A helping hand from Finland
  • Wednesday 18 May 2016

Health and Wellbeing is the Sunshine Coast’s fastest growing industry and  one of the keys to future employment and economic growth under the Regional Economic Development Strategy 2013-2033.

To help maximise the industry’s potential now and into the future, a delegation of the world’s leading health innovators from Finland has visited the Sunshine Coast to showcase favourable products and projects to local industry leaders.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the delegation had come to see firsthand what our region had to offer and to meet with local stakeholders to identify opportunities that would be mutually beneficial to the Sunshine Coast and Finland.

“Finland is well known for its excellent results in public education, social welfare and healthcare systems and extraordinary resources devoted to research and development,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“There are over 450 health related companies in Finland and several multinational giants have research and development operations in the country.

“They also have the most digital health start-up businesses per capita in the world and they’re a global leader in the digitalisation of healthcare.

“So it makes all the sense in the world for our regional healthcare leaders to collaborate with their Finnish counterparts and establish connections and partnerships that can ultimately benefit our health and wellbeing industry and the people of our community in the future.”

The Finnish delegation included government officials and representatives from eight health industry organisations specialising in wide range of areas, including smart IT solutions to support mobile home care; exercise technology and rehabilitation equipment; e-health and e-care solutions; nutrition; specialised instruments to detect glaucoma and measure bone density and research in health ageing and lifestyle management.

Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Finland in Canberra, Mr Antti Niemela said Finland sees Australia and the Sunshine Coast in particular as an excellent place to do business.

“The Finnish delegation was attracted to the Sunshine Coast having heard about the important role Health and Wellbeing plays as a high-value industry in the local economy,” Mr Niemela said.

“Finland delegation is keen to gain a better understanding of major developments in the  region, specifically the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and the adjacent Oceanside Health Hub.

“There is already a connection with Sunshine Coast business through Sundale Aged Care which has implemented systems and products from HUR, one of the world’s leading providers of active aging rehabilitation and wellness equipment, and also Jamix, a Finnish software company specializing in applications for professional kitchens and nutrition management.

“Based on today we see the Sunshine Coast as one of the leaders of adaptive of innovative technologies in Australia so it is ideal for many finish companies.”  

Mayor Jamieson said the delegation’s visit highlighted the importance and value of  international trade missions both too and from our region.

“The purpose of council’s annual program of international investment and trade and export missions is to grow awareness of the Sunshine Coast and facilitate access to new markets for local business and to generate significant investor interest in our region’s game-changer projects and the opportunities they present,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Likewise, when we welcome international delegations to our region it’s an opportunity to showcase the outstanding business, investment and lifestyle opportunities to the world and open our doors to new innovations and possibilities that can benefit our community.”

The Finnish delegation's visit to the Sunshine Coast was the final leg of an Australian tour that included stopovers in South Australia and Brisbane.