What is Espoo Innovation Garden?
Espoo is a garden of innovation and adventurous experiences – Espoo Innovation Garden. This refers to innovative, common ways of working and a culture of collaboration and co-creation; it's a communal way of thinking and doing things.
The heart of Espoo Innovation Garden is at the Keilaniemi-Otaniemi-Tapiola area, the biggest innovation hub in the Northern Europe. It is home for e.g. Aalto University, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, headquarters of companies like Kone, Fortum, Neste Oil and Rovio and the hottest Startup Sauna on the planet. A total of 5,000 researchers, 25 research and development organisations and a number of Finnish listed companies operate in the area. People of 100 different nationalities working in the area make it a community of strong international character.
The active centre of science and business is enriched by abundant offering of arts and cultural events. Science and technology, business, nature, arts and sports all make the Garden flourish.
Espoo's success in the European Commission's 2014 call for the European Capital of Innovation inspired our gardeners to continue cultivating the Espoo soil to make it even more of a fertile ground for growth and innovation. Espoo managed to get onto the shortlist of six prominent cities from among 58 applicant cities.
Innovation Garden bears fruit for the entire metropolitan area and all of Finland
Espoo Innovation Garden's aim is to bring together the various partners operating in the area and to encourage their collaboration and sense of community. We are making our dreams come true by nurturing the best companies, the best research and the best environment to work and live in. We want to prepare a seedbed for creating new jobs and a good strong living environment in the spirit of co-creation with companies, communities and residents. Our aim is to be the ground where innovation can grow and a partner who makes sure innovations work.
We want to increase joint activities in order to create opportunities for success for the entire country as well as good life for the people living and working in the area. Our dream is to make the Innovation Garden bear fruit for the entire metropolitan area and all of Finland.
How to become a gardener?
People, companies and communities are the most important resources in our garden. Espoo Innovation Garden is an open network of residents, companies and communities. Anyone can become a gardener - science and research organisations, companies, cultural and sports organisations, city employees and residents. Anyone who lives in or likes Espoo is welcome.
Encounters - planned or serendipitous - between people are a source of innovation and new experiences. The more gardeners are tending to it, the more it will grow and flourish. Everyone is welcome to claim their own cabbage patch and together with other gardeners make it bloom and grow - join in the creation of new innovation and experiences.
The city of Espoo is a facilitator. It is responsible for providing the Innovation Garden with the best possible environment and ground for growth. The City provides tools to create networks and shared platforms for companies, Aalto University and other research organisations, partners representing sports, culture and arts as well as residents.
The West Metro Growth Corridor will open up numerous opportunities
The new West Metro extension is Espoo's largest-ever investment in infrastructure. However, the metro is not there just to have a metro line but for what it makes possible. The primary role of the metro line is to be a growth and development corridor supporting the Aalto University, Otaniemi science community and the international businesses in the area and to facilitate the creation of knowledge-intensive jobs in the area and to bring vitality and growth to Finland.
The first 8 metro stations are open and 5 more will be opened by early 2020s. 11 of the West Metro extension stations will be in Espoo. Strongly developing station areas will facilitate the testing and implementation of various cleantech and energy efficiency related methods and solutions both during and after construction.
The development of the West Metro development corridor will be powered by Espoo Innovation Garden. The ecosystem supports the growth of the West Metro development corridor by attracting people, companies, jobs, and services. The Innovation Garden is a fertile soil for innovation, entrepreneurship, and experiences offered by nature, culture, and sports.
The Espoo Innovation Garden functions also as a test bed for new solutions rising from the knowledge and cooperation of various operators. The goal is to offer the inhabitants and those operating in Espoo better services and opportunities for operation through new technology.
Espoo Innovation Garden continues and enriches the story of Espoo – together with the inhabitants, companies, researchers, and developers.