International Health Innovators Network and Brainstorm in Oulu, Finland
08 June 2017
Posted by: Heather Smith
On 30-31 May all eyes were set on Oulu, where one of the most anticipated events of this spring took place. Health DemoDate attracted approximately 300 participants and 45 exhibitors from the Nordic countries, Canada, Belgium, Germany and Holland for a two-day event with the theme ‘Nordic co-creation for Health Tech growth’. The idea was to bring together specialists to discuss medical advances and to provide a supportive environment for companies to network and find new business partners.
Oulu boasts one of the youngest and most educated populations in Europe. What’s more, the city is widely recognised as a forerunner in the next- generation health care technology sector. It is famous for the OuluHealth ecosystem, which provides a unique environment for the health and life science, stimulates cooperation among its stakeholders and supports innovations for the benefit of citizens. Oulu is also home to a number of successful companies, especially from the information communication technology (ICT) and health technology sectors. Many of these companies, for example, Nokia, Tieto, Telefonica , Innokas Medical and Hamilton Health Sciences joined the Health DemoDate event to share their insights into the co-creation of future health solutions.
On the first day, during short flash presentations international growth companies told their stories of the effects of partnerships on their businesses. After the morning seminar, companies from the health sector presented their products and services in the DemoDate session. There was also time for b2b matchmaking and face-to-face meetings arranged with the help of Brella networking application.
‘’I am surprised by the size of this event. I didn’t expect it to be so large. It’s a great chance for our company to gain visibility. Companies can establish promising contacts and find new business opportunities here,’’ says Mikael Mineur, Sales Manager at Gemalto NV.
‘’I would definitely recommend the DemoDate event to start-ups from the health sector that are looking for a financial boost and business partners. I’ll gladly participate in it next year, if I can,’’ adds Karolina Mosiadz, Communications Manager at Telefonica.
‘’We’ve already had many meetings, so we will see what results they will bring. I think this DemoDate event offers a good way to network, as it brings together a lot of people from the health sector,’’ says Veli-Matti Puurunen, SW Lead at Monidor.
Health DemoDate continued on 31 May. Two groups of visitors participated in a guided tour of Oulu University Hospital (OYS)TestLab, which is a part of the OuluHealth Labs concept. They had an outstanding opportunity to take a closer look at this test and development environment for products and procedures. Kari Vatjus-Anttila, who provides technical support at the OuluHealth Labs, described the way the OYS Lab operates and how health companies can benefit from it. He also presented a few examples of pilot cases and answered the visitors’ numerous questions.
‘’I have visited a few similar test and development environments in other countries. However, this one offers companies a broader range of possibilities when it comes to testing and developing their products,’’ says Mohamed Bourouah, Micro Technology Specialist at Hahn-Schickard.
Health DemoDate provided participants with many opportunities to expand their networks of contacts, find potential business partners, and most of all, to get to know more about latest innovations and technologies that are shaping the future and changing our world. Once again, Oulu proved that it deserves to be called a leading European innovative hub.