| Category: Success stories

“Finland can emerge as a leading country in health research when we focus on strengths and engage in wide collaboration, both at the national and international level.”

Kuopio Health is pressing ahead at full steam

Greetings from the new chair of the Kuopio Health Board. Our innovation ecosystem is pressing ahead at full steam and we clearly have what it takes to achieve our goals.

I have been serving as the chair of the health and welfare data working group of Kuopio Health for a few years now. The group has been active: typically, between 20 and 40 people have been present at the group’s meetings and we have been able to familiarise ourselves thoroughly with interesting data topics.

For example, at our latest meeting, we immersed ourselves in the topics of the utilisation of modern, deep AI, the application of data in healthcare and how to turn health data into business. Based on the lively discussion, the participants were interested in these topics.

From 12 to 13 June, we organised the Kuopio Health Insights 2022 event in which data played a major role. The event attracted a nice amount of audience, and the speakers included top names in biobank activities and clinical research. In my presentation, I addressed the topic of how to generate profits through impacts.

The key message of the event was that Finland can emerge as a leading country in health research when we focus on strengths and engage in wide collaboration, both at the national and international levels. At the core of it all lies apt and understandable communication – and we would be glad to hear your ideas for the 2023 event.

We are currently living in highly interesting times for both welfare and health data as well as Kuopio Health’s RDI activities now that Finland is in the process of forming its new wellbeing services counties. The members of Kuopio Health’s innovation ecosystem are strongly connected to the wellbeing services counties and I believe we have a lot to give.

Erkki Soini
Partner model promotes internationalisation

In the future, we are looking to expand the Kuopio Health activities towards a more international direction. In practice, this means increasing the use of English in the network activities. So, no one should hesitate to get involved in the innovation ecosystem even if they are unfamiliar with the local Savo dialect!

Creating a partner model also aims at attracting more international partners. In addition to a share in a traditional cooperative, we also provide our members with an opportunity to become partners in the innovation ecosystem. Among other things, this will enable global actors to join us.

A global pharmaceutical or medical device company engaging in research and development would generate more wellbeing in the entire North Savo region. All of the Kuopio Health activities are founded on the idea that we will increase well-being in the whole region.

Unique knowledge bank

Major international operators are also a key part of the benefits that Kuopio Health brings to its members. Kuopio health brings together a versatile range of professionals: venture capitalists, education and research providers, decision-makers, the Kuopio University Hospital and others representing the public health sector as well as a variety of companies.

This ensures fantastic opportunities for cooperation and allows us to offer concrete help to our members. Whatever you may ask from our members, you can be sure that one of them will have experience in removing a similar obstacle from their path and has knowledge about the issue. The innovation ecosystem makes it possible to find answers that could be otherwise impossible to access. I’ve also often made use of this feature myself.

I’ve also had the pleasure to bring attention to our innovation ecosystem in international contexts. Among others, Americans and Germans have shown interest in this sort of cooperation. In many countries, a silo mentality still prevails, and the amount of available data is smaller and utilising it is more difficult.

Worth letting others know about

In the future, we must learn to communicate even better about how well things are going here: We rank in the top position in the world happiness report and have the most positive attitudes towards research, we are ice hockey world champions, have uniquely comprehensive and broad data from health and social services, and our political decision-making is quick to proceed if necessary.

We also have secure use environments for the collection, transfer, processing and storage of data and, despite some shortcomings, our data legislation works. This is something we should let others know about, also at the international level!

Read more member presentations HERE

Read more about the membership HERE