Tekes starts a programme on using biological information in business

The aim of the programme is to help small and medium enterprises in the biosector to develop their business activities and to bring players in the biosector and ICT together so that new industries and business models can be developed.

The amount of biological information is increasing at an unprecedented rate. The global market for bioinformatics is expected to reach more than USD 6 billion next year. There is a demand for new services and more efficient tools that help to create more business.

For example, in the development of pharmaceuticals, the trend is towards treatment solutions tailored to individual needs, which requires in-depth knowledge of the biological origins of illnesses. The resulting need for high data-processing capacity will create opportunities for new business in pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies and small service enterprises.

Cooperation with small and medium enterprises will also provide a basis for the renewal of traditional industries. For example, the food industry can make use of nutrition science knowledge in the development of healthy and safe food products. Interpretation of the knowledge about the state of our environment will help to produce solutions for problems concerning the quality of air, soil and water bodies. In fact, environmental measurements are one of the most interesting applications in the Bio-IT sector.

The focus in the programme BioIT – Solutions for Biological Information will be on the building of new value networks and cooperation between traditional ICT players with such experts as biologists, geneticists and environmental scientists will be of particular interest. At the moment there are about 40 specialist companies in this field and the sector is likely to provide ample opportunities for growth and renewal for both new and well-established players.

The programme will run for two years and has a budget of slightly more than EUR 10 million, with Tekes providing EUR 6.5 million of the total. The programme will support Tekes' strategic focus areas by combining the development of digital and service solutions with the vitality of people thematic area.

www.tekes.fi/programmes/bioit

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