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The Ecosystem Agreement of the Innovation Activities of the City of Vaasa

The City of Vaasa has signed an ecosystem agreement with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland for the period 2021–2027. Ecosystem agreements are part of the government's efforts to make Finland the most effective environment for experiments and innovations.

The ecosystem agreement concerning the innovation activities

The region of Vaasa has a long history of vast cooperative projects implemented in accordance with the ecosystem model. For the ongoing period 2021–2027, the state has signed separate ecosystem agreements with all the participating university cities and towns.

The ecosystem agreements involve cities and towns whose progress is based on innovative competence and its utilisation. They harness their region’s unique potential to promote new digital technologies and carbon neutrality, speeding up the regeneration of industry and sustainable urban development.

The ecosystem agreement strengthens the development of an attractive innovation cluster and innovation ecosystem in the region, and promotes closer cooperation with international research, development, and innovation (RDI) networks.

The ecosystem is a cooperation model that brings together companies, universities, research institutes, financiers, and other RDI stakeholders to speed up innovations, renewal of the business industry, and new solutions to improve the well-being of residents.

The agreements are also a central part of the nation’s contractual urban policy that drives cooperation between the state and the cities. Ecosystem agreements are an important tool of urban policy, in which they participate in supporting the growth of the most central innovative city-clusters in Finland. Ecosystem agreement promotes the region’s most central projects related to renewable technologies, sustainable urban development and increases the possibilities for EU-funding in the region.

The implementation of the agreements will be funded with the resources of the EU programming period 2021–2027 for sustainable urban development. The public funding for this is estimated to reach altogether 120 million euros, coming from the EU, the State, and the cities. The cities’ share is 40 percent.

In addition to Vaasa, the agreements involve Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Rovaniemi, Joensuu, Kuopio, Jyväskylä, Lappeenranta, Lahti, Pori, Seinäjoki, Mikkeli, Kajaani, and Kokkola.

Vaasa Innovations ecosystem agreement

The strategic content of the ecosystem agreement of Vaasa focuses on sustainable and smart energy systems. The agreement focuses on development areas based on the top competencies of the EnergyVaasa ecosystem:

  • Smart power grids
  • Marine solutions
  • Sustainable energy production
  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy storage

The initial measures of the ecosystem agreement of Vaasa target the following projects:

1. Coordinating the ecosystem, project preparation, and networking

2. Vaasa as a carbon neutral city by 202X

3. Developing the Port of Vaasa

4. GigaVaasa

5. EnergySAMPO

6. Developing the research infrastructure

In addition to the Vaasa region Development Company (VASEK) and Merinova Technology Centre, the key strategic partners with the City of Vaasa are the Regional Council of Ostrobothnia, the Team Finland network and the region’s universities and business sector.

Management group for Vaasa Innovations ecosystem agreement

  • Tomas Häyry, pj – City of Vaasa
  • Markku Järvelä – City of Vaasa
  • Jari Karjalainen – City of Vaasa
  • Maria Backman – City of Vaasa
  • Mika Konu – Merinova
  • Stefan Råback – VASEK
  • Stefan Damlin –  Vaasan Sähkö
  • Niklas Ulfvens – Council of Ostrobotnia
  • Terhi Mäkinen – Pohjanmaan ELY-keskus (ELY-centre)
  • Minna Martikainen / Suvi Karirinne – University of Vaasa
  • Marja-Riitta Vest / Kati Komulainen – VAMK


  • Riitta Björkenheim – VASEK
  • Sabina Storbacka – Merinova

Evaluation group

  • Sector director Markku Järvelä, Environment director Esa Hirvijärvi, strategy- and project specialist Maria Backman.
  • The related expert from the Council of Ostrobotnia is invited to follow.

Ecosystem agreement application rounds

Two application rounds took place in 2022, receiving altogether nine project proposals.

Two application rounds during the year 2023.

See open application rounds here



Projects of the ecosystem agreement and impact


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