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    Helsinki smart region paper for co r educ 25 26 april 2013 v0 85 Helsinki smart region paper for co r educ 25 26 april 2013 v0 85 Document Transcript

    • 1 Helsinki Smart Region: Pioneering for Europe 2020 Working Paper Prepared for the EU CoR EDUC Conference 25-26 April 2013 Authored by EKA B project The purpose of this paper is assisting in the international cooperation with respect to the CoR EDUC conference theme "Pioneering Europe 2020 Smart Regions".This paper describes the Helsinki regional innovation ecosystem, as well as a few interesting developments.The paper will be further enhanced based on the results of this CoR EDUC event, as well as through the collaboration of the regional actors. STATUS: WORKING DOCUMENT, FIRST DRAFT April, 24th 2013
    • 2 Helsinki Smart Region: Pioneering for Europe 2020 This Working Paper is a collective effort of several regional stakeholders in the Helsinki Region working together in the EKA project. The current document status is “first draft”. We welcome contributions to the next versions. EKA - Helsinki Region as a Forerunner Area The EKA Helsinki Region project is an instrument to assist the regional actors in defining the necessary activities. It is funded by the metropolitan cities Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, other regional actors, and the European Regional Development Fund. EKA means Forerunner Area. The vision of Helsinki Metropolitan area is to becomethe leading engine of growth and international success of Finland and to be a European pioneer as an innovation ecosystem. List of initial contributors Tuula Antola, City of Espoo Rogaciano Cavadas Kaipainen, Helsinki EU Office KristiinaErkkilä, City of Espoo Glenn Gassen, City of Espoo Olli-Pekka Hatanpää, Uusimaa Regional Council Kristiina Heiniemi-Pulkkinen, Uusimaa Regional Council Tuija Hirvikoski, Laurea University of Applied Sciences Ari Hucskowski, Otaniemi Marketing Ltd Hank Kune, Educore B.V. MarkkuMarkkula, CoR, Uusimaa Regional Council, City of Espoo, Aalto University Lars Miikki, EKA B Forerunner Helsinki Region, Culminatum Innovation Ltd Riikka Paasikivi, Culminatum Innovation Ltd Hans Schaffers, Aalto University Taina Tukiainen, Digital Business Cluster, Culminatum Innovation Ltd Ville Valovirta, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland EeroVenäläinen, Uusimaa Regional Council Jukka Viitanen, Hubconcepts Inc. Pertti Vuorela, Culminatum Innovation Ltd Contact Lars Mikki, E-mail: lars.miikki@culminatum.fi Markku Markkula, E-mail: markku.markkula@aalto.fi
    • 3 1. Introduction The objective of this paper is to discuss the opportunities and challenges for Helsinki Region, and in particular the T3 area, in the context of European 2020 policies and initiatives aimed towards creating connected smart cities and regions. The diversity and strength of the Helsinki Region innovation ecosystem makes it verywell positioned as a pioneering region in implementing the Europe 2020 Strategy and as an attractive partner for collaboration with other cities and regions.The paper considers the position, ambitions and objectives of Helsinki Region against the background of such European strategic collaboration opportunities. This paper in its present form will provide input for the EU CoR EDUC meeting in Espoo, 25-26 April 2013. The paper reflects a dialogue during the past period among all Helsinki Region stakeholders concerned. The paper will be further enhanced based on the results of this CoR event, as well as through the collaboration of the regional actors. Partnering actors in the Helsinki Region will use this process to further collaborate on strengthening the Helsinki Smart Region, and for developing an action plan for T3 and Helsinki Region to pioneer urban and regional ecosystems collaboration in Europe 2020. There are many ongoing activities in the Helsinki Region in preparing regional strategic plans and implementation activities. A special objectiveof this paper is to create a stronger link to the new Europe 2014-2020 programme period and the EU principles for regional innovation strategies for smart specialisation (RIS3). To clarify this, the following policy dimensionsare of special relevance, as defined in the EU RIS3 Guide1 : • Making innovation a policy priority for all regions:provide incentives toregions to invest more Structural Funds (SF) in strengthening their knowledge and competence base and in upgrading their innovation systems. • Focusing investments and creating synergies:RIS3 to concentrate SF investments on areas of relative strength, economic opportunity, emerging trends and growth-enhancing measures. • Improving the innovation strategy process:RIS3 to require smart, strategic choices and evidence- based policymaking: priority-setting on the basis of evidence/strategic intelligence about a region's capabilities, competences, competitive advantages and potential for excellence. • Strengthening governance and stakeholder involvement:RIS3 to foster stakeholder engagement under a shared vision, link small, medium and large firms, encourage multi-level governance, and help build creative and social capital at the community level. 2. EU Strategy 2020: Opportunities for Pioneering Regions 2.1 European strategic frame for 2020 The Europe 2020 Strategy focuses on growth for the coming decade, promoting a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. Among its seven so-called flagship initiatives are “Innovation Union”, focusing on a comprehensive research and innovation strategy, and “Digital Agenda for Europe”, which targets the development and adoption of digital technologies. Innovation Union. As part of the Europe 2020 Strategy, the 'Innovation Union' flagship initiative sets out a comprehensive innovation strategy to enhance Europe's capacity to deliver smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Key initiatives in Innovation Union are addressing education, skills, funding instruments, access to finance, EIT, pre-commercial procurement, and creation of a single innovation market. Innovation Union highlights the concept of Smart Specialisation as a way to achieve these goals. Especially relevant for Helsinki Smart Region strategy development is the approach towards Smart Specialisation. This is a strategic approach to economic development through targeted support 1 EU Regional Policy, RIS3 Guide 12.12.2011
    • 4 to Research and Innovation. It will be the basis for Structural Fund investments in innovationand capacity building as part of the future Cohesion Policy's contribution to the Europe 2020 jobs and growth agenda. Digital Agenda for Europe. The key objective is stimulating the digital economy and addressing societal challenges through ICT. The seven priority areas that are relevant as regards Helsinki Smart Region include creating a new digital single market, creating interoperability and improved standardization, enhancing Internet trust and security, much faster Internet access, investment in cutting-edge research and innovation for ICT, enhancing digital skills and inclusion, and applying ICT for the benefit of society. A concrete action is, for example, the Web Entrepreneurship initiative. Horizon 2020 and Structural Funds are different programs designed to jointly contribute to the shared objectives of Europe 2020, the Digital Agenda for Europe and Innovation Union by developing synergies. Horizon 2020, the framework programme for research and innovation, is the instrument for implementing Innovation Union in addressing grand societal challenges and industry competitiveness.Structural Fundsafter 2013 will have an increased emphasis on innovation and smart growth specialisation in order to address closing the innovation divide between countries and regions. This will be achieved by developing world-class research and ICT infrastructures, establishing networks of research facilities, developing regional partner facilities, and increasing European partnerships. Of particular relevance is Smart Specialisation (RIS3)2 . Many other programmes are relevant as well for Helsinki Smart Region. Urban Europe3 is a Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) in which a number of European countries participate. Its main aim is to coordinate research and make better use of Europe’s public funds in order to Transform urban areas to centres of innovation and technology, to realise eco-friendly and intelligent intra- en interurban transport and logistic systems, to ensure social cohesion and integration, and to reduce the ecological footprint and enhance climate neutrality. Through JPI Urban Europe, countries can generate European solutions by means of coordinated research. The aim is to create attractive, sustainable and economically viable urban areas, in which European citizens, communities and their surroundings can thrive. 