WHAT KIND OF NEEDS AND WISHES SMEs HAVE FOR NACCOP PROJECT?
NACCOP (Nordic Arctic Co-creation Platform) project’s target is to strengthen the innovation work of SMEs in healthcare and wellbeing by developing an Arctic platform for the Nordic countries to co-operate through quadruple helix model. The platform will support ecosystem work and provides a network of innovation environments and services. It brings together stakeholders from all sectors of society and enables SMEs to develop innovative new solutions.
Several companies are now attending the NACCOP project activities. During the spring of 2021, the first round of interviews was conducted with 18 SMEs in the Oulu and Luleå region to discover what kind of needs and wishes they have for the project, for the platform and for interprofessional cross-border collaboration between the regions. The challenges of health care and wellbeing of people are common in sparsely populated arctic areas. New product development needs co-creation.
“Bringing people together to look at the same direction”
Cross-border collaboration through NACCOP project is seen as a possibility to build networks, to start pilots and projects, to learn and expand the markets. For companies it is also important to work more closely with academic, and health and well-being professionals, learn to know each other and build trust. Co-creation means brainstorming together also with the customers and other companies. SMEs want to expand research collaboration as well as non-formal sessions to spur each other.
“Testing should help find the path to practice”
Testing services are necessary when developing new health-tech products. For that reason, test lab services have been developed. Most of the SMEs in the Oulu region are familiar with OuluHealth Labs services. In Norrbotten there is, for example, the showroom area in Kalix. Various test laboratories are also developed at LTU. The companies consider the test cases with educational organizations useful. The purpose of testing is to get first contact with the customer. They reason that the testing should continue long enough to find the path to practice.
“Flexible networking in digital platform”
The aim of NACCOP is to build a digital platform for interprofessional cross-border collaboration. The platform should also be a forum to continue cross-border collaboration after the NACCOP project. The interviewees felt that their time is limited to spend on a variety of web pages. They wish that the platform would be easy to access and practical to use. Companies also want the opportunity for confidential discussions. Content planning is important (e.g., strategies for networking, information of funding sources, projects, best practices, business possibilities). The following wishes were on the list as well:
- Finding partners for testing activities
- Channel to get students in projects, and to do research
- Asking contact info: professionals, decision makers etc.
- Info of company references
- Help to write the project proposals
Text is written by NACCOP projectworkers
Tiina Tervaskanto-Mäentausta (OAMK) and Mari Runardotter (LTU)