Economic development strategy - Focal points - Business Tampere
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    Focal points

    The vision guiding the economic activity of the Tampere City Region until 2025 is “Superior capacity for renewal – sustainable growth”

    Eight focal points have been selected to achieve the strategic objectives, giving sufficient precision to identify and select the measures that contribute to the strategy. The implementation of the focal points requires the cooperation of a number of business operators.

    The strategy will be put to practice in the operations of the business organisations in the city region as they implement these focal points, and it will guide the implementation of the strategic objectives. The operations of organisations are also influenced by their own strategies, operational policies and resources. Business organisations implement the strategy in accordance with their respective area of responsibility.

    Figure 12. Key focal points of activities, their current state and the importance of their development
    Figure 12. Key focal points of activities, their current state and the importance of their development

    Business Tampere’s external management team defined the focal points in June 2019 from the perspective of strategic objectives. At the same time, their current state was assessed from a competitiveness perspective along with their mutual importance (see Figure 12). In the next step, 17 focal points described in more detail were raised to the level of the vision through combination and elimination. The selected 8 focal points are the most important development priorities for achieving the vision and objectives.

    The focal points are critical to the achievement of the objectives and are linked to several objectives at the same time (see Figure 13). The focal points critical to achieving superior capacity for renewal are connected to the development of the capacity and desire for renewal, innovation abilities, future-relevant intellectual capital, university and business cooperation, world-class innovation ecosystems, networks to support renewal and a diverse business structure.

    Figure 13. Focal points and strategic objectives
    Figure 13. Focal points and strategic objectives

    A diverse economic structure protects the competitiveness of the city region against changes in the world market. In order to maintain it, it is important to develop the capacity for renewal in all sectors, across businesses of different sizes and in different life cycle stages. However, after a decade of lost growth, the RDI investments are below the target of 4% of GDP.

    At the same time, particular attention must be paid to industry, which is what the city region is known for. Industry has been able to renewal, and its current capacity for renewal is estimated to be sufficient, but the capacity for renewal must be maintained and further strengthened through cooperation between companies, universities and research institutes and through increasing RDI investments. The reshaping industry also provides a strong growth platform for business in other fields.

    Ideas put forward regarding the targeting of measures:

    • Measures to raise the level of RDI investment to a competitive level in international comparison
    • Promoting cooperation between large companies, research institutes and small businesses in RDI activities and in finding funding
    • Targeting companies with a high RDI input-benefit ratio
    • Ensuring a diversified funding base, private sources are involved in the whole alongside public RDI funding

    Ensuring relevant competences and capabilities is critical to the development and future of the capacity for renewal and must be achieved through cooperation between businesses and educational institutes at all levels of education.

    International talent is a relevant part of the competence pool that companies need. Its scale and depth must be comprehensive to meet their immediate competence needs, to strengthen the region’s capacity for renewal and innovation and to strengthen the involvement of stakeholders in global networks at different levels. In order to attract new investments, the talent offering must be strong and clearly marketed, and investors must be able to perceive the region’s ability to attract the necessary talent.

    The availability of talent is often one of the most important issues for a company considering relocation,
    so the region needs to have the potential to attract talent and also the capability to make an existing
    talent resource meet the needs of companies. Cooperation between educational institutes and
    business life should be promoted both in secondary education and in higher education and research.
    Educational institutes should also make use of the high-quality external education and training offering, thus making a more targeted effort to meet the talent needs of companies.

    Ideas put forward regarding the targeting of measures:

    • Systematic proactiveness based on data
    • Development of operational models, such as ‘rapid reaction forces’ to respond to
      immediate competence needs, systematisation of change security processes at
      transitional stages, etc.
    • Promoting continuous learning at individual level
    • Multicultural development of industries and retention of talents in the city region

    The manufacturing industry in the Tampere city region is one of the most important drivers of Finland’s foreign exports.

    The technology industry in the wider Tampere Region accounts for 76% of R&D investments of all industry and commerce in the region and 54% of the region’s total exports of goods. The direct and indirect impact on employment amounts to 70,000 jobs, and the turnover is EUR 7.3 billion. One particularly important individual cluster is the manufacture of non-road mobile machinery and its subcontracting chains, creating an annual turnover of billions of euros in the region.

    Digital transformation continues to open up great opportunities – and sometimes threats – to business. Contributing to the competitiveness of manufacturing industries through digital transformation is a very important task for the municipalities of the city region and for Business Tampere. Maintaining competitiveness focuses on identifying, managing and increasing the subcontracting and partnership network associated with strategic capabilities and new technological openings of the ecosystems. Business Tampere is an active partner of industrial companies in this task, which requires a strong knowledge of research and education and interaction with educational institutes, understanding and communicating the potential of technological ecosystems and bringing public development instruments close to businesses.

