Speech by Prime Minister Erna Solberg at Oslo Cancer Cluster 13 December 2016.
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First of all, I would like to wish you happy anniversary, Oslo Cancer Cluster!
Congratulations to all of you who have contributed to the development of what OCC stands for today, and what OCC will be in the future.
Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park has developed into an important meeting place for cancer research, innovation and education.
You host activities throughout the value chain: basic research, clinical trials, innovation, commercialisation and most importantly implementation of new knowledge in clinical pracice.
I'm sure the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park will also play an important role in shaping future cancer treatments and as an innovative environment for researchers.
Cancer is the disease area that receives most of the research funding both nationally and regionally.
This investment produces results in the form of new treatment that benefits cancer patients - for example,
Personalised medicine is gradually being implemented in the treatment of cancer patients.
Immunotherapy is a new revolutionary development in cancer treatment which is thought to have an even larger impact on cancer treatment in the future.
Protontherapy may be more effective and reduce the extent of damage to surrounding organs and tissues.
I am well aware that behind these key developments are many years of hard work in research. Thank you all for contributing!
We can still bring even more of the investments we make in research to the patients, through increased focus on collaboration between the health sector and industry in clinical research, innovation and commercialization of research results.
The importance of this collaboration is discussed in several documents. Let me mention the Government's White Paper on medicines, the HealthCare21 strategy and the Government Action Plan for implementation of the Health&Care21 Strategy.
The health and care sector is of great importance in our society. This is a sector where knowledge, new technology and demographic development lead to rapid changes and restructuring.
The patient and her needs is to be at the centre of these changes.
Research and innovation is instrumental when aiming for higher patient quality, development of better health and care services and more effective and affordable treatment.
Research and innovation also lays the foundation for new business development.
For the first time in Norway, the major actors in the health industry have joined forces and developed a report aiming at describing the entire health industry in numbers. This report from Menon this year says among other things that the health industry in Norway:
- exported for about 20 billion Norwegian kroner in 2015,
- had a strong revenue growth in 2015 of 11 percent,
- that research and development efforts in the health sector is at least 2.5 billion Norwegian kroner.
I believe that the health industry may play an important role in the Norwegian economy. Accordingly, this Government has decided that health is a priority in industrial policy development.
In this context, it is of importance to develop strong clusters. OCC is an important example of international renown cancer cluster in Norway today.
We have many types of policy instruments and tools in order to achieve our objectives in developing and strengthening Norwegian industries through the Research Council and Innovation Norway.
OCC plays an important role in creating cooperation arenas between users, public sector, health authorities, private sector and research communities.
I am pleased to let you know that the Research Council has informed me that it will provide funding to OCC, granted that the criteria from the State Aid Guidelines are fulfilled
Furthermore, next year's national budget contains a proposal to strengthen the clusters – and with a particular focus on health-related research and innovation. This in turn should provide for additional options for clusters to apply for project funding
I look forward to follow your work in the years to come.
Again happy anniversary!