2.2 Europe 2020 and Regional Innovation Ecosystems The mentioned flagship initiatives need effective implementation in Horizon 2020 and Structural Funds at the practical level4 . As far as urban and regional development is concerned, an “entrepreneurial discovery” mindset is critical. Close cooperation must be achieved between R&D projects and programmes relating to the creation, performance and effectiveness of local innovation ecosystems. For this we need new types of European research partnerships. Renewal and transformation are often based on concepts for orchestrated collaboration and innovative and effective use of key enabling technologies. Making these more widely accessible for European projects will refine and further develop their capacity to create actionable results and real impact. With EU funding for regional partnerships and collaboration based on smart specialisation, they can become building blocks for European cross-border innovation and regional ramps for societal innovation. Regions need new arenas as hotspots for innovation co-creation. These could be described as "innovation gardens" and "challenge platforms", which together form a prototype workspace for inventing the future. These are needed to address challenges - from small local challenges to major 2 http://s3platform.jrc.ec.europa.eu/home 3 http://www.jpi-urbaneurope.eu/ 4 This section includes parts of the CoR Draft Opinion “Closing the Innovation Divide” to be discussed and voted in the CoR EDUC meeting 25 April 2013.
    • 5 societal challenges at global level. RDI activity is therefore required that will pilot and create prototypes of (1) spatial configurations with physical, intellectual and virtual dimensions, and (2) orchestration and knowledge management toolkits needed to address challenges. It is particularly important from Europe's perspective to explore regional innovation ecosystems and the role, importance, activity, spatial solutions and success enablers of communities and institutions that spur new and dynamic innovation activity in such ecosystems. The new innovation institutes focus on the new mind-set and environment required for user-centric design, co-creation and rapid piloting. These new institutes, most of which have only been set up in the past few years, are flexible entities with a collaborative approach. Examples include: Incubators and Accelerators, Living Labs, Entrepreneurial Hubs, Development Labs, Social Innovation Labs, Fab Labs, Societal Innovation Learning Camps and Future Centres. They usually operate as associated entities of universities, municipalities and businesses. They combine new, open operating practices, use of social media, new intellectual property rights and funding practices, a broad stakeholder network and entrepreneurship. 2.3 Opportunities for Pioneering Cities and Regions For pioneering regions such as Helsinki, EU Strategy 2020 and instruments such as Horizon 2020 provide a wide range of opportunities to support the transformation towards smart regions. As soon as the Horizon 2020 Work Programme for 2014 is published (Summer 2013) more will be known about concrete priorities, calls and objectives.In relation to Smart Cities and Regions the pillars (2)Industrial Leadership (in particular leadership for enabling technologies such as ICT and for support of SMEs), and (3)Societal Challenges are highly relevant. The Societal Challenges pillar not only addresses key societal themes such as health and wellbeing, and sustainable mobility and transport. Particular relevant for Smart regions is the theme “Inclusive, Innovative and Secure Societies” especially where it aims to close the divide between research and innovation towards innovative regions and clusters in Europe (complementary and synergetic with Cohesion policies), and exploring new forms of innovation including social innovation and creativity. Social innovation is promoted through grassroots on-line and distributed platforms for networking citizens. This allows them to collaborate and co-create solutions based on an extended awareness of the social, political and environmental context; in this way, it can be a powerful tool to support the objectives of Europe 2020. For this, support can also be expected to networking and experimentation of the use of ICT for improving learning processes, as well as to networks of social innovators and social entrepreneurs. It is expected that the following general themes relevant to Smart Regions will be very prominent in the upcomingHorizon 2020 Work Programmes: Smart applications in areas such as energy efficiency, sustainable urban mobility and transport, smart governance. Smart and sustainable digital infrastructures based on Future Internet enablers and technologies such as cloud computing. Social innovation in regions, cities and neighbourhoods enabled by collaboration- and community-based platforms. Connected innovation infrastructures such as Future Internet experimentation and testbed facilities, living labs and other resources as backbone for 2020 connected innovation ecosystems across Europe. During the last few years, Smart Cities and Regions as a research and innovation theme has considerably grown in importance at the European level. A wide range of Smart City pilot projects have been carried out or are still running in the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP), using living labs methodologies (ICT-Policy Support Programme). The 7th Framework Programme
    • 6 (FP7-ICT)has launched a range of RTD projects in the ICT priority with Smart Cities, related to themes such as energy, transportation, healthcare and assisted living, environmental monitoring, public security, citizen participation, and Future Internet. New ways of creating innovation ecosystems building onliving labs are being experimented on urban, regional and cross-border scale. The large- scale Future Internet PPP programme5 partially addresses the application of such projects in urban contexts. The EIT ICT Labs initiative, which has a key node in Helsinki6 where Aalto University, VTT and Nokia collaborate as core partners, has implemented such projects focusing on mobile data, smart spaces and ubiquitous interaction, green ICT, Big Data and service design, ICT for wellbeing and active ageing.Within these initiatives, stakeholders in the Helsinki Region such as Aalto University and VTThave participated in a considerable number of such projects. The growing importance of Smart Cities is reflected in the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (SCC), a partnership across energy, transportation and ICT, which was launched in July 2012 by the European Commission (DG ENER). This SCC aims by 2020 to demonstrate and scale up a series of major innovative solutions that combine energy, transportation and IT technologies, and enable pioneering cities to outperform by achieving European targets for reducing carbon emissions, use of renewable energy resources, and increasing energy efficiency. For the next years these developments will provide new opportunities for pioneering regions and cities including Helsinki Region to position themselves as excellent partners in European projects for Horizon 2020, and other programs such as the Urban Europe Joint Programming Initiative and future KICs such as Healthy Living, Urban Mobility and Smart Societies. This calls for strong collaboration between relevant regional research and innovation actors, businesses and societal organisations to build a collaboration platform enhancing multidisciplinary research and innovation in order to engage in successful international collaboration at the European level. 