    Ideas put forward regarding the targeting of measures:

    • Enabling incidence
    • Industrial cooperation accelerators
    • Using data from different perspectives, industry’s own experience of its renewal versus regional capability analyses.

    The development of world-class business and innovation ecosystems and the strengthening of networks are critical success factors for a more attractive city region that draws investment, companies and competence.

    The development of the business ecosystem is an effective operating model, and its measures have already been initiated. This involves enabling encounters, where, alongside digital solutions, it is essential to enable face-to-face meetings, networking and sometimes surprising encounters. Bringing together businesses, talent and ecosystem stakeholders and promoting matchmaking will support the development of ecosystems and, at the same time, improve service experience. Key considerations for the functioning of ecosystems are, in particular, ensuring access to highly skilled workers and channelling new intellectual capital into the region. Ecosystems must be open and capable of integrating new kind of competence into platforms and networks, also in order to attract international startups and to engage international professionals graduating from the Tampere university community into the local business life.

    Promoting cooperation between small and larger companies is part of the ecosystem activities and enables the development of new innovative products and services. It also provides small businesses with a path of growth and internationalisation with the support of cooperation with engines of enterprise. Click to read more of the vibrant business ecosystems in the city region.

    Ideas put forward regarding the targeting of measures:

    • The development of ecosystems must be an objective at global level, and the importance of networks must be high.
    • Creating scalable solutions together, but also protecting intellectual property. Quick trials, openness in networking, protection of solutions in internationalisation and public-private partnerships in ecosystems are the operational models.
    • Availability and long-term nature of national funding, in particular Business Finland funding. Help in the protection of intellectual property rights must also be taken into account.
    • Business-to-school collaboration, especially in professional training, to meet future needs
    • Establishing a Creative Business Tampere entity that brings together expertise across different sectors and takes care of the development of the business conditions in the context of the ECOC application. This will continue to enable the promotion of the ECOC project entity of AR/VR, gaming industry and digital platforms as a part of the Creative Business Tampere package.

    Proactive land policy, attractiveness of relocation and relocation services for businesses as well as accessibility and logistics in the region are all very valuable for business growth and competitiveness. Proactive land policy can even be seen as a prerequisite for other success factors.

    If successful, it provides a solid basis for growth and competitiveness in the region. Cooperation between businesses, business life, land use and town planning must be smooth and the aims mutually consistent.

    The attractiveness of the region is the sum of many factors, and their importance to the company varies on a case-by-case basis. The importance of relocation services will be emphasised at the latest at the stage where the initial interest in relocation and contact with the region already exist and the company needs more detailed information on matters that are relevant to it. Accessibility, location and connectivity in the region as a whole are a very critical and fundamental success factor and, like proactive land policy, a prerequisite for success in many other areas.

    The Tampere city region is the region with by far the best accessibility by rail and road in Finland. Good accessibility and fast access to international destinations are vital for a strong business life and its growing internationalisation. Intellectual capital, such as university activities and the preservation and continued development of international cooperation in education in the region, can only be guaranteed in the future by establishing effective international transport links in the region.

    Only a well-functioning airport and air connections will enable the export industry and the rest of the economy to grow. Tampere-Pirkkala’s central location creates an excellent accessibility zone for the airport.

    Ideas put forward regarding the targeting of measures:

    • A regular dialogue and a concrete forum for cooperation to support proactive land policy, highlighting, for example, the needs of business life in terms of land use and planning The aim is flexibility and enabling.
    • A common overall view of the long-term objectives of accessibility and defined priorities for different projects, understanding that the projects do not exclude each other, such as the one-hour train service and the increase of direct connections to Tampere-Pirkkala
    • Developing efficient local transport travel chains, especially between the workplace and home

    Exploiting the opportunities of social responsibility and circular economy as competitive factors in business operations is a critical focal point of both current and entirely new business. The requirements and opportunities of sustainable development permeate all sectors.

    There is a need in all sectors to move toward cleaner and more sustainable solutions, more responsible sourcing and transparent supply chains, and to design and production that takes into account the entire life cycle of products and minimises environmental impact.

    Taking the needs of sustainable development into account is increasingly self-evident in the current business, but at the same time it offers completely new opportunities for business and differentiation in the market. In addition to RDI funding, public procurement plays an important role in promoting the development and deployment of new, more sustainable solutions to support national reference points for new climate-smart innovations. The developing ECO3 and Taraste circular economy areas, the Sulkavuori central treatment plant under construction and the urban and municipal climate targets contribute to the importance of sustainable growth in the city region.

