Jon Kirknes (Kreftforeningen) joins our board

The latest addition to the board of Oslo Cancer Cluster is Jon Kirknes from the Norwegian Cancer Society.

Jon Kirknes, Head of Department for Analysis and Politics at the Norwegian Cancer Society, has joined the board of Oslo Cancer Cluster in 2022.

“I am very glad that I have been given this opportunity and I think that Oslo Cancer Cluster’s vision is very good. I am looking forward to working together with very competent board members and partners in helping patients – by accelerating the development of innovative cancer treatments,” Kirknes said.

Jon Kirknes has previously worked in the Department for Cancer Research, Prevention and Cancer Care in the Norwegian Cancer Society. Before that, he worked at the Norwegian Defence University College with Higher Education and Research. He brings wide experience in political advocacy, organizational development, and leadership.

Fighting cancer together

It is fitting that the board includes a representative from the Norwegian Cancer Society. Besides being a member of Oslo Cancer Cluster, the Norwegian Cancer Society shares similar goals for cancer in Norway.

“We work continuously to improve society’s attitude to the prevention and treatment of cancer. We fight cancer locally, nationally, and globally through research and preventive measures, information, support, advice and lobbying. Consideration for cancer patients and their needs will be central in my efforts to achieve Oslo Cancer Cluster’s goals and I see many areas of collaboration,” Kirknes said.

Some of the central issues Kirknes is working for are:

  • Early detection and access to treatment methods and personalized medicine.
  • Clinical trials as part of treatment.
  • Seamless treatment and care, including better infrastructure and coherent medical records, digitalization and development of welfare technology.
  • EU’s Mission on Cancer in Horizon Europe.
  • Public health in all sectors, with emphasis on genetics and the environment.

Partnership perspectives

Kirknes hopes he can help Oslo Cancer Cluster identify novel collaboration opportunities.

“The Norwegian Cancer Society reaches a broader audience through cooperation with others.  I hope to bring in our ‘partnership-perspective’ and experience in working with other patient associations and other cancer organizations, public institutions, researchers, healthcare organizations, foundations and businesses – to give Oslo Cancer Cluster new learning opportunities, so we can achieve greater visibility, raise Oslo Cancer Cluster’s profile, promote learning and development, and bring forward synergies that such collaboration can facilitate.”


About Jon Kirknes

Jon Kirknes is Head of Department for Analysis and Politics at the Norwegian Cancer Society (NCS) – one of the largest organizations in Norway representing the voices of those affected by cancer. Previously he headed the department for Cancer Research, Prevention and Cancer care. Before Kirknes joined NCS he worked at The Norwegian Defence University College with higher education and research. He has wide experience in political advocacy, organizational development and leadership.

Today, Kirknes is also board member at Gemini Centre for Sepsis Research, member of The Union for International Cancer Control’s (UICC)  Taskforce group on Antimicrobial resistance and member of the Norwegian Directorate of Health’s User Council, who promotes the user perspective in strategically important matters and processes in the Directorate.

Bjørn Atle Bjørnbeth joins the board

Dr. Bjørn Atle Bjørnbeth was welcomed into the board of Oslo Cancer Cluster during the annual general meeting on Thursday 26 August.

The Board of Oslo Cancer Cluster is made up of nine highly skilled and experienced member representatives who reflect the oncology value chain from basic research to globally marketed products.

Dedicated to good health services

Dr. Bjørn Atle Bjørnbeth (59) is CEO Oslo University Hospital (OUH). He is a trained gastro surgeon and was formerly head of the gastro and pediatric surgery department at OUH. As a hospital leader, he is concerned with change management, the work environment, and professional development.

Bjørnbeth is dedicated to good health services for the patients at OUH and to manage the resources in the best possible way. His emphasis is on collaborations with the city of Oslo and the University of Oslo, and other important partners, to develop the research and the extensive activity in education and training which the hospital is in charge of.

An overview of all the board members and their background is found on this page: The board of Oslo Cancer Cluster.

Image of Kaare Norum.

Kaare R. Norum has died

Kaare R. Norum died on Friday 22 November 2019, at an age of 86 years.

Kaare R. Norum was a professor of nutrition and interested in the connection between our diets and the risk of developing cancer. Norum was a driving force behind gathering the scattered cancer research environments in Oslo.

Norum initiated Oslo Cancer Cluster in 2006, together with Jónas Einarsson, CEO of RADFORSK. At the time, Norum and Einarsson realised that a natural cluster within oncology had developed around the Norwegian Radium Hospital.

The old Ullern Upper Secondary School was back then located on the premises next to the Norwegian Radium Hospital. When the old school was due to be refurbished, Norum and Einarsson had an idea. They wanted to build a new school instead, which would become more than just an ordinary school.

Norum signed the collaboration agreement with the school in 2008. During the following years, Norum, the cluster and the school worked so that the school could become part of a completely new innovation park. In this new building, cancer research would unite the school, the research environments and industry.

Making the dream a reality was at times arduous, but in the end, it was worth it. The old school was torn down in the spring of 2012 and Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park was officially opened in August 2015.

The big auditorium in Ullern Upper Secondary School today is aptly named after Kaare Norum. He will always be the man that the students – the researchers of the future – will be inspired by.


Image of Jonas Einarsson and Kaare Norum.

Kaare Norum was active in the establishment of Oslo Cancer Cluster and Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park. In this image, Jónas Einarsson and Kaare R. Norum participated in the opening of the Innovation Park on 24 August 2015. Photo: Gunnar Kopperud


Kaare Norum will be remembered as an ambitious man, who always wished to create new opportunities for science and development. He was generous and he promoted both people and projects.

He was a source of inspiration and support in the work with developing Oslo Cancer Cluster, and he meant a lot to us. He was a part of the board of Oslo Cancer Cluster as an honorary member since the establishment in 2006. He was also, during many years, an important mentor for Jónas Einarsson.

Kaare Norum was forthright and not afraid to challenge established truths or formalities when he looked for support in his most important issues. Lucky for us, in Oslo Cancer Cluster, we were one of his important issues.

Rest in peace, Kaare Norum.


Memorial message by,

Jónas Einarsson (CEO of RADFORSK)

Ketil Widerberg (General Manager of Oslo Cancer Cluster)

Øyvind Kongstun Arnesen (Chairman of the Board of Oslo Cancer Cluster)



Kaare R. Norum (24 December 1932 – 22 November 2019)

Norum was the principal of the University of Oslo from 1999 to 2001.

He wrote about 300 scientific articles and was known internationally for his research on nutrition. He also wrote several books in popular science and course books about health and nutrition.

Norum was Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Saint Olav and of the Swedish Royal Order of the Pole Star.

Read more on Kaare R. Norum’s Wikipedia page