The innovation company of the year wants to encourage young talents.
Six students from Ullern Upper Secondary School spent their school day at Thermo Fisher Scientific just days after the company won the prestigious award as the innovation company of the year  in Norway.
As part of the school collaboration between Ullern Upper Secondary School and Oslo Cancer Cluster, Thermo Fisher Scientific opens their labs for science students at work deployment.
Curious about the school collaboration? Check out our new webpage!
The students got a unique insight into how one of Norway’s largest biotechnology companies advances their products, based on the so-called Ugelstad-beads or Dynabeads, developed by Professor John Ugelstad in the late 1970s.
Today, Dynabeads are further industrialized for use in specialized diagnostic tests and cancer treatments worldwide. Annually, the beads are used in an estimated number of four billion diagnostic analyses.
Scientist Synne Larsen and three students are in the company laboratory in Lillestrøm, a ten minute train ride from the capital, where Thermo Fisher Scientific quality checks its products in Norway.
– I find it incredibly useful to see how our learning at school is being used in the workplace, says student Emma E. J. Botten.
Together with two co-students she was able to see the research and production done in the company’s facilities in Lillestrøm. In parallel, three of the girls’ fellow students were in Oslo and tried out life as crime scene investigators, using Dynabeads as a tool for finding DNA, in the company’s facilities in Montebello.
– It’s impressive to see how much work lies behind their products and how dedicated those who work here are, says student Nora B. Grone.
Diverse employment strategy
The students are in their third year at Ullern Upper Secondary School, with science as their speciality. They all want a career in medicine, global health, mathematics, physics or engineering. A tour of the lab and a visit to the factory were therefore among the highlights of the day.
– It was a bit overwhelming to see Ugelstad’s equation, which is the recipe for the beads, says student Thilde E. Kjorstad.
– Yes, but keep in mind that everyone cannot be as brilliant as Ugelstad. Everybody we employ is equally important and we must have people with different backgrounds and experience, says Erlend Ragnhildstveit, Research Director of Thermo Fisher Scientific in Norway.
Thermo Fisher Scientific is a member of Oslo Cancer Cluster. Part of the staff is situated in Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park, where Ullern Upper Secondary School is located as well.
– The collaboration with Ullern is useful and important to us as a company. This makes it easier to host deployments. In order to develop our business further, as well as the health industry in Norway, we need people with a science background, says Erlend Ragnhildstveit.