Greater Helsinki the Health Capital of Northern Europe
The university campuses of Meilahti, Viikki and Otaniemi with their cooperation partners form one of the most important concentrations of life science know-how in Northern Europe.
The University of Helsinki and the City of Helsinki have commissioned a preliminary report on the situation and development prospects of the fields of life science. The report shows that there is a now need for measures to help Helsinki profile itself as a leader in life science and as a Health Capital. The report has been prepared by Mikko Alkio at Avance Attorneys Ltd. Alkio has previous led, for example, the preparation of the National Health Sector Growth Strategy for Research and Innovation Activities.
According to the Health Capital preliminary report, the university campuses of Meilahti, Viikki and Otaniemi with their cooperation partners form one of the most important concentrations of life science know-how in Northern Europe. The fields of life science are loosely defined as the fields of science that deal with wellbeing, health, natural resources and the environment sector, which are also some of the largest growth industries globally.
The report highlights a number of development proposals and recommendations for measures, through which the concentration of life science know-how can develop and become an even stronger competitiveness factor for the metropolitan area and the entire country. The recommendations of the report include fortifying the partnership between the actors in the life science sector, enhancing the commercial utilisation of life science research and developing the premises at the campuses to better accommodate the requirements of corporate cooperation.
Life science research is currently conducted at several campuses. Especially the concentration of the fields of medicine with its hospitals in Meilahti provides a fruitful ground for creating new entrepreneurship. The university and the city want to help researchers find cooperation partners among the experts of technology, business, marketing and financing.
Towards the goal
The University of Helsinki and the City of Helsinki have agreed to develop the concept of Health Capital. The City, the University of Helsinki, HUS (the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa), the Aalto University and VTT (the Technical Research Centre of Finland) will establish a joint steering group and a project office, which is responsible for the development of the life science organisation, the preparation of the measures as well as for the cooperation.
The University of Helsinki and the City of Helsinki will also found a business service office and business incubation and business acceleration functions at each campus. The parties will engage in negotiations with significant life science companies concerning an intensified cooperation in research.
”Now is the time to move forward, intensify the cooperation with the universities, research institutes, the city and the business sector. The Greater Helsinki area has the potential to become the Health Capital of Northern Europe”, says Risto Renkonen, Dean at the University of Helsinki.
”Helsinki wants to create a world-class business environment for the fields of life science, where cutting-edge research and know-how, big companies and strong start-up operations meet”, says City of Helsinki Director of Economic Development Marja-Leena Rinkineva. “We want to connect the fields of life science to other strong fields in the area, especially the ICT- and mobile industry”, states Rinkineva. “The business world and the commitment of all parties involved are also needed for this.”
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