Lapland region is open and arctic! Lapland has a vast land area of 98,984 km2 which is 1/3 of Finland's land area and exceeds the land area of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg counted together. Lapland has 736 km of land border with Norway, 488 km with Sweden and 380 km with Russia. There are 178 391 inhabitants in Lapland (2018). Population density is 1,8 inhabitants per km2, which means that there is plenty of room for everyone! Largest residential centres are Rovaniemi, Tornio and Kemi. Six sub-regions of Lapland are Rovaniemi region, Kemi-Tornio, Eastern Lapland, Northern Lapland, Fell Lapland and Torne Valley
Lapland is Above Ordinary geographically, spiritually and in everything it does. Although Lapland is the northernmost region in the EU, and one of the most peripheral ones, the international dimension has always been part of the everyday lives of its people. Lapland is Finland's most Arctic region, which is developed in view of the international, national and regional operational environment and its Arctic special features. It is the region in Finland that is surrounded by three other Arctic countries. In fact, Lapland is Finland's most international region also known worldwide. Its location as the neighbor of Sweden, Norway and Russia has promoted internationalization, which shows by nature in many daily contexts.
Brisk old ideas go hand in hand in an international yet local environment. Cross-border cooperation in the North Calotte and the Barents Region has long, well-working traditions. The forms of cooperation are flexible enough to allow quick reaction to changing conditions and to find new operating models, when necessary. Arctic cooperation plays a key role in view of Lapland, considering that Arctic regions are evidently gaining in global importance. In addition, Lapland acts as a gateway of the whole EU to Arctic regions.
Consider it done! Growing economies in Lapland are mining and energy, as well as tourism and service industries. EU's only chrome mine and the largest gold mine are situated in Lapland. Lapland also has the biggest forest and mining industrial concentration of the EU. Thanks to tourism and mines, companies are increasing their turnovers considerably especially in Fell Lapland and Northern Lapland.
Expertise in Lapland rests on the network of higher education institutions, vocational institutes and sector research institutes, which cover the whole Lapland. The University of Lapland is the northern most university in EU.
The Smart Specialization Priorities of Lapland
Lapland has understood the uniqueness of their environment and use their resources responsibly. Lapland has developed and it's actively implementing its Smart Specialisation Programme, Lapland's Arctic Specialisation Programme. Six cornerstones of Arctic development have been recognized in the preparation Programme: accessibility, the sustainable refining of natural resources and natural conditions, increasing value added, making more efficient use of Lapland's Arctic expertise, and Arctic pride. The focus of Arctic Specialisation Programme is on three chosen priorities: refining Arctic natural resources, utilizing Arctic natural conditions and pursuing cross-cutting development enabling Arctic growth.
According to the vision of Lapland's Arctic Specialisation Programme 2030, Lapland will enjoy a leading position in exploiting and commercializing Arctic natural resources and conditions. Lapland will also be the centre of international arctic transport, information and telecommunications. From the point of view of Lapland's future, the aspects to be highlighted are the sustainable utilization of natural resources and natural conditions and increasing value added. The most important Arctic spearhead sectors in Lapland are the mining and metal industry, tourism and bioeconomy. Although Lapland's Arctic Specialisation Programme focuses on specific sectors, it also challenges others to innovate new, strong spearhead sectors.
More information on Smart Specialization in Lapland here (pdf).