New Nordic-German collaboration supports Nordic health tech companies to go to market in Germany

14 January 2019

OuluHealth is part of a new Nordic-German collaboration that step-by-step offer companies insight and clarification into the German health and care market over a 13 months period. The project has received almost 2 million DKK from Nordic Innovation and is supported by the Nordic prime ministers under the Nordic Solution to Global Challenges initiative.

The Nordic countries are advanced in their implementation of digital health solutions, and they are among the first countries in the world to implement health and care technologies on a large scale. With a publicly funded health and social care system and high standards for health and care services, the Nordic countries have early realized the potential of technology in healthcare and hence invested in Public-Private Innovation. Together with companies the public organisations, e.g. hospitals and care providers, has developed and implemented new digital solutions and care technologies to increase the efficiency and modernisation of public healthcare.

Now, five Nordic countries: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland, have joined forces to support Nordic suppliers of health tech and care tech to go to market in Germany.

“Germany has one of the fastest growing populations in Europe with an increasing number of elderly citizens, and the country is experiencing an acute shortage of health and care staff. This offers great opportunities for Nordic companies that develop health and care technology. Even though Germany is a mature technology market, the country is only recently beginning to realize how digitization, automation, robots and other technologies can elevate the quality and turn workflows more efficient in the health and care sector, “says Karen Lindegaard, Senior Consultant at Welfare Tech.

Step-by-step over 13 months

The collaboration, named Digital Health & Care 4.0, is headed by five Nordic clusters: Welfare Tech in Denmark; Business Region Gothenburg in Sweden; Norwegian Smart Care Cluster in Norway; Oulu Health in Finland; and Innovation Center Iceland in Iceland. Together with a German cluster, Gesundheitswirtshaft Hannover, they will lead companies that are interested in the German market through a structured and clarifying 6 step course over a period of 13 months. It is not necessary to be a member of the clusters to participate. All healthcare and care technology companies from the partnering countries are welcome to join the activities.

Through seminars and webinars, companies will gain insight into German market conditions and the organisations of the health and social care sector and the reimbursement-model. A study visit in Germany will provide a first-hand view of the needs at German hospitals and care centres and an insight into the challenges that they are facing. Companies will have the opportunity to expand their personal networks in both Germany and the Nordic countries and build relationships with potential German partners.

Along the way, companies will get a market validation of their products from German experts before the participants finally show their solutions on a joint stand at a leading German trade fair.

“Nordic solutions are popular abroad. We have been working with Germany for several years and are experiencing an increasing interest in digital solutions due to new reforms in the German care sector. The market is huge and potentially promising. But it is also a difficult market, says Lars Jessen, Managing Director of Life-Partners, who in recent years made good experiences in the German market.

“One must take a thorough look at the social and corporate culture. There are significant differences between us in the Nordic countries and Germany! It is crucial that you master the German language and build strong relationships with local actors. A structured approach to the market with feedback from experts can give a shortcut to the market and prevent the typical start-up errors. And the cluster-network will be a valuable starting point for market launch for both German and Nordic partners, says Lars Jessen.

Political and economic support

The prime ministers of the five Nordic countries support the Nordic collaboration under the Nordic Solution to Global Challenges initiative, and Nordic Innovation supports the project, which goes under the name Digital Health & Care 4.0, with a NOK 2,3 million grant. The first activities will begin in February 2019.

– Germany is not an easy market, but there are no longer any doubts that Germany is heading for digitization and increased use of technologies to ensure the quality of health and care for a large ageing population. And it can prove to be strategically important for companies to be present in Germany and have the right partners when the market really breaks, says Karen Lindegaard.

Companies that are interested in participating in the activities or wish to know more about the project, Digital Health & Care 4.0, can contact Salla Hirvonen, OuluHealth, T. +358 40 726 1842 [email protected]

Read more about Digital Health & Care 4.0 ( )

Partners in the project

About Life-Partners
Life-Partners in Padborg offers a scalable IT solution for communication, planning and knowledge sharing between employees, citizens and relatives in the health and care sector. In recent years, they have been involved in a wide range of activities in Germany and made a foothold on the German market.

Read more about Life-Partners 

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