    Ideas put forward regarding the targeting of measures:

    • The development of a wider regional compensation model and its potential as a competitive factor for the city region, carbon sinks as a solution
    • Promotion of innovative procurement and experimentation and the influence of regulation
    • Development of ecosystems in the city region and its business areas in close cooperation with enterprises (e.g. ECO3, Taraste, Hiedanranta, LEMENE, etc.)Taking sustainable development into account as a perspective in all focal points
    • New operating environments that combine innovation, sustainable development and life cycle thinking

    Services customised for the needs of businesses at different stages of their life cycle, developing cross-organisational service paths and improving their service experience are critical. Development focuses of both the capacity for renewal and sustainable growth.

    Improving business experience is a complex phenomenon which must permeate all areas of activity horizontally. In order to improve business experience, it is vital to meet the customer as a company and as a person, listen to the customer and provide a service that adds value to the customer’s business development.

    To improve business experience in everyday service situations, the company needs to feel that it has been consulted, which is evident in, for example, the fact that it always receives a response. This success factor is broadly related to the region’s business-friendliness and impact assessment, but also to the provision of an individual business service and the overall attitude toward entrepreneurship. Enabling consultation is a key element in the development and continuous improvement of services and requires effective channels for using the services and giving feedback. It is important to identify the factors and the places where business experience is created and where the right measures can be taken to create a positive experience.

    To support business startups and growth, there must be an ability to build and produce a service path customised for the company’s business needs, serving the company’s different life cycle stages and situations. Business development services cover a wide range of local, regional and national services, and increasingly also directly international services. Close collaboration, exchange of information and even shared customer management among different business service providers will enhance the experience of the business customer and ensure that the company receives the service that meets its service needs in a timely manner.

    The increasingly diverse use of digital solutions, artificial intelligence in particular, helps customise overall solutions and service paths that fit needs better. The role of the public actor is to play an active role as a service provider in situations where market failure can be seen and where the profitable and growth-oriented business development of companies requires a new type of service production that responds quickly to changes in the world. Business services should cover different life cycle situations, and particular emphasis should be placed on the creation of new businesses and startups on the one hand, and on enabling business growth on the other.

    Digitality and utilisation of AI are also related to vitality data and the use of data analytics in knowledge management and forecasting. An up-to-date knowledge base, the analytics based on it and knowledge management practices aimed at utilising information are ways to ensure that the activities are based on the broadest possible understanding of current change phenomena. Working in networks and ecosystems both requires and generates a shared knowledge base. Data and information are also raw materials for the development of new services, the discovery of potential customers and enhancing the efficiency of operations.

    The field of business development and its phenomena have become more complex with the rest of society. Vitality, competitiveness and the capacity for renewal and innovation as well as the new laws of ecosystems require a multi-dimensional understanding of what is happening around us. The value of the information has been recognised as high, although it is difficult to define its monetary value, and the effects that increase productivity are often indirect.

    The thirst for reliable information is emphasised while the resources for seeking information are scarce and the time spent searching for information is in competition with other tasks. Instead of individual data orders and data searches, it is more efficient to produce key data content centrally and to share information in accordance with modern tools and open data principles to promote joint development work. Digitality and interfaces are perhaps already well-established in our language, but in practice they still require active promotion. Materials are being opened, but a significant part of the data is still paid, hidden or too low-quality to be used as it is. The tools used in analytics are developing with huge leaps. A pioneering role also involves accepting moderate risk in order to find the best solutions.

    In order to provide businesses with an increasingly targeted and personalised service experience, continuous service development, rapid response and up-to-date information are needed. To do this, we need a wide range of measures – both agile and long-term.

    Ideas put forward regarding the targeting of measures:

    • In order to support a diversified business structure, there must also be business services for the ‘undergrowth’ and the ‘inbetweeners’. Are there also services for companies that fall between startups and established growth companies?
    • Understanding customers as a whole – for example, the multi-problematic clients in the social and health care sector, not solving partial problems in business services, either, but rather knowing the root causes by understanding the whole
    • More genuinely seamless service chains instead of sending customers running from one authority to another
    • Development of smart service paths

    Communication is an important focal point to achieve a city region of superior capacity for renewal and sustainability.

    To achieve this vision, we need to collect success stories and tell a consistent, appealing story about a safe and regenerating Tampere region that is growing sustainably. Storification is an important tool at various levels, from the city region level down to individual companies and organisations providing training. It signals the capacity for renewal and innovation potential of the region.

    A consistent narrative highlights the whole city region through attractive stories. This profiles all the municipalities in the city region as a close-knit part of the Tampere city region and helps municipalities benefit from the attractiveness of Tampere and the city region.

    Ideas put forward regarding the targeting of measures:

    • Clarifying the goals of telling a story and deriving from them the actions, storification and communication, for example through joint campaigns
    • Visuality is an important part of telling a story.
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