3. Helsinki Region Innovation Ecosystem 3.1 Helsinki-Uusimaa Region The region Helsinki-Uusimaa forms the metropolitan area in Finland. Uusimaa Regional Council is a regional authority for Helsinki-Uusimaa Region. The Council is owned by the municipalities of the region, being a coordinator and consensus builder for the region. Its main tasks are regional and land-use planning, as well as the promotion of local and regional interests in general. Helsinki- Uusimaa Region operates in close cooperation with the regions of Kanta-Häme and Päijät- Hämewhich are often referred to as the part of the expanding metropolitan area. The core of the Uusimaa Regional Plan, to year 2033, is crystallized in the vision Helsinki-Uusimaa Region serves as an international metropolitan home base for prosperity. The political vision of the Region is the idea that a strong capital area serves as an engine securing prerequisites for Finnish success. The Region is being developed as a growing metropolis y by paying particular attention to expertise, innovation and well-functioning local structures. The vision has been concretized into six strategic objectives, which will be implemented by means of strategic choices. The ongoing renewal of this plan is the product of an extensive consultation process involving all major stakeholders in the region and in state administration. The new plan also demonstrates political commitment, since it will be approved by the Regional Council, which consists of the representatives of all 26 municipalities of the region representing 1,5 million inhabitants. 5 FI-PPP (www.fi-ppp.eu) is a 300 mln € EC-funded programme and has a duration of 5 years (2011 – 2015). In this, Aalto University (CKIR) has a prominent position in coordinating the FI-PPP Programme Facilitation and Support project CONCORD. 6 http://www.eitictlabs.eu/about-us/nodes-co-location-centres/helsinki/
    • 7 Fig. 1 visualises the regional planning system. According to Finnish law, Regional Councils are responsible for preparing regional development plans in cooperation with municipalities and other public and private actors. Fig. 1: Regional planning system in Finland Political commitment and productive collaboration covering the entire region are manifested through the strategies. Some essential political alignments of the recent strategy are as follows: • Helsinki-Uusimaa Region to become the most significant innovation concentration in the Baltic Sea Region. The innovation concentration aims to bolster SME prerequisites to identify and establish strategic partnerships. The Region will be developed into the most significant innovation cluster in the Baltic Sea Region with a customer-driven, open innovation environment benefiting from the strengths of the different Regional areas. In particular, favourable conditions will be created for the integration of science- and research-driven and practically oriented innovation activities. Collaborative platforms and interfaces are needed to form a stepping stone for innovations. Focus is on societal innovations where entrepreneurship and new forms of business and especially services are needed; similarly the role of SMEs and new start-ups is accentuated. • Sustainable development promoted with innovation. Innovations in sustainable development help save non-renewable resources and reduce emissions. Such innovations face an extremely huge global demand as e.g. a substantial decrease in greenhouse gases without radical innovations poses great challenges. In these markets the Region is to have a dual role: (1)It adopts and benefits from innovations created elsewhere; and(2)It develops and industrializes innovations promoting sustainable development. • Helsinki-Uusimaa Region is assuming a role as the first Finnish carbon-neutral province and forerunner in response to climate change.This was decided in its Regional Council. To achieve this, it has made the strategic choices to focus in particular on the following: (1) Increase in the use of renewable energy forms and development of sustainable development technologies, and (2) Creation of new practices in construction to promote sustainable lifecycle thinking.
    • 8 3.2 Helsinki Cluster Policy7 As the leading national expertise cluster, the Helsinki Region remains the strategic core of Finland’s international competitiveness. Helsinki region is the economic heart of the small and open economy of Finland. ’Helsinki Region’ is both a fairly loose cross-municipal organization and a vaguely defined area surrounding the capital region, consisting of the City of Helsinki and 13 other municipalities around it. These municipalities have a joint competitiveness programme, as well as different collaborative arrangements for water management and public transport and various informal networks as grounds for active co-operation. Increased collaboration between the municipalities is needed for the metropolitan region to function as an effective ‘Smart Region’. Helsinki, as a developing Smart City working to promote a Smart Region, does not endorse limiting smart solutions to its municipal boundaries, or to organizations that serve a single municipality. Removing boundaries between bureaucratic organizations is necessary within and across a competitive and agile smart region of the future. For the Helsinki Region to act effectively towards smart services it must provide platforms for innovation that are open to all municipal and regional parties with an interest in developing new products and services. The competition for applications and cases, as discussed below, offers evidence of this (cross-municipal) collaboration in setting up an innovation platform around open data aiming at smart services for citizens. Collaboration is of crucial interest. The first innovation strategy for the Helsinki Region shows the way forward for collaboration that will more efficiently harness the huge innovation potential of the metropolitan area. The future competitive strength of the Helsinki Region and its appeal as a strategic partner for the world’s other leading knowledge hubs will depend on the Region’s record of effective collaboration. In terms of Porter’s concept of cluster, Helsinki region forms a strong innovation oriented cluster around mobile technology, based on favourable factor determinants such as high quality research and education institutes, a continuous demand for change and innovative services, a highly competitive business environment, and at the same time strong innovation-driven networks of businesses and with governmental actors. Fig. 2 Clusters in Helsinki-Uusimaa Region 7 This and following sections arebased on a Helsinki Smart Cities case study developed by CKIR for the FIREBALL project (www.fireball4smartcities.eu) as well as on Culminatum materials.
