Members of the Chamber attended a wonderful event in Dublin Castle on the 7 October at the invitation of the Finnish Business Club. The occasion was a seminar on the Irish and Finnish approach to innovation.
Ambassador of Finland, Mr Pertti Majanen and the Finnish Business Club did a wonderful job in attracting speakers of the highest caliber from Finland to speak at the conference led by no less than the Prime Minister Ms Mari Kiviniemi and the Minister for Education and Culture, Ms Henna Virkkunen. They were followed by Mr Jukka Pekkarienen, The StateUnder Secretary in the Prime Minister’s office and Mr Petrie Peltonen, Director General of the Innovation Department for the Ministry of Economy and Employment. The president of the Academy of Finland and the vice-president of Helsinki University also presented their views.
There were also speakers who gave accounts of their experience of innovation in practice, with a focus on food and life sciences.
Speakers on the Irish side included An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen and the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Conor Lenihan.
The quality of the Finnish contributions was of the highest order. The fact that Finland as recently as 1990s went through its own banking crisis with unemployment approaching 20 %, but subsequently got itself on an even keel with the help of innovative thinking, serves as an encouragement to Ireland that we can also recover from our current disastrous position.
Chairman – SCCI