Man with glasses looking into camera in front of wooden wall

Our new competence broker

The Life Science Cluster and Oslo Cancer Cluster are collaborating on the competence broker-service for Oslo-based companies.

Meet our new research and industry facilitator aka competence broker for Oslo-based companies. Bjarte Håvik is the dedicated competence broker for digitalisation, artificial intelligence, and life sciences. He is also responsible for innovation and collaboration in The Life Science Cluster.

“As a competence broker for Oslo it is my ambition to match new ideas with the best research partners and public funding mechanism,” said Bjarte Håvik, competence broker for digitalisation, artificial intelligence, and life sciences.

International from day one

Before he joined The Life Science Cluster, Bjarte Håvik served as Norway´s Counselor for Research, Technology, and Higher Education in North America – integrating education, research, and innovation in comprehensive transatlantic collaborations. Emerging technologies and cross-sector partnerships have been key topics driving new collaborations. He also has a background from the Directorate for Higher Education and Skills with a focus on lifelong learning, transferable skills, broader impact, and non-academic jobs.

“Today, research-based innovation is key for a competitive and sustainable business. Being an early startup or an established business, a well-adapted research, development, and innovation strategy is needed as early as possible. The competitive stage is international from day one. As a competence broker the aim is to give new ideas from Oslo-based businesses the best start possible,” said Håvik.

Bjarte has a PhD-degree in molecular biology. Through a 15-year research career, he studied the neuronal system with a perspective from several life science disciplines, including molecular embryology, oncology, cognition, and biological psychiatry using a variety of technologies and model systems.

What a competence broker can do

A competence broker (from the Norwegian word kompetansemegler) is an agent for connecting research and industry, as well as a conveyor of expertise. The goal is to strengthen the research-based business development in Oslo and to mobilise more research-based innovation in the innovation districts of Oslo.

“The competence broker assists applicants in qualifying for the Oslo Regional Research Fund RRF (Oslo) – a funding program aimed to strengthen the region’s capability for innovation and the international competitiveness. In addition, the competence brokers provide valuable advice on internationalisation and guidance to additional public funding mechanisms from Innovation Norway, The Research Council of Norway, and Horizon Europe,” said Bjarte Håvik.

The service is funded by the City of Oslo and is free of charge. Companies in Oslo with research-based ideas are welcome to reach out to Bjarte Håvik or one of his competence broker colleagues in Oslo.

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Thomas Andersson, Senior Adviser, Business Development, Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator

– An idea needs to attract investors

Meet Thomas Andersson, our new Senior Advisor Business Development. How could he be of help to your startup company? 

— The most important thing I do is to get the startup companies rolling.

Thomas Andersson, the new Senior Advisor for Business Development at Oslo Cancer Cluster and Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator, looks dead serious as he makes this statement, but immediately after he lets out a smile and elaborates:

— A company needs to be investible. An idea needs to attract investors.

A lifetime of experience
Thomas holds a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Lund University in Sweden and has more than 30 years of experience from establishing, operating and funding start-ups in the life science field. He has a long background in business development in health tech startups, all the way back to the early 1980s.

— I’m that old! I went straight from my Ph.D. in biophysics into the problem-solving of business development.

In his career he has also taken on issues with patents and sales and he even bought a company that produced monoclonal antibodies with some friends and remodelled and sold it. 

— What did you learn from this journey? 

— I learned quite a lot, including the production business and the cell cultivation biotech business from the floor. I also learned how to lay out the production manufacturing facility.

See it like an investor
Thomas Andersson knows the biotech startup-scene from the investors’ point of view. He started to work at the tech transfer office of Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. It was called Karolinska Innovations back then, now it is known as KI Innovations.

— We raised a lot of money there, formed 45 companies as a group and we had a fantastic time! 

After 8 years he was recruited to Lund and worked in Lund University Bio Science and tried to vacuum clean the whole university for life science innovation.

— And we did find a lot! In the end there were about 20 investment proposals and those ended up in 9 investments, of which we turned down 5 or 6. Two of them are now at the stock market. 

In total, Thomas Andersson has been involved in starting about 20 companies, of which 5 survived and are now on the stock market.

Normally, it is said that only 1 in 30 biotech startups make it. 


Thomas Andersson, Senior Advisor Business Development. Photo: Oslo Cancer Cluster

Thomas Andersson, Senior Advisor Business Development. Photo: Oslo Cancer Cluster

Here for you
— How did you end up here at Oslo Cancer Cluster?  

— I have had my eyes on Oslo Cancer Cluster for a while. I have liked the ideas that the cluster stands for. And I wanted to do something new in the end of my career. That is why I am here as a senior advisor now. I like it here! I am working on very interesting projects and ideas.

Our new Senior Advisor Business Development is present in Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator nearly every week although he still lives in Lund, Sweden, on a farm in the woods where he can be practical and hands-on with hardwood and fly fishing.

— My door is open to people in the cluster and incubator with projects and ideas. I have a network that can help them and I have the experience of how investors, scientists and other actors can value a company. And being a Swede in the Norwegian system; I am basically here also to encourage you to think differently.


Interested in more funding opportunities for your company?

Check out our Access to Capital-page. 


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