    • 9 Cluster policy in Finland has been facilitated by a fixed-term (from mid 1990’s to the end of 2013) special government funded Centre of Expertise Programme aimed at focusing regional resources and activities on development areas of key national importance. The programme has promoted the utilisation of the highest international standard of knowledge and expertise that exists in the different regions. All specialization fields have had their own defined focus areas and strategic partnerships and customers. Services offered by the clusters have been productized and there are several development projects linking different cluster competences collectively involving thousands of companies and all important innovation organizations, universities and research institutions. The well-organized cluster concept and cooperation environment managed by Culminatum Innovation in the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region is presented in Figure 2. 3.3 Espoo T3 Regional Innovation Ecosystem Helsinki Region is transforming into a strong regionally based innovation ecosystem. Most visible is the Espoo T3 regional innovation system, also called the Innovation Triangle(Otaniemi-Keilaniemi- Tapiola). This is the largest technology, innovation and business hub in Finland and North Europe: it consists of 800 companies, 20 R&D centres and a number of Centres of Excellence. Its ecosystem of companies, universities and technology centres accounts for 50 % of the R&D value of Finland, and generates 60-80 start-ups a year. Stakeholders and partners include City of Espoo, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Aalto University, Laurea University of Applied Science, Metropolia University of Applied Science, Technopolis, KCL, Sitra and the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries. Finland's geographical location makes it a gateway for companies entering the Nordic, Russian and even the whole European market. Espoo is centrally located between Europe, Russia and Asia. The City of Espoo (Population: 250 000) is the second largest city in Finland and is the innovation driver within the Helsinki Region. The city has gained international fame as a hub of know-how, research and development, at the heart of which stands the Aalto University campus. Espoo is also a centre of international company headquarters and high-technology businesses. The city has developed this position in effective interaction with various partners. Espoo’s most important resources are its active inhabitants, its educational institutions, communities and businesses. The goal is to make Espoo a pioneer in the municipal sector, as well as a good place to live, learn and work, and the place engage in entrepreneurship. Espoo’s core interest is to develop the T3-area to become both an effective operating environment that energizes people, and a globally unique orchestrated innovation ecosystem based on the mutual interaction of the university, the business community, the public sector and the third sector. The role of Aalto University in the development of T3 is crucial. Human-driven built environments is one of the Aalto University’s strategic focus areas. The University’s objective, supported by the creation of Design Factory, Media Factory and Service factory as innovation platforms facilitating new forms of collaboration between academic teams and students with business and communities, is to develop its main campus and its neighbouring areas i.e. the T3-area into a globally leading innovation centre. The ambitious goals support realizing the Aalto University’s mission, which aims to change
    • 10 the world by means of internationally high-level research, pioneering education, border-breaking, courageously exceeding limits, and renewal. Additionally, Laurea University of Applied Sciences focuses on service innovation carrying out professional education, regional development and research and development activities using the Learning by Developing model, strongly focusing on the Knowledge Triangle for strengthening interaction and synergy between research, education and innovation and using new mechanisms for collaboration among regional stakeholders such as Living Labs. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland as the biggest multi-technological applied research organisation in Northern Europe provides a range of technology solutions and innovation services for industry and society. In transforming the T3 area, several challenges and opportunities are being addressed. Laboratories for research and innovation are no longer traditional university facilities, but regional innovation ecosystems operating as test-beds for rapid prototyping of many types of user-driven innovations: new products, services, processes, structures and systems which need to be transformative and scalable nature. The new generation of innovation activities is a socially motivated and open innovation ecosystem, which is complex and global by nature and which exists thanks to the participation of all using the online community. European regions should move towards open innovation, within a human-centred vision of partnerships between public and private sector actors, with universities playing a crucial role. This means modernizing the traditional Triple Helix model of academia, industry and government. This way the T3-area will further evolve as a regional innovation ecosystem which serves its actors, activities, and events and its external stakeholders. Special emphasis is on how Espoo T3 can become a global pioneer as a societal innovation test bed. 3.4 Helsinki Smart City as Living Lab The prominent role of user driven and open innovation (living labs) underlines the strength of the cluster. Actively supported by local and regional government, as well as through governmental funding for research, development and innovation projects, Living Labs have been established in and around Helsinki Region (e.g. Helsinki Living Lab, Arabianranta Living Lab, as well as several living labs operating around the educational institutions, i.e. Aalto, Laurea etc.). Their functions are diverse, but all are basing their activities on the principles of User Driven Innovation. There is a strong tradition of Living Lab research in Finland and various types of organizations – universities, city or region-owned development agencies (e.g. Forum Virium), companies and SMEs – have established Living Labs in the Helsinki Region area. The municipalities use Living Labs for economic development and societal activation in energy issues, service provision in health care of the elderly, preventive care, and urban living. Several Universities of applied science conduct research in Living Labs at the edge of science and practice. Companies such as NOKIA andPhilips, use Living Labs as user-centred hubs for ideation and product development, and national research institutions use Living Labs as platforms for innovation. These living labs focus on bringing users – with their knowledge, ideas, and experiences – together with the developers of new services and products to increase the quality and usability of the services and products created. Collaboration with local small and medium sized companies is actively sought and managed, while entrepreneurship is enhanced at service, media and design ‘Factories’ through the collaboration models at Aalto University. Since 2007, a network of “Living Labs” hasbeen providing test and experimentationenvironments where user communitiescan work with producers to co-createinnovative smart city services in theHelsinki Metropolitan Area. A number ofsuccessful trials and commercial projects,such as a traffic information platformand Helsinki Region Infoshare, havebeen deployed in Helsinki, which hasalso run open data competitions, such asApps4Finland, to inspire start-ups, citizensand established companies to utilise opendata resources.This network is overseen by Forum ViriumHelsinki, a private non-profit organization owned by the City of Helsinki.Forum Virium’s projects spansix key areas - smart city, wellbeing,new forms of media, innovative publicprocurement, innovation communities, and growth services.
