Juha Paakkola, Director, Health Capital Helsinki
New campus incubators in Helsinki, new quantum computer, Lumi Supercomputer, new startups, listings, acquisitions and investments. Rokote Laboratories is developing a vaccine for COVID-19 with more than €9 million in funding, Aiforia and Nightingale Health got listed on the stock exchange. These are just a few examples of the great things currently happening in the Finnish health and life science sector.
The effects of the current pandemic are comparable to other significant crises of humankind: the pandemic forces people to innovate together and invest in new solutions. Where World War II boosted nuclear physics and aircraft, the COVID-19 pandemic has turbo-boosted mRNA vaccine technology and caused a huge demand for e.g. digital health solutions.
There’s a globally growing demand on the market, Finnish researchers have more and more courageous attitudes towards entrepreneurship and investors are interested in the health industry. These are all great news – but how can we boost innovation and make health an even better growth engine for Finland?
Three opportunities to boost health innovation in Finland
- Improving legislation to enable the research use of Finland’s world-renowned health data
- Increasing public RDI funding and ensure the continuation of strong RDI at HUS Helsinki University Hospital, and
- Increasing startup funding: in addition to attracting international investors, domestic private equity funds with health focus are needed.
Health innovations can – not only create jobs and tax euros – actually save the mankind. Let’s all do our part to make Finland the best RDI environment for health and life sciences.