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    Meet the Tampere City Region: Vesilahti

    Vesilahti festivaalitunnelmia
    Vesilahti fair
    Photo: Municipality of Vesilahti

    – What’s Vesilahti best known for, Business Development Manager Ilari Virtanen?

    Nature is beautiful in the rural municipality of Vesilahti, people are open, we have high-quality housing and our history is filled with names every Finn recognises: medievally-originated noble family Kurki, Laukko Mansion, the national epic Kalevala… As for business, Vesilahti has a lot to offer for tourism. Then there is the Kalalahti industrial area, a significant new opening for companies looking for a location with potential synergies.

    Vesilahti is a fine choice for any company wishing to stay in the Tampere Region while ensuring good connections to, for example, Port of Helsinki and Turku. There is affordable room for growth, with the added bonus of a safe environment for both business and residence.

    – What is the attraction of the Tampere Region?

    Availability of skilled labour is one thing, reasonable distances another. Within half an hour you can reach almost any part of the region, which makes commuting really convenient.

    Our strength is the shared thought that business services must provide good experiences for entrepreneurs. In Vesilahti this means, for example, that when an entrepreneur needs something, the municipal administration is easy to approach. I would think this also has to do with the openness of our local people.

    Vesilahti dog park Hunsvottila
    Photo: Niko Rautanen


    Vesilahti-based Dogdevelop Oy originates from canine rehabilitation activities that began some twenty years ago. The business has expanded to the development of support products, especially the Taituki orthosis that is now being exported globally.

    – Your experience of the Tampere City Region, CEO Kirsi Piispanen?

    Our Koirakuntosali (dog gym) is located in Tampere and dog park Hunsvottila in Vesilahti. Both are really well accessible for our clients arriving from a circa 200 km radius. For orthosis fitting our clients bring their dogs over much longer distances.

    I think there is a very good entrepreneurial atmosphere in Vesilahti. Like in the local entrepreneurs’ meetings where people cheer and encourage each other, or in the way the municipality values entrepreneurship. They are always ready for service.

    – How is Dogdevelop entering the international markets?

    We’ve upgraded our web store, we attend international fairs and veterinary conferences and our Taituki orthoses are available via Amazon. That was quite an effort for us and all hands on the deck because we needed to have a large stock ready in advance.

    We have worked on the orthosis development for a long time and thus know for sure it is an excellent product with a lot of potential demand. Nowadays dogs are family members and well taken care of.

    Doranova biogas plant
    Photo: Doranova

    Doranova is working on two main fields: biogas solutions & soil and groundwater remediation. In a little over 20 years the company has reached global industry leadership.

    – Why did Doranova choose to locate in Vesilahti, CEO Antti Myllärinen?

    The company started with an office in Tampere, and before long needed more room for product development, light assembly and testing. Vesilahti was a good match for that, and still less than half an hour by car from Tampere.

    The Tampere City Region is a geographically convenient and central location considering our projects in Finland. As for the export business, distances to the nearest airports are reasonable. The new Tampere University is a good source of well-educated labour, and a partner in some product development, too.

    An example of our local networks might be the biogas plant we are building in Jepua, Finland. The concept is developed and patented by Doranova, and we have high-quality subcontractors in the Tampere Region that provide expertise in heavy industry.

    – What’s new in the Tampere City Region?

    I would like to highlight the change in the atmosphere. The City of Tampere has undertaken some major construction projects, and that is creating a really positive cycle. The City Region has attracted national attention and prominence, just what is needed to, for example, to coax people graduating from local educational establishments to stay and work in the region.

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