Finland sets its sights on growth in Arctic Seas

According to Minister of Economic Affairs Jan Vapaavuori, the Arctic Region holds extensive growth opportunities for Finnish companies. Arctic business opportunities and projects that support arctic growth were the topics at the A New Direction – Business Opportunities in the Arctic Seas seminar held in Helsinki on 22 January 2014.

Opening the region's sea transport routes and utilisation of the region's mineral resources are the key forces that will see to the growth of business in the arctic. However, the area is still lacking sufficient infrastructure for the realisation of new business opportunities.

"The arctic region's seas are the focus of economic interest globally. This will present excellent opportunities for new business activities," Pekka Soini, Director General of Tekes emphasised.

Minister of Economic Affairs Jan Vapaavuori also brought up the extensive demands set by the Arctic Seas, but also the opportunities they present for Finland:" Our intention is not only to design and build vessels. We are aiming for a much more extensive range of fields – life cycle services, weather services, development of shipping companies, providing energy efficient and eco-efficient solutions. Our solutions must be realised in a way that offers clients, especially those in Norway and Russia, a clear competitive edge.

A significant part of arctic growth will come about through new innovations. The seminar included presentations on three programmes that all share the same premise - the sea, demanding conditions and solutions that Finland can supply for these. In addition to Tekes's Arctic Seas Programme the other programmes presented at the seminar were the Ministry of Employment and the Economy Development Programme for the Maritime Industry for 2014–2016 and the Academy of Finland Arctic Research Programme 2014–2018.

Working toward business opportunities worth billions

The Tekes Arctic Seas Programme promotes the development of products and services that will help create sustainable business in the Arctic Seas region. The programme kicked-off at the start of this year and will end in 2017. Tekes is to invest 45 million euros in the project and participating companies and other financers are expected to invest another 55 million euros.

"Innovation activities are the most important source of economic growth. We must use the strong expertise we have in the maritime industry in new areas and establish innovative business activities. The 100 million euros that is to be invested in the Arctic Seas Programme is a significant sum and will help develop competitive solutions, as well as those that utilise natural resources sustainably in the Arctic Seas," Director General of Tekes, Pekka Soini, states.

The shipping and maritime industries, arctic and other maritime transport, the off-shore industry and environmental technology are the key business areas included in the Arctic Seas Programme.

"The objective is to promote new business worth billions," Teija Lahti-Nuuttila Executive Director at Tekes and head of the Arctic Seas Programme underlines.

Further information

Teija Lahti-Nuuttila
Tel. +358 50 5577 873
teija.lahti-nuuttila (at)

Sanna Nuutila

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