Board Member in Spotlight pt. 6: Jussi Pihlajamäki
“No international operator is going to come here out of sheer obligation. Instead, we have to create an ecosystem that generates benefits.”
Clearly aiming at international activities
The Kuopio Health open innovation ecosystem must clearly aim at the international market. Of course, the basis is local networking, where there is still room for development, but we should not settle for merely local activities.
At the university, internationalisation means that, at the practical level, research activities and development are based on high-quality research conducted with international and EU funding. You will not get far in research if you limit yourself to domestic funding.
This research is the basis for the innovations that foster local business growth. Limiting ourselves to the Finnish sphere of operation is also not enough in that context. Growth, the market and funding all require international cooperation.
I want to highlight that the openness of our open innovation ecosystem must also be aimed at the national and international levels. That is the only way to make this work. I hope we will be able to organise an international health data seminar soon.
The Kuopio Health ecosystem is vital for finding international partners and funding sources. We have EU funding opportunities for both research and business development. For example, different kinds of recovery funding and funds are currently available and we should be able to make use of them in this situation. Together, we can be credible, strong and visible.
Good cycle as a target
One of the goals of the strong innovation ecosystem is to attract international business activities. From our perspective, companies representing the health industry are particularly interesting, but I do not want to set any clear restrictions to sectors.
After all, no international operator is going to come here out of sheer obligation. Instead, we have to create an ecosystem that generates benefits.
The traditional mindset is that research comes first and is followed by innovation and commercial application. In a genuinely open innovation system that involves sharing ideas and infrastructure, this also works the other way around. Companies coming to this area support our research and development activities. This, in turn, creates new innovation, resulting in a good cycle.
Benefits extend to everyone’s lives
The Kuopio Health open innovation ecosystem must bring everyone involved together more clearly. While there has previously been smaller-scale cooperation and activities shared by two operators, what we have here now is a genuine forum for joint activities. This will help creating smaller groups and new partnerships for embarking on activities together.
However, the Kuopio Health innovation ecosystem is not an operator in itself: its members are the ones engaging in activities. I consider that we have immense potential for growth and collaboration here.
It is also worth noticing that, in a health ecosystem, effectiveness does not solely refer to business growth. It also affects regional health and public health.
We have vast potential in developing the health system and the benefits gained will not be limited to within the ecosystem – instead, the impacts will touch the lives of everyone.
Read more board member presentations HERE.
Read more about the membership HERE.