    • 11 While the role of Living Labs is only one aspect of Helsinki Smart City programme, it has a wide influence because of its emphasis on openness, user engagement and co-creation. Within the Helsinki cluster environment it provides the powerful glue between the diverse elements of a strong innovation system. Since the 1990’s there have been a growing number of new developments based on mobile technology in the Helsinki Region. For the Helsinki Smart City strategy the emergence of a mobile application cluster is a benefit and the resulting competition within the cluster is equally essential. The proximity of the cluster members, both geographical and cultural, supports the constant drive to innovate in order to grow. This gives a push to development of innovative ideas for the Smart City. The user demand and citizen’s participation and demand provide a powerful pull. By becoming a centre of innovative and competitive firms a cluster attracts new firms to the area, thus creating economic growth. Within the Helsinki Region, this competitive-collaborative process is ongoing within IT, media, services, and particularly in the sector of mobile application development. The City of Helsinki has stimulated the development of a Mobile Application Cluster through organizing competitions for innovative applications. The Smart City services that are developed in competitions benefit both the Mobile Application Cluster and the citizens. The function of the competition mechanism was to encourage the development of new mobile applications utilizing Open Data. Experience so far hasshown how a Living Lab functions as an innovation intermediary where competition is utilized in stimulating the development towards a smarter City. 3.5 Helsinki Region Policies As the leading national expertise cluster, the Helsinki Region remains the strategic core of Finland’s international competitiveness. High educational standards, a firm grounding in science and technology and a long track record of cooperation between the private and public sectors have laid the foundations for developing innovative products and services in the Helsinki Region. As open environments for development, learning and interaction, development platforms reinforce strategically important areas of expertise and competitiveness in the Helsinki Region. Designing, implementing and developing such platforms is an excellent objective for the common business development policy of the cities. Apart from the well-organised platform and co-ordination among the stakeholders, innovative funding solutions are needed to boost both RDI and innovation commercialisation. Pre-commercial procurement (PreCo) and Innovative City® are examples of Innovative instruments boosting innovation in the Helsinki region in recent years. The Innovative City® Program is an urban innovation tool owned by the City of Helsinki and Aalto University and was launched by the City of Helsinki and the Helsinki University of Technology in 2001. Today, this cooperation continues and develops with Aalto University from 2011 onwards. The SWOT depicted in Table 1 summarizes the prospects for a sustainable smart city and region strategy of Helsinki Region. Smart Cities and Regions make use of the possibilities created by Internet and Future Internet technology. The Helsinki Region seems to be well positioned as a model of a Smart City for the push it gives to development of new technologies within a multi-levelled infrastructure and towards the creation of new business sectors. Many elements needed to create, develop, test and market new ideas and new technologies are present. However there are also some weaknesses and threats to be addressed, such as the lack of diversity in technology base, and the peripheral position of Helsinki in Europe. On the other hand, as explained, Helsinki Region also forms a gateway for entering Nordic, Russian and European markets.
    • 12 Strengths Opportunities Strong, mobile innovation oriented cluster Strong level of collaboration government – business - universities Prominent role of user driven, open innovation Innovative policy instruments Gateway for companies entering Nordic, Russian and European markets Strong innovation driven collaborative networks Push for creation of new business sectors Emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem Strong national and regional policy cohesion Geographical location as basis for new entrepreneurial opportunities Unused opportunities of the Internet for business and citizens and for smarter cities and regions Weaknesses Threats and Challenges Strong ICT sector but lack of diversity Limited human capital base Limited scale Enterprises operating mostly in domestic markets Few growth oriented and innovative SMEs Somewhat peripheral position in Europe Ageing population impacting labour shortage and conditions for SMEs Increasing international competition; globalisation pushing expertise and companies to look for global opportunities Industrial structure largely depending on large companies and few industries Dependency on mobile technology, lacking diversity Table 1: SWOT analysis of Helsinki Region 3.6 Regional Entrepreneurship Model Helsinki-Uusimaa Region was nominated the European Entrepreneurial Region 2012. The region’s entrepreneurship support throughout the business growth life cycle consists of the entrepreneurial environment of the Region, which include the infrastructure, the organizations operating in the field of entrepreneurship & business growth, development services and other support in different phases, the tools used, and all the organizations and the partner network operating according to the principle of Private-Public Partnering. This Helsinki-Uusimaa Region excellence – the Entrepreneurship Support Model – is presented as a Table 28 . This model has been an effective base for the fast development in recent years. Firm birth DISCOVERY Development INCUBATION Expansion ACCELERATION Speed-Up to Global Markets GLOBALISATION Universities Research Institutes Private and Public Sector spin-offs  Activation and Idea evaluation Pre-Incubation Academia Aalto University VTT Foundation for Inventors Incubators Development organisations Entrepreneurial eco-system drivers  Company set-up Kick-off and Coaching Helsinki Region Incubators Enterprising Future aim Aalto Entrepreneurship Society by students Laurea University of Applied Sciences Science Parks Business Development Private PublicPartnering co-operation platforms  Growth Financing and Networking Tekes financing New hi-tech firms growth acceleration Technopolis growth services VC firms & Venture Accelerators VTT Ventures Service Providers Internationalisation Centres of Expertise Clusters, Growth programmes  Growth Enhancement  Internationalisation support initiatives & co-operation Cluster activities VC firms European schemes and co-operation networks Table 2: Helsinki-Uusimaa Region Entrepreneurship support model 8 Helsinki-Uusimaa Region, Application for the European Entrepreneurial Region Award, January 2010.
    • 13 4. Helsinki Smart Region Initiatives Helsinki Region has launched several key initiatives effectively linked to Europe’s 2020 strategy. In this way Helsinki Region aims to be well positioned – from the perspective of Horizon 2020 – in relevant networks across smart cities, living labs and future Internet. A few of these initiatives with special relevance to the CoR EDUC conference are described below. 4.1 EKA Helsinki Region project The EKA Helsinki Region project is an instrument to assist the regional actors in defining the necessary activities. It is funded by the metropolitan cities Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, other regional actors, and the European Regional Development Fund. EKA means Forerunner area.The general goal of EKA is defined as follows: “The Helsinki Metropolitan area acts as the engine of the international success of Finland and is capable to take a role of a European pioneer as an innovation ecosystem." The special target of the EKA project is to develop EU level answers in the following questions and issues: 1) How to fill the gap between research and practice and how the practical activities in the Helsinki region will be European forerunner activity, 2) How to utilize digitalization and open innovation, 3) Dynamiting the Regional Innovation Ecosystem, creating operational model for Knowledge Triangle and modernizing Triple Helix, 4) Inclusiveness, interaction, living lab -activities and societal innovations and 5) Scalability of results. To achieve this, EKA activities focus especially on the Espoo T3-area through workshops, events and networking with other projects to concretize actions to implement EU2020 strategies in practice in the area. 4.2 INKA programme 2014-2020 The ´Innovative Cities´ programmeINKA is a new national instrument for policy-makers involved in innovation, supporting a joint effort engaging both national and regional players. In collaboration with the state and urban regions, the goal is to expedite the generation of new, major projects that are not only national in scope but which have an international dimension. The INKA programme is coordinated by the Finnish Ministry of Employment and Economy and Tekes. The Helsinki Metropolitan area INKA proposal was completed in February 2013and submitted to the Ministry for further actions. The five thematic areas of the INKA proposal are: developing solutions for digital smart services, creating a climate smart metropolitan area, increasing the wellbeing of people, utilizing creative know-how, and exploiting technological solutions in the urban environment. In the following we take the digital smart services for more detailed review. 4.3 Digital Smart Services Roadmap Within the national INKA Innovative City programme, Helsinki Region currently develops an initiative focusing on Digital Smart Services. The vision is thatFinland will be a pioneer in open data digital smart services by 2020. Needs-based innovative public procurement enable piloting and launch new business and market opportunities. Flexibility and transparency attract foreign investments, international experts from a variety of disciplines, as well as businesses to the Helsinki Region. Roadmap Digital smart services focus on developing internationally competitive digital service markets and related enablers, test platforms and environments. Essentially, this is the production of intelligent digital services through open, unified data and interfaces, as well as the creation of an integrated information platform between the private and public sectors. Municipal purchasing power is used to create innovation. Digital services will improve the fluidity of urban transport and vehicle traffic overall, through the construction of a total transportation management and control system. Digital smart services are also utilized in intelligent transportations systems (ITS) supporting urban planning and related services, from functioning intersections to city parking.
