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    Tampere City Region – sustainable, smart, attractive

    nokia arena skyfox marko kallio

    The economic development strategy of the Tampere city region has been updated. The changing international operating environment requires local-level responses. In the Tampere city region they have been formulated through extensive cooperation. The region is steered towards sustainable, smart and international growth – while cherishing the appealing everyday life.

    The economic development strategy of the Tampere city region was completed at the end of 2019 and it’s been the guideline of Business Tampere, the regional economic development agency. The COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion in Ukraine meant that the strategy needed a follow-up and sharpening of certain focal points.

    – The digital and green transition, responsible and sustainable development, availability of qualified labour, logistics chain breakdowns – the importance of all these points have been emphasised by the pandemic and the war, says Harri Airaksinen, CEO at Business Tampere.

    The strategy supplementary guidelines were made with an extensive cooperation of region’s economic and business actors. The task culminated in a seminar where the strategy update was discussed by over a hundred representatives of Business Tampere’s various stakeholders.

    – The economic development strategy update now highlights the anchor companies of the Tampere region. That is: the big industrial companies that generate the development of new technologies and operate as a platform for SMEs’ international growth, says Tommi Pettersson, VP of Digital Solutions Hub at Cargotec.

    Building the regional resilience

    According to Airaksinen, strong regional cooperation is the key when developing the resilience required by the changing global business environment. The continuing regional dialogue is based on mutual trust between stakeholders. 

    –  In the Tampere city region that people tend to discuss with each other in a very straightforward way. It is easy to arrange a meeting of the key persons and formulate shared views when needed, says Airaksinen.

    – The strength of Tampere is the exceptionally effortless and uncomplicated dialogue between business, municipal policy makers and Tampere Universities community, states Pettersson.

    Sustainability and qualified workforce

    Today sustainability is a must in all products and services. It is required by both customers and the qualified workforce that companies need. According to Airaksinen, corporate responsibility is increasingly a pull factor when companies are recruiting talents. At Cargotec the trend is clear.

    – ’What is Cargotec doing to address climate change’ is a routine theme in all the discussions with new candidates. The follow-up question is ’what can a Cargotec employee do to make the world a little bit better’, says Pettersson.

    Labour shortage caused by the COVID-19 restrictions is challenging many industries, in particular for example the event industry. The competition for skilled, qualified labour is very hard, and corporate sustainability values are often examined by the potential employees.

    – When talents seek work opportunities, they tend to think about what role sustainability plays in the corporate culture and how it is actually implemented by their potential employers, says Aku Syrjä, CEO at Akun Tehdas.

    International growth of the experience industry

    Akun Tehdas is a broad-scale provider of experience industry services. Its customers are, on one hand festivals and events, and on the other hand various audiovisual productions. The economic development strategy states that the Tampere city region will be a prominent European centre for audiovisual productions in the coming years. 

    – The projected growth of audiovisual industry exceeds most other industries. There is a very high demand for AV content. The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t hinder the growth of TV and film productions, says Syrjä.

    Tampere has been actively developing the AV industry for years. A big step was published earlier this year: plans for constructing a new studio in Tohloppi, Tampere. It will increase the region’s studio capacity and improve the production services. Thus it helps attract even bigger and more international productions to Tampere.

    The green and digital transition are also important in the experience industry. The customers of Akun Tehdas (event and AV productions alike) show a keen interest in the way sustainability is taken into account. Especially the top global companies take sustainability very seriously. So the new studio in Tohloppi will be equipped with, for example, the latest energy-efficient solutions to be able to compete internationally.

    Cargotec: the sustainable, responsible and digital future

    Cargotec is global provider of cargo and load handling solutions. It is capable of supporting the sustainability goals of its entire supply chain by utilising data. Therefore the educational focus in the region’s economic development strategy is very important for the company. New talents with the latest knowledge of sustainability and digitalisation should be continuously available in the region.

    – Customer demands are tightening, and the change is evident in the whole customer base. Partially it is because of the tightening legislation, but I can see how active companies anticipate yet further developments and make their demands accordingly, says Pettersson.

    – Also, efficient and resource-wise production is increasingly important as energy and raw materials become more expensive, says Airaksinen.

    Appealing everyday life in the Tampere city region

    It is no longer enough to have just the jobs, business premises and homes available in the region, when attracting talents and companies. Leisure time facilities, services and the quality of life are also increasingly significant matters. 

    So beside the ”attraction and retention factors” there is now also an ”appeal factor” in the strategy – referring to the smooth quality of life that the region can offer. 

    – Competition between interesting city regions is so hard that we need to speak about the enchantment factors, too. Things like Nokia Arena and its events, public saunas, nordic skating on our lakes or fishing in the middle of the city centre, says Airaksinen.

    – Tampere has recently made some major investments in infrastructure and construction, showing huge progress as compared to the times 10 or 20 years ago. The image of Tampere’s size has grown and the city has gained attractiveness – and enchantment, says Pettersson.

    Author: Päivi Stenroos

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