Finnish health ecosystem drives innovation

Finnish health ecosystem drives innovation


Many foreign companies have established, or have expanded, R&D operations in Finland, benefitting from a large pool of highly educated professionals and a wide range of supporting services. Finland offers a solid base for multinationals to build international success stories.

Multinationals investing in Finland, initially through acquisitions, include Bayer, Perkin Elmer, GE Healthcare, Philips Healthcare, Thermo Fischer Scientific, Danaher, Varian Medical Systems and Elekta. All these multinationals have continued to invest in in their acquired operations in Finland – in many cases for decades. Investment has been encouraged by the high-level of co-operation between industry and Finland’s academic hospitals and research institutions. Combined with a deep understanding of healthcare requirements, locally available expertise in engineering, software development, industrial design, wireless and mobile technologies offer all players the opportunity for genuine and sustainable innovation.

Publicly financed services to foster innovation

Finland offers generous publically-financed services to foster innovation and business development in industry. All companies with a legal entity operating in Finland are considered equally deserving of financial and other support. The Finnish innovation model pays attention both to the needs of the industrial partners as well as interactions with society at large. Public institutions for higher education and research are encouraged to participate and international collaboration plays an integral role. Finland has been widely recognized for the business innovation support model it has developed and has served as a role model for other countries.

Well-educated professionals

Commensurate with its spending on R&D, Finland has one of the highest ratios of engineers and scientists per capita in world. The life sciences employ 88,000 people in Finland with the majority of these professionals holding at least a master’s degree (77% in the capital region), the labor force is well-educated, speaks English and employment costs very reasonable by international comparison. Fifteen universities and institutions offer world-class expertise in various virtually all fields of medicine, the life sciences and clinical research.

Government Focus on healthsector

Finland has acknowledged that the role of healthcare in the economy is not just about providing citizens with essential healthcare services, healthcare has significant implications for businesses and industrial policy. Based on an analysis of the opportunities in Finland for new research and investment, a "Health Sector Growth Strategy for Research and Innovation Activities" was prepared in 2014. Other countries may have announced strategies, but by seeking input from local companies and multinationals, Finland’s growth strategy uniquely meets the real needs of industry. The objective of the national growth strategy is to make Finland one of the world’s leading ecosystems for health research and innovation; a competitive advantage for attracting new businesses and additional investments.

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