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Minister of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn: Cooperation between the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation Tekes and IBM creates growth opportunities and jobs

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
14.9.2016 14.05
Press release

New opportunities will open up for Finnish companies and health sector for developing and making more extensive use of artificial intelligence. Tekes and IBM announced on 14 September 2016 that they have initiated cooperation to develop the Finnish digital health ecosystem and open partnerships while at the same time offering global marketing opportunities for Finnish companies.

In the context of this partnership, IBM intends to establish centres of expertise and innovation in Finland to develop new types of services and concepts as well as digital solutions for healthcare applications. Additionally, the first-ever centre of expertise outside the USA to develop imaging is to be established in Finland. Over the next few yeas, they will give work to 150 people in Finland. Moreover, it is foreseeable that another 150 jobs will be created for digital technology experts and in the health industry and research.

“The agreement between Tekes and IBM will reinforce Finland’s position as a leading country in research and innovation in personalised healthcare, digital health and health technology. It will create new jobs and first-rate expertise, provide better healthcare at lower cost, promote exports and offer new growth opportunities for innovative Finnish companies,” says Minister of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn.

“I'm pleased to note that Finland's reputation as a forerunner in health sector research and innovation continues to attract major international operators willing to enter into cooperation with innovative Finnish companies and public-sector operators.This development reflects the longterm systematic public investments and on-going efforts to further strengthen the health sector innovation ecosystem, which is a key objective of the national health sector growth strategy. This initiative will advance the Finnish digital health ecosystem and promote it internationally more effectively than before,” says Ilona Lundström, Director General of the Enterprise and Innovation Department at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

Aside from the cooperation with IBM, Tekes is considering a specific programme to pilot measures foreseeing more extensive uses of artificial intelligence.

Special Advisor Hannu Väänänen, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 (0)50 410 4909
Director General Ilona Lundström, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 (0)29 504 7186
Director General Pekka Soini, Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation Tekes, tel. +358 (0)29 505 5700

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