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    People in Business Tampere: Senior Business Advisors in EU Funding Jari Ahola and Mika Kolari

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    Mika Kolari (left) and Jari AholaPhoto: Laura Varonen.

    Jari Ahola and Mika Kolari started working as Senior Business Advisors in EU funding in spring 2022. Ahola is responsible for health and industrial sectors while Kolari is responsible for circular economy and material sector. Both men are born and bred in Tampere and they greet the good vibes of the home city.

    The two also have similar backgrounds from previous years. Both have worked in the service of VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland). Ahola in telecommunications and digital health, among other things, and Kolari in material technology and environment. Ahola also has four years of experience in working in an EU office where he gained experience in EU financing.

    “I noticed that the need for internal EU financing knowledge had cumulated, so for starters I have been doing a lot of internal consultation”, Ahola talks about his days. His work includes funding applications for his areas of responsibility, business visits and consulting external clients. The businesses are being identified with a correct EU instrument, thus determine where the client could receive funding. Ahola has also had time to host a webinar about financing.

    “Every day is different, I have had time to, for example, visit circular economy areas such as Hiedanranta area”, tells Kolari. Both men do the same things but in different areas of responsibility. The aim is to decode the EU financing process to make it a clear process and an action plan for the company to follow.

    “We help businesses to succeed by bringing in our experience. Often businesses don’t know that they have an opportunity receive EU financing for their product and innovation activities”, Kolari says.

    “First businesses that were in touch, have now been shown the way to act. And I have been involved in leaving an EU funding application”, Ahola talks about his first months in Business Tampere. “It’s great to see when an EU funding from my area goes through even if I myself have not been involved in its making”, Kolari rejoices.

    Both men consider Tampere to be a place with good hustle, a lot of activity and startup businesses. “New success stories are born constantly, we’ve gotten internationally great businesses to Tampere, and we have good learning opportunities here”, Ahola says. “In Tampere, things get done, great examples being Rantatien tunneli (the Tampere tunnel) and Nokia Arena”, Kolari continues.

    Both men also praise the nature in Tampere and the Pyynikki area with its doughnuts. In addition to their background, the two share the fact that they both are born and bred in Tampere and currently live in the same district. In his free time, Ahola is into photography and walking with his dog, whereas Kolari has been coaching his sons ice hockey team. Now that task is ending and it is time to find a new, probably a physically active hobby. Both men confess to being a supporter of the ice hockey team Ilves. “But only if I have to choose, I have played in both clubs (Tappara and Ilves)”, Kolari adds.

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