    • 14 Expertise The metropolitan area has been at the forefront of opening public information and offers an internationally recognized and attractive ICT innovation ecosystem. The ongoing restructuring of ICT demands renewal. Digital services are building a new type of excellence. Focus area themes revolve around the metropolitan area competitiveness strategy, regional transport strategies, as well as the University of Helsinki, Aalto University, strategies of the EITICT Labs, as well as the Ministry of Transport and Communications intelligent transport systems and services strategy, the ICT 2015 report and the government program as well as the Suomi2030 -preparation project. The capital area is networked globally, and significant international partnerships lay the foundation for the regional development of intelligent digital services. Focus area vision Finland's largest new growth opportunity is in the global digital economy. Finland and the Helsinki metropolitan area have solid capabilities in the development of this international opportunity. According to the focus area vision for 2020, Finland is a pioneering country in open data intelligent digital services. In the Helsinki metropolitan area, internationally significant new businesses are established, including markets, jobs and enterprises are created for key industries. Metropolitan area municipalities have invested in defining the overall architecture of ICT specifications as well as in the opening of interfaces and data. This has led to a compatible and comprehensive basic data storage database and data system. The flow of information between municipal, state, and publicly-funded entities as well as commercial operator services enables better services and produces business enterprises that can be exported. This increased efficiency leads to significant cost savings for the public sector. World-class expertise and exportable goods have emerged from creating a nationally and internationally compatible ITS information resource. Finland will be among the five most advanced countries in this respect. In support of infrastructure solutions, a diverse range of services have been developed to guide city residents towards smarter urban mobility. Authorities now have a more comprehensive understanding of both the traffic and other city operations to support planning and decision-making. The opening up of information resources will also enable faster development of other key municipal functions, including construction, waste management, energy distribution as well as welfare. As residents and businesses become well-informed, they will be able to make more rational and sustainable decisions, improving the quality of life in an efficiently functioning city. International and national business potential Digital services and the ITS market are a growing business opportunity worldwide. By 2016, there will be three billion Internet users around the world, nearly half of the world's population. Intelligent digital services and the influence of the Internet will also extend to traditional industries, easily stretching across traditional industrial and geographical borders. In 2012, the total market value of the Finnish IT market was 5.7 billion €. IT services continue to open new business opportunities for increasingly intelligent services. The European Commission estimates that opening up public information can generate 40 billion per year. Digital services traffic/operating market development correlates directly to the increase in online traffic and the challenges this brings. Global digital service traffic market was 19 billion € in 2010 and will grow by 22% by 2015. The Finnish IT market volume is estimated at 300 M € in 2010, and the sector employs 1 700 people.
    • 15 On a national level, the metropolitan area hosts the most significant entities; more than half of Finland’s world-class research activities, with sales (45 billion € in Finland), exports, GDP (10%), and employment (100,000 jobs) located in the region. Approximately half of Finland’s ICT firms and professionals are located in the metropolitan area. Finland, and especially the metropolitan area, is the most networked area in Europe, with excellent links to Asia and the United States. This unique situation and the high level of competence here will enable the ICT sector and digital services to become one of the most important guarantorsof welfare and competitiveness for both the metropolitan area and for Finland. International, national effectiveness and attractiveness for developing the Helsinki region The Helsinki region is already internationally recognized as an innovation ecosystem. It attracts international ICT companies, investment and talent (e.g. Intel, Samsung, Huawei). The competitiveness strategy of the metropolitan area,as well as the reform and renewal of its services, can be realized with the help of intelligent digital services and digitization. Along with the strong cooperation of municipalities in the metropolitan area, this facilitates the creation of an internationallyimportant pioneer in the smart services market Roadmap 2014 – 2020 According to the Suomi2030 -preparatory project, digital value creation will grow to be as large as the material value. Digital technology and the transparency of information, such as the opening up of public databases, create new, global business opportunities, including design and simulation, as well as new production processes, such as 3D printing which will be commonplace in 2030. Digital governance is also an opportunity for Finland. Intelligent digital services create opportunities for pioneers in international markets. In the metropolitan area the digitization of services is increased by developing and implementing a sufficient number of new digital services (i.e. mobile applications). Additionally, contributing to and creating conditions for the creation of new international digital businesses and jobs. The Helsinki metropolitan area is being developed into a digitally interactive urban environment, which makes use of residents and the information they produce.The main steps that will be followed to implement the vision are: 1. Developing pioneer markets in open data and digital services, especially for digital mobility in the metropolitan area (starting in 2014), along with the related test platforms, pilots, pioneer market initiatives, and coordination measures; 2. The creation of a novel market for innovative public procurement (1-5% of all public procurements are considered innovative); 3. Leading the international digital service market in 2020 Key projects Open data and interfaces are an enabler for digital services across industries, creating new digital services business opportunities. Different sectors are brought together by digital services and open data service platforms to make a sustainable, intelligent and efficient city. INKA will implement LVM smart traffic strategy with regards to digital service traffic systems for the metropolitan area, according to which Finland is among the world's five most advanced countries in digital services and products, as well as a major smart traffic services and products producer and exporter in 2020. See the Transport Agency's recent report "Traffic 2017" strategy of traffic management priorities development areas 11 and Helsinki area traffic management policies. Helsinki region smart traffic control central INKA-objectives are: (1) Promotion of digital servicesand the (2) overall management and control of smart traffic. Digital services and related key projects are summarized in Table 3. The table describes each project and the primary participants in the project.
