VTT report: Pharmaceutical industry has the opportunity to grow significantly in Finland


The pharmaceutical industry has good opportunities to grow significantly in Finland, for example in vaccine production. This is reflected in the study carried out by VTT. However, the study finds a pressing need in Finland to develop national funding mechanisms, to allocate existing subsidies flexibly and increase dialogue with international operators.

Investments in the sector in Finland have lagged behind the general European investment trend, although recent investment figures are more promising than in previous years. The study extensively examined the competitiveness of the sector's future and found that research and production in the pharmaceutical industry could be increased in Finland and new highly skilled jobs could be created.

Growth through specialisation

The pharmaceutical industry is an attractive industry for Finland due to its high need for expertise and high profitability. Last year, investments in the sector in Finland increased by about 39%. The amount of investments in 2019 was EUR 238 million, and in 2020 it reached EUR 330 million.

Finland's strengths include a skilled workforce and high-quality primary research. In addition, Finland has a reliable healthcare system and a predictable operating environment for those considering an investment.
According to the study, these Finnish strengths can best be utilised by specialising in a few, narrow-segment products and development spearheads. In this case, in addition to the selected research areas, their production could be done in Finland in the future.

Growth requires informed choices

The study presents three parallel development paths, all of which contribute to strengthening the Finnish pharmaceutical industry and creating opportunities for new investments. 
Going down each path is a national choice that requires significant investment and a common will from both public sector operators and companies. The development paths are: Security of supply, From research to business and Intelligent pharma industry. Check out the development paths in the research report.


Implementation of the study

A qualitative study conducted by VTT for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Pharma Industry Finland interviewed experts in pharmaceutical production and development in November-December 2020 and carried out a group discussion with a wide range of operators from the sector in February 2021. Based on the data, the report compiled an overall picture of the current situation of Finnish and other pharmaceutical companies operating in Finland and the future growth opportunities of the industry.

Jaakko Paasi
Jaakko Paasi
Principal Scientist
Tiina Apilo
Tiina Apilo
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