The City of Espoo has won the international Intelligent Community Awards 2018. Espoo was the only European city among the seven finalists. The theme of the contest was ‘humanizing data’, which refers to the use of data for people-oriented service development.
The three-day finals were held in London, during which Espoo's innovation community – Espoo Innovation Garden – gained a lot of visibility and new networks for sharing knowledge and making new contacts. The networks will help everyone in Espoo to make the city’s strategy, known as the Espoo Story, happen. Espoo wants to create a sustainable future together with residents, companies, and educational institutions – and this way create new smart services and jobs.
“Our success improves our opportunities for attracting more knowledge- and information-intensive companies and jobs to Finland,” says Mayor Jukka Mäkelä.
“In the long run, this will benefit the inhabitants of Finland, the region and Espoo. Everyday life becomes increasingly smooth, the living environment will remain at least as lively and green as it is now, and everyone willing can participate in the development of the services they use. This is the outcome when the network formed by the city, companies and research institutions expands and learns together,” Mäkelä adds.
An international survey has already revealed Espoo to be the most sustainable city in Europe. Espoo wishes to retain the title and ensure not only high-quality services but also growth that is economically, ecologically, socially and culturally sustainable.
“People, companies and companies are Espoo’s greatest strengths. In other words, this is clearly a shared victory,” Mäkelä says.
LARGEST INNOVATION COMMUNITY IN THE NORDIC COUNTRIES
Espoo Innovation Garden is the largest innovation community in the Nordic countries. It is an ecosystem of startups, scaleups, growth companies and large international corporates, R&D centres and Aalto University. It is a physical place in Espoo as well as a collaboration platform and an active community of students, talents and innovators.
The Keilaniemi-Otaniemi-Tapiola area is the heart of the Innovation Garden and the home of, for example, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and companies such as Nokia, Kone, Tieto, Neste, and Fortum. Hundreds of startups are founded in Espoo every year. For instance, Supercell and Rovio, known for Angry Birds, hail from Espoo Innovation Garden.
Espoo Innovation Garden is not just about science and business. The area is enriched by an abundant offering of arts and cultural events. Science and technology, business, nature, arts and sports all make the Garden flourish.
Intelligent Community Awards 2018 was organised by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), a global network of cities and regions.