Helsinki - a Platform for Innovations and Business Development

Helsinki is an excellent platform for innovations. Access to open data and testbeds offer endless possibilities for business development in smart, clean and health tech. Helsinki has an open and supportive startup ecosystem with a high density of tech and design talent with an attitude of wanting to make an impact and create the world’s best everyday life.


The new Kalasatama area of Helsinki is an experimental innovation platform to co-create smart urban infrastructure and services. It is a vibrant testbed to experiment smart services in real life with residents. Special focus is on smart and clean services e.g. in areas of energy/resource efficiency, IoT and sharing platforms, smart living and buildings and urban smart services. For start-ups, Smart Kalasatama runs agile piloting programme, which procures fast experimentation to tackle real city challenges. The aim is to accelerate innovative service prototype development into new business in the real life context. Smart Kalasatama hosts an innovative Smart City development community and provides Living Lab services.
Contact: VEERA MUSTONEN, Head of Kalasatama


Kustaankartano Comprehensive Service Center is a service unit of City of Helsinki’s Department of Social Services and Health Care. Kustaankartano offers elderly people service housing as well as day care and service center activities. Due to its wide and diverse customer base and highly educated staff Kustaankartano serves as a good and safe Living Lab environment for testing and developing new technical solutions and products. Further developing elderly care models and integrating technology in care are priority areas.
Contact: LEENA POHJOLA Director


Palvelukeskus Helsinki is a service provider and development environment for virtual home care in Helsinki with over 15000 virtual home care visits monthly. Palvelukeskus Helsinki has a central role in developing and testing new home care solutions for the City of Helsinki’s Department of Social Services and Health Care. It is also a service integrator and technology provider for the city. Palvelukeskus Helsinki is currently especially interested in IOT enabled virtual care and opportunities in collaborative robotics.
Contact: RIITTA KARVINEN, Director of the Business Unit


Kalasatama former harbour area is a model district of Smart City development in Helsinki. In Kalasatama district a new Health and Wellbeing Center is under construction. It will serve as one of the main Living Lab and co-creation places for Helsinki social and health care services. The Department of Social Services and Health Care is currently developing reception services of a health station complemented with mental health and substance abuse services and with social services. All these new service models will be tested in Kalasatama when the Health and Wellbeing Center opens in 2018. Living Lab activities of the new Center have already started in the district.
Contact: SANNA HARTMAN, Business Development Advisor


Clean Vallisaari Innovation Competition was organized jointly by the City of Helsinki and Metsähallitus to find clean and smart technologies and solutions to be developed further and deployed alongside the on-going development of the fortress islands of Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari as one-of-a-kind nature and cultural heritage resort and sustainable operations of the services provided for the visitors. The best competition entries have been selected and can be utilized in the infrastructure planning of the sustainable water supply and sewage treatment, sustainable energy solutions and efficient use of materials, and innovative solutions for user interface and systems management. The open innovation platform for the development of the smart and clean infrastructure is provided by the Finnish company Solved.
Contact: PÄIVI PIISPA, Senior Business Development Advisor


Jätkäsaari is one of Finland’s largest urban development projects. It has been quickly transforming from a goods port to a lively, mixed-use neighbourhood, an extension of downtown Helsinki. Currently Jätkäsaari is home to 3 500 people, and by 2030 population will rise to approx. 20 000. Contact: In 2017 the City of Helsinki will launch a plot competition to find a winning concept for a 40000 m2 mixed-use block (“Palvelukorttelit”) located in Jätkäsaari. The city is looking for an interesting concept that innovatively combines housing and services related to everyday life and wellness. The block and its services should be designed for future residents as well as other city dwellers and for people of different age groups. The competition is aimed at property developers, investors, service providers, tech companies and consortiums.
Contact: KATHARINA MEAD, Project Engineer


Östersundom is being developed into a new area with an environmentally positive living for ca 70 000 inhabitants, 3 000 new jobs and a hub of high-impact smart and clean investments in Helsinki. A key project in the area is a Bio and Circular Economy Integrate. The key idea is to strive for regional material efficiency, using the principles of circular economy, as well as to provide companies with opportunities to exploit the by-products of manufacturing and residential activity in the area. The integrate will support development and testing of novel products and services, processes and business models in the Metropolitan region. The open innovation platform is utilized for the co-creation of new technological solutions and business concepts. In November 2016 there will be three industry specific hackathons with the aim of finding new direct business, investment and partnering opportunities for companies locating in Östersundom. The open innovation platform services are provided by the Finnish company
Contact: PÄIVI PIISPA, Senior Business Development Advisor


The Nordic countries have Europe’s fastest developing startup scene. The capital of Finland, Helsinki, is one of Europe’s most rapidly growing regions with an upward trend of entrepreneurship and an abundance of tech talent and creative professionals.

Main photo: Jussi Hellsten