Health innovation

Ph.D. -course

Course description

Course content

The course is meant to inspire the participants and equip them with the necessary competence and knowledge to understand how to proceed to secure the rights to, and explore the possibilities to commercialize their research results.

The course will:

A) introduce the concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship

B) share experiences from entrepreneurs in the local research areas, by the CCBIO INTPART partner Harvard Medical School and the NeuroSysMed canadian partner Lawson Health Research Institute

C) include practical tasks where students are asked to develop a business idea and plan how to secure intellectual rights

Local expertise on the topic and medical entrepreneurs from various research fields will participate with presentations and share their experience and motivation for exploring the innovation potential in own research and/or starting an enterprise.

As a final course assignment, the students will be asked to work in teams to develop a grant application with the aim to perform a validation and/ or applicability testing of an innovation idea (product, method or service) resulting from their own or others research. The written part of the assignment will be in the form of a grant application with project description, and the oral part of the assignment will be in the form of an oral short presentation/ 'pitch' inspired by syllabus, presenting medical entrepreneurs, and guidance from these throughout the course.

Students will be introduced to available resources, local and international entrepreneurs, and innovation project at different stages of development.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course the candidate will have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

The student shall aquire

- a comprehensive understanding of basic principles of innovation and entrepreneurship, and be familiar with the most important types of innovation.

- thorough insight in central terms in innovation theories and methods.

- good familiarity with the rules that regulate protection and exploitation of ideas from research, and the obligations and privileges that follows for the involved parties.

The student shall be able to

- plan further development of an innovative idea into a product or service with commercial value or health care use. 'Who do you contact, and what do you do?'

- identify and evaluate requirements and possibilities for innovation within and outside the organization, and evaluate the quality and viability of innovative projects and ideas.

- apply methods ('design thinking') for development of concepts with innovation potential.

- master the field's nomenclature and expression forms and present their innovative ideas as a 'pitch'.

- evaluate the innovation potential in different imagined research projects.

General Competence
The student shall be able to

- apply an innovation mindset as a natural part of their work as a research, and be mindful of potential value of their future intellectual property (patentable idea).

- communicate and discuss theories, methods and examples of innovation and entrepreneurship

- update their knowledge regarding research, development and innovation work within their research field, and stay informed about available funding opportunities

- evaluate how to consider possible intellectual rights when you plan a publication in a research project.

Study period

Autumn 2023

Credits (ECTS)


Course location

The main part of the synchronous teaching will take place at Eitri Medical Incubator. If needed, the course may be arranged digitally. If so, the schedule will remain the same.

Eitri is located between the Ulriken Cable Car Lower Station, Lab Building at Haukeland Hospital and the BB-building at University of Bergen. External visitors enter through the main entrance near Ulriken Cable Car. Address is Jonas Lies Vei 91.

Language of instruction
Course registration and deadlines
September 1st 2023
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Master degree or equivalent in a relevant field of research. The students are expected to be confident in the use of the Learning Management System Canvas (, or familiarize with this learning platform prior to the onset of the course.
Part of training component
No specific
Form of assessment

Portfolio assessment.

Portfolio contains:
Pre-course reflection notes on the innovation potential in own research. Teamwork with presentation/ 'pitch'. Updated reflection notes upon completed course. Peer assessment.

Grade: Pass/fail

Course overlap
Students that have taken ELMED223-A will get a study point reduction (2 ECTS) for participation in this course, and will thus only get a 2 ECTS value upon completion of CCBIONEUR912.
Who may participate
The course is open to PhD fellows, students at the Medical Student Research Program, postdocs, and researchers. Students in the CCBIO and NSM research schools will be prioritized.
Supplementary course information
The main goal of the course is to inspire students at the CCBIO Research School for Cancer Studies and the Neuro-SysMed Research School, as well as other interested PhD students, to actively explore the innovation potential of their own research, and let the students acquire knowledge and skills that enable them to secure rights to, and thus control the application of an invention or a potentially commercially exploitable idea.

The course is arranged as a blended learning program. The main part of the synchronous teaching will be held at campus during four seminar days in two sessions. In addition, learning materials will be available to the students online for asynchronous learning. The students will work on individual assignments prior to and after the synchronous sessions, and group assignments between the sessions. Individual assignment after the last seminar day.

1) Asynchronous work: Online recordings and assignments/ self-study (20 hours)

2) 4 seminar days with mandatory lectures and inventor/ company presentations (30 hours)

3) Individual reports (20 hours)

4) Group assignments (30 hours)

Total work: 100 hours, 4 ECTS

Please consult the detailed course program available at the course homepages.

Academic responsible

Agnete Engelsen

Nina Grytten Torkildsen

Magnus Alvestad


Experts in innovation and entrepreneurship from the faculty of medicine and the division of research and innovation (FIA) at the University of Bergen participate as lecturers at the course.

Please consult the complete and updated list of lecturers in the final program available at the course home pages.

Reading list

'Diciplined entrepeneurship' by Bill Aulet (ISBN: 9781118692288).

Please consult the complete reading list at the course home pages.