Innovation platforms in East and North Finland

Innovation platforms are services that support the development of companies’ products and services, providing an environment for conducting various experiments and tests, as well as for developing prototypes. Innovation platforms also enable the development of new types of innovation partnerships and links, for example between public and private actors. In the region of East and North Finland, the development of innovation platforms has been systematically financed in recent years. The starting point has been to create new businesses and to support SMEs in producing new or improved products, processes and services.

Ways for East and North Finland to succeed in global competition and to support innovation activities are networking of regional innovation platforms and increasing the awareness of the platforms. Based on the choices of our joint smart specialisation strategy, we have brought together about 45 innovation platforms from East and North Finland. The services provided by the innovation platforms are intended for the benefit of SMEs in the region but also for the use of all business development organisations, educational organisations and national research institutes operating at the business interface.

Search engine for innovation platforms

With the search engine for innovation platforms, you can search for information on the platforms on the basis of our common areas of expertise in accordance with the East and North Finland Smart Specialisation Strategy, as well as on the platform’s geographical location and TRL level.

Cluster organisations guide SMEs to use the services of the innovation platforms

Business development organisations

There are 25 business development organisations in East and North Finland. Municipalities own and manage non-profit development organisations that support the growth and competitiveness of SMEs in the region. The development organisation’s operations are based on knowledge of the area and companies, long-term customer relationships and, for example, location- or industry-specific expertise. Organisations create better conditions for local business and support the development of innovations.

Educational institutions

There are three universities in East and North Finland, and many other separate university units or university centers in the area. Universities provide innovation and productisation services to companies in addition to their main scientific and educational tasks. There are seven universities of applied sciences in East and North Finland, which operate in the SME interface in addition to educational and regional development tasks. The role of universities of applied sciences is emphasized in supporting applied research, productisation and local business. Vocational schools also serve local businesses with their training and development services.

National research institutes

Research institutes in Finland are pioneers in science and research both nationally and internationally. It is important to utilise their expertise in cross-regional co-operation in East and North Finland. The services of research institutes for companies are often strictly limited and partly also tailored. The services focus on basic research, the use of knowledge to support business and, at best, the promotion of productisation.

The Technological Readiness Level (TRL) of innovation platforms

Source: Arctic Smartness RDI-Excellence (ASR) -project,