spy on atoms Nanoscale objects are so small that they contain just a few thousand atoms. We don’t always have a camera to help us zoom…

The pleasant scent of forests helps keep the planet cool

kesä 2, 2017

The pleasant scent of forests helps keep the planet cool Small particles form from the thin forest air, which helps keep the climate cool. But they won’t be enough to…

Research in the high Arctic – Pack your instruments, a rifle and a skirt

kesä 1, 2017

Research in the high Arctic – Pack your instruments, a rifle and a skirt Science is rarely a 9 to 5 job. It’s a lifestyle. So unless you are working…

Aurinkosähköä saa jo katolta – mitkä ovat seuraavat askeleet?

touko 2, 2017

Aurinkosähköä saa jo katolta – mitkä ovat seuraavat askeleet? Pientuottajien aurinkosähköjärjestelmät yleistyvät nyt vauhdilla. Pian aurinkopaneelit miellyttävät myös esteetikon silmää, sillä markkinoiden ja tutkimuksen trendinä on paneelien maastouttaminen rakennusmateriaaleihin. Armi…

Seitsemän syytä, miksi suomalaisten tulisi vähentää luonnonvarojen kulutustaan viidesosaan nykyisestä

huhti 26, 2017

Seitsemän syytä, miksi suomalaisten tulisi vähentää luonnonvarojen kulutustaan viidesosaan nykyisestä Luonnonvarojen loppumista on ennustettu jo useampi vuosikymmen. Mitä se suomalaisten näkökulmasta tarkoittaa? Onko meillä varaa olla itsekkäitä? Sanna Ahvenharju tekee…

Tilaa uutiskirje


×