Oulu’s health companies target the Dutch market

Many companies from Finland’s health and life science sector share a common goal: to explore new business opportunities and expand their operations to foreign markets. However, the internationalization process requires detailed market research and carefully prepared market entry strategy.

One of the initiatives that can open the door to a foreign market is participation in conferences and exhibitions. As Oulu-based health & life science companies express increased interest in the Dutch market, OuluHealth joined the Innovation for Health Conference & Exhibition in Rotterdam in order to establish new contacts and allow a closer look at potential business possibilities that may unfold.

Expansion to the Netherlands on the horizon

The Netherlands is said to have one of the best healthcare systems in the world (Health Holland:https://www.health-holland.com/public/publications/flyer-gezondheid-en-zorg/flyer-gezondheid-en-zorg-engels.pdf.) However, there is still room for improvement in order to keep it sustainable. The challenges that Dutch social and health care system faces include an increasing number of people suffering from a chronic condition and ageing of the population. Without a change in policy, the country is likely to experience an undersupply of healthcare professionals and resources. In response to these challenges, the Dutch Government has established a policy on mission-driven top sectors and innovation, with five health and care missions. The expected result is 5 year longer and more comfortable lifespan by 2040. This can be achieved with the support of modern technology. Therefore, the search is on for eHealth and med-tech innovations, both within the Netherlands and abroad.

According to Invest in Holland – a collaborative team of experts from the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), regional economic development agencies and several large cities – many ground-breaking health and life science companies have already chosen the Netherlands for a multitude of operations, such as European headquarters, R&D, manufacturing and logistics. With a multilingual workforce, state-of-the-art research and education, a global talent pool, pro-business climate and high-quality infrastructure, the country can be seen as a gateway for companies that want to be connected to European markets. The Netherlands has established many strategic partnerships to link science, industry, patients and government, which makes it a good location for innovation and collaboration.

Companies expanding their operations to the Netherlands can receive support from Invest in Holland. This organization is a collaborative team of experts from the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), regional economic development agencies and several large cities.

Their support is free, confidential and includes:

– Connecting with local networks, regulators, clusters and consultants
– Organizing custom-made fact finding trips for investment projects
– Informing about incentives, business locations, regulations and procedures

Health solutions from Oulu at the Innovation for Health Conference

The Innovation for Health Conference & Exhibition is one of the Netherlands´ premier conferences for innovators in the field. The event took place in Rotterdam on 13 February 2020 and it gathered about 800 delegates and 65 influential speakers. Innovation for Health was a great place to catch up on the latest trends, to identify new opportunities for collaboration and to get inspired by cutting-edge innovations showcased during the exhibition. The OuluHealth joint stand hosted six companies from Oulu; Medanets, ProWellness Health Solutions, Screentec, Cerenion, NE Device SW and Monidor. The conference provided them with an opportunity to have a closer look at the Dutch health sector, join one-to-one meetings and present innovations developed in Oulu. The conference was proceded by the Global Investor Forum, during which Monidor and NE Device SW took the opportunity to pitch their solutions in front of the jury panel.

‘Monidor got a lot of visibility from Dutch investors and executives. We also had one-to-one meetings and found a few business leads. Monidor is looking for opportunities to attend meetings with hospital managers, and other health-tech companies in order to speed-up our market entry and network with Dutch hospital representatives,’ said Mikko Savola, CEO at Monidor.

‘I was looking forward to pitching and competing with the other companies. The Innovation for Health Conference was the first opportunity to demo our solution outside of Finland. I got a lot of useful feedback and I met some interesting investors,’ added Moyeen Ahmad, CEO at NE Device SW.

Text and images: Joanna Seppänen, Health & Life Science, BusinessOulu in cooperation with Health Holland and Invest in Holland.