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New system of programme working means considerable challenges for Sitra

In accordance with the strategy Sitra will concentrate all its operations and resources during the three-year period to a few selected focal areas.


Press release 22 November 2004 The Finnish National Fund for Research and Development (Sitra) aims to exert an even greater social impact during its strategic period 2005-2007. In accordance with the strategy Sitra will concentrate all its operations and resources during the three-year period to a few selected focal areas. In these fields Sitra will set in motion programmes designed to further develop innovative operations, health care, Russian know-how and cooperation and also to chart the opportunities for collaboration with India. Sitra’s Board of Directors also decided at its meeting on November 22, 2004 to initiate two new programmes: environmental techno­logy and nutrition. In deciding on the areas on which to concentrate its efforts Sitra has attached special attention to the fact that Sitra’s unique range of tools offers the best way to maximise productivity and economic growth in order to ensure a successful future for Fin­land. Health care programme Preparations for the health care programme have advanced farthest. The target of the pro­gramme is to gather together and find natural partners for cooperation among existing providers of health services as a means to improve care and ensure more satisfied patients. A key part of the work will be to spread best practices. Within the framework of the programme Sitra hopes to develop new business using new technology for health care first at home in Finland and then on international markets. Hannu Hanhijärvi will head the programme and professor Jussi Huttunen has been invited to act as Senior Advisor. Responsible for developing business in the field of health care will be Vesa Lehtomäki and for cooperation with interest groups in the field Ilmo Parvinen. Timo Haikonen will take responsibility for partner companies. Mervi Paajala will be assistant to the group. Innovation programme Sitra’s innovation programme aims to help Finland create to a world-class innovative en­vironment for companies and make the country a pioneer in the field of innovative operations. In the initial stages Sitra will chart the means needed to achieve this goal with the aid of leading experts. For its part Sitra has prepared itself to put the new programme into practice. Antti Hautamäki heads Sitra’s innovation programme and professor Juhani Kuusi has been asked to be Senior Advisor to this programme. Anne Törnroos will be assistant to the group. Russia programme The goal of the Russia programme is encourage economic cooperation between Russia and Finland and invite mainly experts on the Russian economy to set up a Finland-Russia strategy. The programme will also encourage cooperation over sub-contracts and help develop new business operations in Russia. Sitra’s Russia programme will be led by Maaret Heiskari, who will transfer to the programme from the Moscow office of the Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce. MD Seppo Remes will act as Senior Advisor to the programme and Tuire Lehikoinen will function as assistant to the programme. India programme The aim of Sitra’s India programme is to create a basis for better expertise on India in Finland. In the preliminary stages the programme will evaluate the present state of the Indian economy and society and the resources that Finland has so far put into the country. When this study is complete, Sitra will decide on further steps in spring 2005. The India study will be carried out under the leadership of Vesa-Matti Lahti. Environmental technology and nutrition programmes Using Finland’s internationally recognised environmental expertise Sitra has drawn up a plan for an environmental technology programme. It aims to further strengthen the Finnish en­vironmental cluster and apply environmental technology even more efficiently. The purpose of the Healthy Nutrition cluster programme is to achieve major benefits for the health of the Finnish people and create important new business. This will be done by means of development projects that concentrate on weight control. The principal goal is make Finland a pioneer in the field of healthy eating. The appointment of persons responsible for the environmental technology and nutrition programmes will be made later. Further information Esko Aho, President, tel. +358-9-618 991 Kari Tolvanen, Vice-president, tel. +358-9-618 991 Laura Niemi, Information Officer, tel. +358-9-618 991