The goal of the co-creation project, led by the University of Turku, is to develop solutions that will secure the industry's international competitiveness in the future. The pharmaceutical industry is a significant employer in Finland and a source of economic growth and income, especially in Southwest Finland. The University of Turku’s strategic partner Bayer Oy is already committed to the project.
The project seeks to accelerate the introduction of digital solutions and more efficient utilization of data and to make Finland the most attractive location in the world for data-driven life science manufacturing. The realization of the goal also requires Finnish partners to build international networks and map out European key technologies. Business Finland has granted funding for the project. The national consortium is now looking for companies in the field and research organisations to join the project.
The Networked Life Sciences Factory of the Future: Data-driven for the short and long term (LifeFactFuture) project is coordinated by Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC) in cooperation with the University of Turku’s Faculty of Technology.
”The project embodies many of the core values of the University of Turku: forward orientation and foresight, digital transformation, industry collaboration, and strengthening networks across Finnish universities and research organisations. We have a joint mission with our strategic partners to secure their future competitiveness, and this project provides an excellent platform for that”, says Responsible Director for the project, Professor Toni Ahlqvist.
The pharmaceutical company Bayer is one of the partners of the consortium, whose production facility located in Turku is one of the Bayer group's most significant pharmaceutical factories globally. Contraceptives are exported from Turku to more than 130 countries. In addition, the company has announced an investment of 250 million euros to build a new factory in Turku and to modernize the current production facility.
The director of Bayer Turku production facility, Tomi Penttilä, emphasizes the importance and opportunities of the digital transformation for both Bayer's operations and the future of the Turku region, but also more broadly for the economy and competitiveness of Finland.
“Finland has a strong innovation ecosystem based on cooperation and internationally interesting technological excellence. I believe that the effective utilization of advanced digital technology such as artificial intelligence and data in production processes will contribute to attracting new investments to Finland in the future as well”, says Penttilä.
“The world can change in an instant, as we have noticed in recent years. Digitalization is the key to quick, flexible reactions to changes. This changed operating environment calls for foresight and new capabilities, and that’s what we aim to increase in this project. Extensive cooperation enables all partners to learn from each other”, Ahlqvist adds.
The goal of the LifeFactFuture project is to build a strong, cooperative and competitive consortium during the first half of 2023. Interested life science and technology companies, research organisations and other stakeholders are encouraged to participate in the project.