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The Life Science Group has initiated a project that breaks down barriers and pursues real opportunities to grow business cross-industry.

On December 13, Amcham Finland launched a new project in the life-science industry. The LS Growth Project is staffed with seasoned business-development professionals, who will systematically spot, vet and connect health-sector companies. The goal is to facilitate ecosystem innovation across industries. In other words, the experts look to prompt the companies to launch completely new businesses in sweet spots that have until now gone unnoticed or at least untapped.

A significant number of Amcham’s pharma, health-device, health-tech and health-service companies have expressed interest in participating in an initial round of interviews.

The goal is to establish 3 – 5 new ventures that will generate at least €100 million a year.

The project stems from a real need to fully leverage the conducive life-science environment in Finland.

There are, after all, hundreds of leading-edge companies and world-class research universities. The health data and biobanks are extensive. The environment for clinical research and development is very sophisticated and the legislation relatively streamlined. In addition, the start-up community is to die for, which is, once more, evident as the huge Slush conference took place two weeks ago.

It’s already been a while that Amcham’s Life Science Group, under the leadership of Tomi Vahevaara, decided to start a working group to find a solution to the missing business-development piece. The conclusion was unanimous: the companies needed a robust arm that would be given free range to facilitate ecosystem development.

As the leading international business community, Amcham was of course the natural platform, on which the work could happen in a neutral, business-to-business environment.

Eera, a business-development firm with a superb track record in disruptive business development and an Amcham member, was put in charge of the heavy lifting.

While researching, developing and proposing new business opportunities, the Eera experts provide the participating business leaders with the resource – time, manpower and horizontal knowledge of the market – they wouldn’t otherwise have.

“This program is about doing things, not just talking about them” says Tomi Vahevaara, a veteran pharma executive and the driving force of the new program.

Eera is already busy interviewing companies about their capabilities.

Erik Floman, Managing Partner of the company explains the method in simple terms:

“We fill the funnel with options and end up finding new combinations that generate new business. Companies get to maintain their independence, while creating solutions that are essential to everyone.”

Although Amcham Finland is a Finnish non-profit funded by member-revenue, it got much needed support from the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes). The agency promised to match funds with Amcham to strengthen the resourcing.

“This will, of course, be another critical factor in the success of the program,” Tomi Vahevaara says.

“The founding companies acknowledged they need extra resources that will make the difference. We are delighted and grateful that the Tekes leadership saw the potential to build on Team Finland’s Way Forward to create more concrete business solutions,” he continues.

All companies in the life-sciences space are welcome to take part in the program. The doors are wide open. Companies can self-identify by contacting Virve Ilkka, who is the manager and point-of-contact for the LSG program.