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The Undeniable Value of Cooperation

In good times, when things are rolling along seamlessly, it’s easy to forget that we genuinely need others to prosper.

It’s simple to believe that success or failure solely lies in our hands. This applies to our personal lives, companies, and even on a national level. When the ride becomes bumpy and challenging times unfold, we are always reminded of depending on others to prevent falling and to make it through. As humans, we constantly need one another.

Currently, times are tough, not only regarding capital markets but also in world politics. In these times, we really need each other within the Nordic Biotech Sector. In good times, we may think that we can do everything by ourselves, but I believe we need our northern friends now more than ever. In the intense global competition, each of us is a small player, but together we are already qualified to compete.

In some cases, we need to forget about national borders and consider ourselves as one Nordic hub.”

We need to strengthen our cooperation to maximize our innovation possibilities through the biotech and medical hubs and research infrastructures. Exchange of ideas and skills with researchers’ movement and joint research and innovation projects are of great value as we cannot afford to miss opportunities. In some cases, we need to forget about national borders and consider ourselves as one Nordic hub. After all we share as nations very similar values and our similar societal structures should make this easy.

We need to attract more private investments to the Nordic countries. Success in this endeavor and strengthening the industry within each nation makes us all more resilient in global competition. We are all too small to compete against each other. This is especially true now when everyone is suffering from a lack of investments. Nordic Life Science exemplifies a forum where Nordic companies can collectively present and attract investments. We need more of such forums where we operate as Nordics and not merely as different countries.

The Nordics need a stronger united voice in EU politics, where for example new pharma legislation, despite its good intentions, poses a risk to the European pharma innovation ecosystem.”

The Nordics need a stronger united voice in EU politics, where for example new pharma legislation, despite its good intentions, poses a risk to the European pharma innovation ecosystem. It is many times more effective to speak together. Furthermore, biotechnology is selected as one of the EU’s four critical technology areas, opening doors for us.

Therefore, we should promote the Nordics to all top professionals in the field at every chance and also persistently learn from each other.”

The life sciences sector will play a crucial role in the green transition and global human health. The companies in this industry make a significant difference, and in a challenging industry with long innovation pipelines, we must work together to make the Nordics the best place globally to establish deep-tech start-ups. We have the keys, but we need to unlock the doors of potential. The most talented minds make the best innovations. Therefore, we should promote the Nordics to all top professionals in the field at every chance and also persistently learn from each other.

For instance, the bustling health ecosystems in Turku and Kuopio hold many hidden gems.”

I hope all my Nordic colleagues read this as an invitation to work even closer together and continue learning from each other. Even though Denmark and Sweden are ahead of us in many ways, Finland have many exciting initiatives underway. For instance, the bustling health ecosystems in Turku and Kuopio hold many hidden gems. We have one of the most comprehensive genomic data collections, and the industrial biotechnology sector is rapidly progressing with new start-ups. The Espoo-based biofoundry facilities are developing, AI initiatives concerning biotechnology are unfolding, and cutting-edge biotech research in health, synthetic biology, and wood-based processing is flourishing.

Additionally, the Finnish government substantially grows R&D funding every year with the aim of reaching 4% of the GDP by 2030. We also will update our health strategy and have ongoing biotechnology initiatives. On top of that, we harbor exceptional companies ranging from start-ups to more established industry players.

So, as the world presents us with challenges, let’s lean on each other so that we do not stumble.

This column was originally written by Alexandra Peth, Managing Director, Finnish Bioindustries, for NLS magazine No 04 2023, out November 2023

Photo of Alexandra Peth: Sini Pennanen

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