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Meet the Tampere City Region: Nokia

Nokia Tehdassaari
Nokia Tehdassaari
Photo: City of Nokia

– What’s Nokia best known for, Economic Development Director Tiina Laakkonen?

The name is of course notable. Telling that you are from a town called Nokia is always a conversation starter anywhere in the world. Our industrial heritage is strong, and tyres and tissue are still manufactured in the very centre of the town. A bit further away reside Patria, Agco Power and Purso – large companies that keep investing in their operations in Nokia. We do recognise the changes in business, though: most of the new jobs are created in SMEs.

Bio and circular economy business area ECO3 is well-known worldwide. Cooperation and synergy are promoted among the companies in the area – one company’s waste is another’s commodity. The City of Nokia is committed to circular economy in its operations.

– What makes Tampere City Region attractive?

The demography, competences, education and good transport links – this is the combination that attracts business to the Tampere City Region. Our task is to make sure that when a company is interested in Nokia, our service is quick and to the point. Recently lots of companies have been relocating to Nokia from outside the Tampere City Region.

Nokia Papu Design
Photo: Papu Design, Riikka Kantinkoski

Sustainability and changing the textile industry from within have always been central in the idea of Papu Design. The founder Anna Kurkela made decisions that helped Papu grow into an international clothing brand and business.

– Why is Papu Design located in Nokia, CDO Jussi Kurkela?

Papu was founded in Nokia mainly because it is such a nice place to live. We are still distinctly Nokia-based, with a necessary office in Helsinki. Meetings are often held in Helsinki, and it’s really easy to get there by train.

I think it was a good idea to start the company in the Tampere City Region. The local administration was easy to reach as well as public financing and projects that helped a new company.

– How’s Papu Design going global?

We’ve been using means that make a big impact with small investments. At first news about Papu spread faster than we could ever expect. Nowadays there is more competition and we need to work harder: find sales agents, attend fairs, gain visibility. Instagram, for example, is a very useful tool when you know how to use it.

E-commerce has always been really strong for us and is growing hugely. An increasing amount of goods is shipped abroad and, further to that, we’ve got wholesale customers in the USA, Europe and even in Asia.

 

Agiler creates IoT solutions for business customers. According to Agiler CEO, it is a startup of mature entrepreneurs with a team that has decades of experience between them. 

– Why did Agiler choose Nokia, CEO Jarkko Miettinen?

An industrial area in Nokia is a logistically good location for product development and small-scale assembly, and affordable, too. Our personnel lives nearby and is willing to stay in the region.

Finland is a relatively small market, and our business is export-oriented which means quite a lot of travelling. It’s easy to go to Helsinki by train or start an international trip at the Tampere-Pirkkala Airport. The Tampere Region does have potential customers for us, and also students who might be our future talents. We are always looking for skilled people to join us.

– How’s the regional collaboration?

RFID technology is important for us and has its roots in the region since the 90s when Raflatac began to develop it. This created a basis for around ten different companies – nowadays they are a network that may boost the business in the region.

Another regional booster is provided by the public sector: programmes and projects in which companies can test their technologies in the city infrastructure or with larger industrial partners.

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