Board Member in Spotlight pt. 7: Jukka Pitkänen
“After all, our ambitious aim is to make Savilahti the most attractive research, education and innovation environment in Europe.”
Making Kuopio Health a key player in the Savilahti area
Last year was interesting from the perspective of the Kuopio Health open innovation ecosystem. Finland’s central government and university towns have been negotiating on ecosystem agreements. The current plan is that Kuopio Health would serve as a partner for the city and a regional operator in the agreements made between central government and the city in the field of health and wellbeing technology.
One of the most significant aims of the ecosystem agreements is to generate new, research-based business activities that can also hold their own in the international market.
Savilahti has ambitious goals
As the Director of Business at the City of Kuopio, I am one of the members of the Kuopio Health Board. The City of Kuopio is one of the founding members of the Kuopio Health cooperative.
I see a vast amount of potential here. In addition to competence related to water, health and wellbeing technology is one of Kuopio’s priority areas. In turn, Savilahti is the strategic key project of the City of Kuopio.
After all, our ambitious aim is to make Savilahti the most attractive research, education and innovation environment in Europe.
As an area, Savilahti has plenty of potential: we serve as the location of the university, university of applied sciences, vocational education and training, and a number of research institutes in some of Finland’s top industries. This means that there is a lot of interdisciplinary competence in the area.
The current challenge is that we must be able to better harness this competence in companies and in developing business life. To make this possible, we must first raise awareness of this competence among the local players. Kuopio Health plays an important role in this.
Negotiations are ongoing
Realistically thinking, the Kuopio Health open innovation ecosystem is a relatively new player that is still establishing and strengthening its position in Savilahti. In any case, it has a vast amount of potential.
My view is that Kuopio Health’s task is to actively build networks and bring together different operators in the area, particularly companies. This will also contribute to raising awareness of the area and attracting top experts and companies here.
Even though the ecosystem is still new, it has already succeeded in bringing the local operators to the same table. Working together openly enables us to produce added value to our economic area.
The next step will involve creating national and international networks. I believe that their importance will be highlighted in the future.
We are currently engaged in highly interesting discussions with international health tech operators related to the priority competence areas in Savilahti. The operators could make new, significant investments in the area.
A critical question of major international operators is whether we have the necessary competence here. The Kuopio Health open innovation ecosystem can play a huge role in this context.
Read more board member presentations HERE.
Read more about the membership HERE.