Public sector innovation agencies boost business renewal

Providing companies seeking growth with the prerequisites for business success is currently a top priority in Finland. Public sector innovation and research funding agencies can boost this by providing an efficient operational environment and expert and funding services which encourage renewal.

The Finnish economy is currently in an exceptional state of structural change. The internationalisation of the traditional economic cornerstones has lead to an acute need to develop new export trade links and capabilities. A prerequisite of this development is the creation of an operational environment suitable for companies seeking growth and for new business ecosystems. Extending and increasing the global operating capabilities and competitiveness of Finnish businesses is a sustainable solution to our economic and employment problems.

Close cooperation with public sector bodies is required to develop both companies seeking growth and new areas of business opportunity. The public sector can assist companies in achieving business success by, for example, creating and developing business ecosystems, infrastructures, funding opportunities, expertise, and legislation.

This year, Finnvera, Sitra, the Academy of Finland, Tekes, and VTT have all worked together on joint direction work. Finpro joined the team towards the end of summer.

Joint direction work helps create new business models intended to speed up the development of commercial opportunities favourable to Finland. The Academy of Finland is involved in this work, as both research and education create the basis for the innovation activities is this area. A joint direction helps the agencies and other parties involved work together to achieve common goals in ways suitable to their respective roles. In this sense, public resources can make the best possible impact on the Finnish economy.

"The primary goal is to support the renewal of Finnish business", stresses Pekka Soini, Director General of Tekes.

The joint direction work is being carried out under the banner of Team Finland. As such, it can be viewed as one of the steps taken towards the creation of a service package intended to meet the needs of clients in Finland.

Five theme areas

The joint direction partnership covers five themes that are used to create and develop new business models aimed at the promotion of globally competitive business ecosystems.

The three themes focused on areas of business are:

  • renewal of industry through digitalisation,
  • business opportunities generated by resource effectiveness, and
  • business opportunities in health and wellbeing.

The two remaining themes relate to the role of public sector in creating new business ecosystems, and market access and commercialisation.

Each of these theme areas will be further advanced in pilot projects carried out over the course of this autumn. The pilot projects will be used to examine what does and does not work, with further efforts being made accordingly.

In the market access and commercialisation theme, for example, efforts will be focused on ensuring that the service package intended to support internationalisation will be developed as seamlessly as possible. First on the cards for the digitalisation theme will be the Pilot Factory Finland, which will be a testing and demonstration environment for the industrial internet. In the health and wellbeing theme, work will begin on developing an operational model for a virtual health development centre.

The organisations involved in the joint direction work will be able to draw on their experiences of this cooperation in their own activities so as to benefit their clients in the best possible way. Naturally, there will not always be overlaps, but all parties involved will still be able to keep the joint direction work in mind in their own operations.

Further Information from Tekes

Pirjo Kyläkoski
tel. +358 50 5577 795

Anne Palkamo
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