Global health care giant GSK turns to Finnish startups for innovations
Global health care company GSK is running a competition in Finland to find new, innovative ways to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The competition is primarily targeted towards ICT and health technology startups.
GSK has joined forces with Finnish health care provider Mehiläinen and with UK Trade & Investment to organize an open innovation competition. The Health Challenge competition concentrates on non-medical solutions for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Entries can include both products and services.
“The Finnish startup culture is very active and innovative, and the competition can open startup companies a nice path to the health care market. The availability of public funding in Finland also helps create innovations,” says Niilo Färkkilä, Therapy Area Lead at GSK Finland.
“Innovations are a major prerequisite for a pharmaceutical company like GSK. The Health Challenge competition is also a fresh way for us to find new partners.”
Digitalization is driving development in the health care sector as well as in other fields, and the Health Challenge competition is therefore primarily targeted towards ICT and health tech companies. However, companies and private individuals from other fields are also welcome to participate.
A long history of collaboration
GSK and Mehiläinen have a long history of cooperation, which the Health Challenge competition brings to a new level.
“Collaboration with Mehiläinen was natural, as we share a common goal: the improvement of patients’ care and wellbeing. The competition will also help us engage new parties into our cooperation”, says Färkkilä.
GSK and Mehiläinen will work together to offer coaching to shortlisted candidates towards the end of the competition. The companies will also offer the best entries a real-life test environment, so that the winning participants get to prove their ideas with real clients and heath care professionals. The winner, to be chosen in the end of August, will receive further help and visibility to commercialize and internationalize their concept.
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