    • 16 Key projects 2014 – 2020 Stakeholders The harmonization of open data as well as the private and public sector data platform Municipalities (HRI), Forum Virium Helsinki, EIT ICT Labs, HSL, HSY, SME businesses, private developers Corporations, mapping and location based services Statistics Finland, Land Survey of Finland, Finnish Meteorological Institute Universities, research institutes and colleges Digital tools for Residents as above Digital services and content –municipal pilot Cities, EIT ICT Labs, SME businesses, private developers Corporations: telecom operators, Tieto, Logica, Nokia Statistics Finland, Universities, research institutes and colleges Digital services and smart traffic The enablement of services based on open data LVM, TEM, Finnish Transport Agency, LMV, Trafi, ITS Finland, Finnish Meteorological Institute, cities, companies, research institutes, Land Survey of Finland, open data development communities Overall control and guidance of Smart Traffic in the metropolitan area as above Table 3: Digital services and smart traffic key projects for 2014-2020, with stakeholders 4.4 Energizing Urban Innovation “Energizing Urban Ecosystems” is a Finnish 4-year research program for 2012-2015, with 20 million €funding from industry and public bodies including Tekes, Espoo City and Aalto University. The EUE program has brought together a broad group of researchers, innovators, business interests and civil sector participants to pursue its ambitious objectives. The program is organised through RYM SHOK, the Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation for the Built Environment. The EUE research case is the T3 area in Espoo, Finland’s most significant concentration of innovation activity and an ideal landscape for prototyping potentially valuable innovation methodologies and technologies in real-life test beds. The program will create an internationally recognized and multidisciplinary hub of excellence for urban development in Finland, working through a globally networked cooperation platform for R&D projects in urban development.EUE willcreate and apply operational models and solutions to the challenges posed by urbanization. The goal is to create user- centric and competitive urban solution concepts applicable to both existing and new areas. Solutions for smart urbanization, orchestrated innovation activities, energy use and mobility will be integrated into the design of the built environment, land use and ecosystems of serviceproduction. This research will create a powerful research-based practice for actively building the pioneering smart city-region. Within the EUE program, the Regional Innovation Ecosystem (RIE) work package has brought together diverse technologies and methodologies for new urban design and development. In this innovation-enabling environment, the EUE program demonstrates how to effectively implement the key enabling success factors of the Europe 2020 strategy, and how an updated triple helix model supported by the Knowledge Triangle approach can enhance collaboration between the city, universities, research institutes and diverse enterprises throughout this regional innovation ecosystem. The EUE program was launched in May 2012 and has moved forward in a number of ways, including its scientific research on regional information modelling integrated with virtual reality applications. The EUE research program is using cutting-edge techniques for spatial data acquisition. These are applied to, and combined with, concepts for a digital ubiquitous ecosystem in Espoo City T3 area. The target application will be a mobile and virtual smart city model with geospatial virtual knowledge elements. Specific attention will be paid to aspects of usability and innovative visualisation for
    • 17 various user needs.By capturing the city’s geometry and characteristics through laser scanning, the resulting model can be applied in an information modelling process to conduct different kinds of analysis. The virtual — possibly, photorealistic — models used as the basis for the regional information model create a virtual city, geometrically accurate and visually close-to-identical with the real one. This enables city planning, built environment and real estate management professionals, as well as decision-makers and citizens, to use the model for diverse purposes9 . One of the first visible outcomes of the EUE program so far is the Urban Mill (UM) concept. The UM concept aims to become one of the most interesting global focal points for urban innovations. The UM started operations in January 2013 by connecting the core urban built environment innovation actors together. On the semantic level, the UM combines Research and Innovation Service (RIS) offerings and, on the pragmatic level, physical and digital SPace-as-a-Service (SPaaS) processes. UM activities are integrated into and offered through its 1.300 m2 smart co-working space on the Aalto campus, and its virtually tailored 3D mirrors. From the research and innovation perspective, the UM connects four wide research domains, their actors and global networks. These domains are: (i) Built Physical Environments; (ii) Ubiquitous and Ambient ICT; (iii) Urban Services; and (iv) Human Life in Urban Environments. From the thematic innovation point of view, the UM’s agenda is driven by its private and public partners’ long-term strategic needs. The provisional innovation themes for the year 2013, based on a EUE feasibility study, are: (i) Shared resources and services; (ii) Sustainability issues of smart connected cities; and (iii) (Service) Innovation ecosystem leadership. Physically, the Urban Mill is located in the same building complex as Aalto Design Factory (ADF) and Start-up Sauna (SS). Together, these three co- working spaces make up a physical Knowledge Triangle complex, with focused spaces for education (ADF), research (UM) and innovation (SS). From the perspective of Horizon 2020, the EUE program is highly relevant for achieving European goals. In the EUE program, we see how value can be co-created with customers and stakeholders, how the orchestration of support infrastructure between participating partners can create synergies in using knowledge, skills, and resources to co-create value with customers, and how experience- centric models value creation can be applied. Looking at the relevance of the EUE programme to Horizon 2020, we see a number of important aspects, including: 1. Setting the example of a pioneering innovation region: how to create and maintain an effective regional innovation ecosystem; 2. Using Espoo T3 as a test bed for specific innovative practices: developing realistic, close-to-the- street innovations in practice, with measurable effect on the lives of citizens and stakeholders; 3. The potential for applying many of the technologies, methodologies, working processes and collaboration models developed here in other European regions; 4. The possible scaling of relevant concepts, working processes, results, and research questions,whereby lessons learned here could become lessons to be learned elsewhere. 5. Ambitions and Objectives of the Helsinki Region 5.1 Positioning towards 2020 EU policy frameworks call for smart regions and cities as key actors in addressing global societal challenges. To meet the EU 2020 targets, regions and local authorities need to translate grand challenges into regional priorities, developing regional innovation strategies based on smart specialisation. 9 An integral part of the ongoing RDI process is the Meshmoon online virtual reality hosting system, which is based on on- demand cloud hosting technology and the open source realXtend Tundra software.
