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Will meet future health challenges with Nordic cooperation

The NRI-Conference 2015 gathered around 160 participants. Several prominent speakers were invited to share their views on collaboration in within the Nordic region. The Norwegian Minister of Health and Care, Bent Høie, opened the conference.

The NRI-Conference aims to promote and contribute to the health research and innovation by presenting the latest trends in the health sector.  By gathering speakers from all the important players in the sector, the conference is seen as a platform for sharing knowledge, networking and learning.

Nordic cooperation

NRI-Networks Chairman Stener Kvinnsland is pleased with this year’s NRI-Conference: “It has been two inspiring days with excellent speakers and networking opportunities. We have seen evidence that the Nordic region is still an important arena and how we can become even better with enhanced cooperation”.

Mr. Gerry O’Dwyer, President of the European Association of Hospital Managers made a strong impression on the delegates when he praised the Nordic region for treating its inhabitants fairly and equal by providing all inhabitants excellent treatment. Mr. O’Dwyer urged the delegated to keep in mind that for the rest of Europe the Nordic region were perceived as a front runner with a proactive and ambitious health system.

The conference focused on Nordic cooperation and how the Nordic region will tackle future health challenges. This theme is based on Bo Könbergs report “The future Nordic Cooperation on Health” which contains 14 tangible proposals for how the Nordic cooperation can be developed and strengthened in the next five to ten years. It was presented for the first time to the Nordic Ministers for Health and Social Affairs in Iceland 11. June 2014.

NRI-Networks project manager Christina Laastad believes the delegates found it valuable to attend this year’s NRI-Conference because the speakers shed light over the health situation in the Nordic region and how it will develop in the next 10 years: “We invited some of the top opinion leaders to share their views on how to face the health challenges ahead. During the conference many delegates approached me to express their contentment with both the speakers and topics”.

Excellent speakers

The yearly NRI-Conference is a central arena for exchange of knowledge and transfer of competence from one country to another. The Norwegian Minister of Health and Care, Bent Høie, set the stage with his opening speech of NRI-Conference 2015. Mr. Høie underlined that Nordic cooperation was important for the Norwegian government and told the delegates he was honored to open the NRI-Conference.

One of this year’s key speakers was Anders Geertsen, Head of Department in the Secretariat for the Nordic Council of Ministers for Health and Social Affairs. Mr. Geertsen focused on Nordic cooperation and gave the audience an important update on how the Nordic Council of Ministers works with the recommendations from the Könberg report.

Antibiotic resistance is one of the topics presented in the Könberg report. To shed light on this health challenge Mr. Mats Ulfendahl, Secretary General of the Swedish Scientific Council for Medicine were invited. During his presentation Mr. Ulfendahl urged the delegates to view antibiotic resistance as a present, and not future health challenge. Antibiotic resistance has been called “one of the greatest threats to public health”.

Another important speaker at the conference was Pål Rasmus Njølstad, Head of KG Jebsen Center for Diabetes Research at the University of Bergen. Mr. Njølstad’s presentation focused on genomics and the role of bioinformatics in medical research. Accompanied by Jason Flannick, research associate at MIT and Harvard, and Leif Groop, Head of Department of Clinical Sciences at Lund University, Mr. Njølstad successfully updated the delegates on the increasingly important research field of bioinformatics.

Presentations from the NRI-Conference has been made available for the public on the NRI webpage here.


Main picture: Bent Høie, The Norwegian Minister of Health and Care, opens the conference.

Second picture: Stener Kvinnsland (NRI-Networks Chairman), Gerry O’Dwyer (President of the European Association of Hospital Managers) and Christina Laastad (NRI-Networks project manager)