26.6. 2013 Turku Science Park Oy

Turku Science Park Ltd and science communities in Turku to start co-operation with the Skolkovo technology cluster

An agreement was made during the meeting of the Presidents of Finland and Russia on co-operation between Turku Science Park Ltd, universities in Turku and the Skolkovo science and technology cluster that is rising near Moscow. The University of Turku, Åbo Akademi University, Turku Science Park Ltd and the Skolkovo Foundation, which administers the Skolkovo area, signed an agreement on co-operation in The Forum Marinum Maritime Centre in Turku on Tuesday.

The agreement was signed in Turku on Tuesday by Turku Science Park Ltd CEO Rikumatti Levomäki (from left), Rector of the University of Turku Kalervo Väänänen, the President of the Skolkovo Foundation Victor Vekselberg and Rector of Åbo Akademi University Jorma Mattinen.

The new co-operation concerns especially the fields of life sciences and ICT which are important to Turku. The co-operation in life sciences focuses on biomaterials, diagnostics, personalised medicine and biomarkers. Focal areas in drug development include e.g. inflammatory diseases, diseases of the central nervous system, cardiovascular diseases, and endocrinology. Areas of co-operation in the ICT sector include health technology, e-learning materials, data security, imaging, and data analyses.

Drug development and health technology expertise to Russia

“The modernisation of health care and pharmaceutical industry has been put on the agenda for the next few years in Russia. Russia’s Pharma 2020 programme sets the goal to raise the country’s self-sufficiency regarding drugs and medical equipment quickly from 20 per cent to 50 per cent. It will open up significant business opportunities also for the universities in Turku as well as the drug development companies operating in the Turku region”, says Rikumatti Levomäki, CEO of Turku Science Park Ltd.

The health care needs are also emphasised in the ICT sector.

“The Russians are interested in using health technology to develop the quality of health care. eHealth and mHealth are important for their future, too. Their interest in the co-operation indicates that the long-term work in the fields of drug development, diagnostics and health technology in Turku is recognised also outside Finland”, Mr Levomäki reminds.

The objectives of the agreement are to accelerate the commercialisation of scientific research and support the creation of Public-Private Partnerships. Another objective is to create a joint Russian-Finnish start-up community and new financing instruments, as well as accelerate the co-operation between the contracting parties when they target each other’s, European and global markets.

“For the University of Turku it means an opportunity to expand the positively started research co-operation with a number of Russian research organisations. This is particularly interesting because of the opportunity to implement it also together with other European and international players”, says Kalervo Väänänen, Rector of the University of Turku.

About the Skolkovo Foundation

The Skolkovo Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in September 2010 by the Russian government with an objective to accelerate transformation of Russia from a resource-intensive to an innovation-based economy. To achieve this objective the Foundation is overseeing the creation of the Skolkovo Innovation Centre composed of companies and start-ups, developing innovative technologies (currently numbering almost 1000), a Technopark, the Skolkovo Institute of Technology (Skoltech), a new graduate research University established in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Skolkovo city, located near Moscow. Together these entities will establish a vibrant eco-system of technology innovation and entrepreneurship. More than 30 world’s most successful corporations, including Boeing, Cisco Systems, EADS, GE, Samsung, Johnson & Johnson, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Siemens, Nokia, etc. have already recognized the opportunity Skolkovo presents having signed R&D partnership agreements with the Foundation. www.sk.ru