Spinverse delivers Helsinki-Uusimaa RDI roadmap outlining the region's steps to become forerunner in innovation

Helsinki-Uusimaa region aims to become Europe's most innovative region by 2030 and ramp up RDI investments to five percent of the region's GDP. The roadmap defines the region's strengths and ways to promote research, development and innovation (RDI) activities through leading clusters and expertise. The roadmap work led by Spinverse in collaboration with MDI provides concrete ways to increase EU-level RDI activities in Helsinki-Uusimaa. 

Key ecosystems and centres of excellence to drive innovation in EU

The roadmap underscores Helsinki-Uusimaa's commitment to tackling global challenges through its RDI strengths. Key areas of focus include bioeconomy, circular economy, energy, health and wellbeing, as well as applications of quantum technology and AI. All of these areas host vibrant innovation ecosystems, including large and small companies, researchers and public organizations. These focus areas reflect the region's areas of expertise and response to EU strategic initiatives. 

The report highlights the importance of centres of excellence with a spotlight on Espoo's Otaniemi-Keilaniemi area, combining a world-class university and topnotch research institutes with their internationally recognised research groups and research infrastructures, high-tech companies and start-ups as well as active campus life. 


The centres of excellence and ecosystems can serve as valuable partners for European RDI projects, offering expertise, resources, and collaboration opportunities across various sectors, contributing significantly to achieving EU's research and development objectives.


How could more companies in Helsinki region join EU projects?


Although EU funding is only a small part of organisations' RDI investments, its significance is growing. Noteworthy successes in competitive Horizon Europe calls have already been witnessed, with organizations such as VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the University of Helsinki, and Aalto University.


Especially for businesses, both large corporations and SMEs, it would be beneficial to engage more with EU research and innovation programmes. There are various funding opportunities available for companies, offering benefits such as establishing pathways to the European single market, building networks, enhancing capabilities, and collaborating on R&D projects with top European companies and researchers. It is particularly desirable for large enterprises to take the lead in coordinating EU projects themselves, as this approach allows for the creation of consortia tailored to their strategic objectives, maximizing the benefits gained.


The roadmap highlighted the need to increase support in navigating EU funding opportunities, application processes, and partner search for both businesses and other RDI actors alike. Additionally, there is a need for greater Finnish engagement in influencing future EU programmes to ensure that programmes, funding, and partnerships aligned with the region's leading ecosystems are increasingly available in the future.


Prioritising RDI funding and strengthening co-operation locally and in Europe


One key conclusion of the study was the need to enhance collaboration and coordination among RDI actors in the region. Furthermore, Nordic and European cooperation are crucial for achieving both local and EU objectives.


"The most innovative region in Europe, Greater Copenhagen, provides us with inspiration. In Copenhagen, cooperation and coordination among different RDI actors is more extensive than in Helsinki-Uusimaa. The RDI field of Helsinki-Uusimaa would, for example, benefit from a more active approach to attracting foreign direct investments and increasing cooperation between innovation ecosystems to spread best practices and learnings," says Veera Mustonen, who was acting as the project director from Spinverse, supported by Johannes Ahvo, Markku Heino, Eeva Viinikka and Suvi Vähä-Sipilä


Helsinki-Uusimaa_Regional_Council_logo_verticalThe roadmap was commissioned by Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council (-Uudenmaan liitto). Its director, Tuija Telén, the Regional Mayor of Helsinki-Uusimaa, thanks Spinverse for the work and concludes: "We need the contribution of all RDI actors in Helsinki-Uusimaa to implement the roadmap and to strengthen the region's international RDI activities. The Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council will closely examine the recommendations presented together with the owner municipalities and other RDI actors.”

More information in Finnish:
Uusimaa's roadmap for EU-level RDI activities
Tiekartasta Uudenmaan TKI-toimijoille askelmerkit kohti Euroopan kärkeä
Webinar on the launch event of the roadmap 

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