During the first year, the implementation of the ecosystem agreement was launched with national funding, and investments were made in the GigaVaasa and EnergySampo development packages. Year 2021 was largely spent on coordination and start-up activities, and during 2022 it will be time to move on to the implementation phase and open the first project applications.
“Right now, Vaasa and the entire region is very interesting on a national level as part of the green transition towards emission-free energy solutions that are significant both nationally and regionally. With funding from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland, interesting entities can be implemented. Now is a good time for companies to survey their development needs and seek value through the ecosystem and get involved,” says Mayor of Vaasa Tomas Häyry.
“Now that we have finally got off to a good start, we can move ahead with the most important projects in the region related to new sustainable technologies and a sustainable city, and we will invest more strongly in applying for EU funding for the region,” encourages development manager, Riitta Björkenheim, Vaasa Region Development Company VASEK.
“The first ERDF project application period for ecosystem contracts will open in March. There are about 900,000 euros in project funding to be applied for, which can be used in projects focussing on the top themes of the ecosystem agreement,” says Strategy and Project Specialist Maria Backman from the City of Vaasa.
What is the Ecosystem Agreement?
- The City of Vaasa signed an innovation ecosystem agreement (in Finnish) with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland.
- The ecosystem is a collaborative model that brings together companies, universities, research institutes, investors and other stakeholders in RDI activities to drive innovation, new business and new solutions to improve the wellbeing of residents. Among other areas, the ecosystem will provide unique piloting and testing environments for product and service development.
- The agreement covers the years 2021–2027
- In addition to Vaasa, the other participating cities and towns are Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Rovaniemi, Joensuu, Kuopio, Jyväskylä, Lappeenranta, Lahti, Pori, Seinäjoki, Mikkeli, Kajaani and Kokkola.
- Ecosystem agreements allow for even closer cooperation between cities and the state to support research, development and innovation.
- The purpose of the ecosystem agreement is also to attract more EU money to the region for various development projects and investments.
- Strategic partners with the City of Vaasa are the Vaasa Region Development Company (VASEK) and Merinova Technology Centre, as well as the Regional Council of Ostrobothnia, the Team Finland network and the region’s universities and business life.