People in a train station glass walkway in Chongqing, China

Nordic Healthy Cities – China

Project 2021 - 2022 Closed

Today, more than half of the population in the world lives in urban areas. By 2050, the UN predicts that this number will increase to about two-thirds of the world’s population. As a result, the cities of tomorrow will be dense and above all, congested. In other words, sustainable development cannot be achieved if we do not change the way we organize and build our cities.

In China, this trend is even stronger, with urbanization growth expected to increase from 61% in 2020 to 70% by 2030. In actual numbers, that means an additional 130 million people will move to cities. By 2030, the world is expected to be home to 39 megacities, with a population of +10 million people, of which 15 will be located in China.

With co-funding from Nordic Innovation, the Nordic national trade promotion organizations (TPOs) in China (Business Finland, Embassy of Iceland, Business Sweden, Innovation Norway and The Trade Council Denmark) have initiated the Nordic Healthy Cities – China project.

The project aims to provide a platform to introduce innovative Nordic solutions to urban health challenges in China and the Chinese market, which can help to mitigate and prevent local health challenges.

The goal is to build a pipeline of at least 100 healthcare companies from the Nordic countries that will get thorough knowledge of the project, the target cities (see below), and current business opportunities in China.

Targeting five cities

Together, the TPOs will run promotions targeting five agile display cities in China that will test innovative practices to tackle health challenges in future urban areas based on new Nordic technology and solutions. The chosen cities are innovative, and based on past experience open to and prioritize learning from Nordic solutions thus providing Nordic companies with potentially other and bigger markets.

The five Chinese cities are:

  • Beijing/Zhangjiakou
  • Chengdu/Chongqing
  • Wuhan
  • Shanghai – Suzhou
  • Changchun

Focus areas

The TPOs will cooperate with private companies to deliver sustainable solutions to deal with the health challenges brought by increased urbanization with a focused priority to the following three topics:

Continuous implementation of Healthy China 2030

According to the latest Guiding Opinions on Optimizing the Construction of Tertiary Hospitals in the Cit" issued by the Chongqing Municipal Health Commission and other four departments, Chongqing will build 70 tertiary hospitals by 2025. Each district and county have at least one Grade A hospital to increase the supply of high-quality medical resources.

A thorough understanding of specific needs and requirements and concrete opportunities will be provided to Nordic companies in order to sell their solutions to these new hospitals in the selected display cities.

Supporting opportunities for people living with disabilities

Rehabilitation, welfare tech and 2022 Winter Paralympics represent good opportunities for Nordic solutions.

This area especially provides a window for Nordic SMEs developing new and cutting-edge technology. Through this project, they can become part of the new demands in China for better possibilities and equality for those living with a disability.

As a world display for their solutions, the upcoming 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing in January 2022 is a clear marker for state-of-the-art Nordic companies to be presented.

Strengthening the elderly care sector

The demographic development in China requires huge investments in the elderly care sector in order to secure a good life for the elderly citizens.

The Nordics has a huge group of industry, especially SMEs that can provide smart and innovative solutions to support the liveability of this growing population.

In the selected display cities, the TPOs aim to find actual projects where collaboration can be achieved for the mutual benefit of participants.

Leveraging past Nordic experiences

The project will leverage the already established Nordic experiences done by Nordic Smart City Network (NSCN) under the Nordic Innovation financed Nordic Healthy Cities project and learnings from The Future of Healthcare – Sustainable and Smart Today project – and implement these in selected Chinese cities building on the experiences from the Nordic Sustainable Cities China initiative carried out in China between 2018-2021.

The project is co-financed by Nordic Innovation as part of our Life Science and Health Tech program, which was launched by the Nordic ministers of trade and industry to position the Nordics as a leading region within life science and health technology – and support the vision for the Nordic region to be the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030.

Read more about the Life Science and Health Tech program


Rasmus Malmborg - Senior Innovation Adviser

Rasmus Malmborg

Senior Innovation Adviser
Rasmus has extensive international experience in complex project management, predominantly within health care system development. Prior to joining Nordic Innovation, Rasmus has been with LHL International for nine years and worked the last four years as CEO.

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