    • 18 Digital and real-life Open Innovation ecosystems need to be adopted by innovation policy makers in Europe. Cities and regions, which are closest to the citizens and SMEs, need to adopt regional innovation strategies, not only to maximize the societal impact of innovation but also to increase local innovation capacity and growth, building digital literacy and development. Future smart cities and regions need to implement future Internet service infrastructures, based on open architectures and standards, which allow interoperability, privacy and data portability. In order to boost regional competitiveness in a global economy, regional innovation ecosystems need to be embedded in global innovation grids. Orchestration, management, public-private-people- partnerships as well as strategic alliances are crucial elements of a regional innovation ecosystem strategy. The realization of a bottom-up oriented innovation ecosystem, grounded in a backbone of connected “assets,” is highly relevant for the Helsinki Smart region. These assets include research and innovation test-bed facilities, living labs, venturing activities, innovative programmes and projects, and the collaboration among various stakeholders and entities such as research and innovation institutes, start-ups and SMEs, larger companies, venture capital and policy actors. The balance between bottom-up innovation activities and top-down strategies is fundamental condition for sustainability. Cities and regions would be testbeds for research and innovation10 . The creation of Local Digital Agendas is a useful tool for translating societal challenges to the local and regional level e.g. creating regional priorities and smart specialization strategies and bridging the gap between research and market. This has further implications also for RDI funding, as they increase the effectiveness and impact of activities through so-called national/regional and innovation strategies for smart specialisation (RIS3). These are of particular importance, as within the post-2014 EU Cohesion Policy, smart specialisation strategies will become a key conditionality to receive financial funding through EU Structural Funds. Finland and Helsinki region are well positioned to meet future challenges to the innovation ecosystems. Finland is ranked as one of the key innovation leaders. However there are some weaknesses in the Finnish system, in particular regarding growth, entrepreneurship and internationalization. The Finnish innovation system has much to gain from integrating into the single European market for goods and services, as well as into the European Research and Higher Education Area. The main challenge is to further increasing innovativeness through collaborative practice, leveraging Finland’s ability to be a global forerunner in innovation ecosystems and its passion to test and start using new solutions. 5.2 Enhancing the Helsinki Region Innovation Ecosystem In order to further improve Helsinki region’s regional innovation ecosystems capacity, a number of objectives can be defined.The orchestration of local innovation policy and actions amongst regional authorities, municipalities, universities, businesses, and civil society is the first main area of recommendations for Helsinki’s regional innovation ecosystem. Second, to explore smart specialisation strategies in areas such as ICT for digital health and education applications. The Helsinki Region can and should be a pioneer in tackling several burning societal challenges. 10 The FIREBALL project in FP7-ICT has explored the concept of smart cities as innovation ecosystems for experimenting the Future Internet.
    • 19 Third, to change governance regulations for the open architectures and open standards that the future Internet ecosystem and smart cities and regions will be built on. This opens up government data to facilitate digital services development. Fourth, to change regulations and create incentives for young entrepreneurs – for example, setting up small scale funding instruments targeted at the business processes of entrepreneurial start-ups and SMEs, enabling piloting and prototyping at an early stage of the development process. EU financing opportunities, e.g. the European Investment Fund, should be explored. Fifth, to create an activity plan for European-wide innovation networking, based on the work initiated by the Vanguard Group (regions of Catalonia, Friesland, Flanders, Helsinki) and other regions, with the emphasis on increasing collaboration and synergies both within and between regions. This should lead to setting up several inter-ecosystem strategic alliances based on and complementing members’ regional smart specialisation strategies. This will eventually lead to integratingthese innovation networks in the global innovation grid. 5.3 Helsinki Region and International Collaboration In Europe 2020 strategy, regions should be connected, and be part of connected innovation ecosystems. Helsinki Region is already exploring such collaborative forms of innovation practice. One potentially powerful example of this kind of collaboration is the link between the regions Helsinki – Skåne – Amsterdam, which will be further developed for European pioneering in order to create ground-breaking societal innovations for Europe-wide use. This collaboration originated as part of the 2012 Aalto Societal Innovation Camp (ACSI), an innovative international programme co-initiated by Aalto University and the New Club of Paris. The three regions worked together to explore diverse practical aspects of the question ‘How can we create an inclusive and fully accessible society, in which all citizens can contribute to co-creating quality of life?’ Promising approaches to address issues like how to make innovativeness the common state of mind in pioneering innovation city hubs, what is needed to create societal innovation test beds, how to demonstrate innovations in both real-life and virtual reality, and the importance of the on-goingICT Cluster revolution as an accelerator for job creation and growth were developed. Insights into the new kinds of collaborationrequired to realize this– reciprocal relationships and relevant roles for government and civil society– were exchanged, and are being further explored in the continuing collaboration between Helsinki, Skåne, and Amsterdam regions. The initial collaboration at ACSI can lead to the effective exchange and promising solutions between the three regions, and – in the context of EU2020 and Innovation Union initiatives – to opportunities for piloting new European partnership experiments and broader interregional innovation initiatives in the future.The Aalto Societal Innovation Camp, which will be run in Skåne in 2013, continues to pioneer new approaches to tackling societal challenges, and will link the Helsinki region to relevant potential partners in smart regions across Europe and around the world. The Vanguard Group (Catalonia, Friesland, Flanders, and Helsinki) has been a bottom-upinitiator in developing a strategic approach to establish collaboration and to define and implement regional smart specialisation strategies. It aims to pro-actively complement competences of regional advantages across different borders. This cooperation focuses on co-creatively developing and proposing joint programs (such as the Regions of Knowledge proposal for the EU 7th framework program), in order to exchange talent, best practice and to commercialise research discoveries. Within the context of Horizon 2020 and Structure Funds, Helsinki Region aims to collaborate with other cities and regions Horizon 2020 based on shared longer term strategies and objectives as well as complementary competencies and assets.
    • 20 5.4 Conclusions and follow-up In this paper we have discussed the opportunities and challenges for Helsinki Region, and in particular the T3 area, in the context of European 2020 policies and initiatives aimed towards creating connected smart cities and regions. The diversity and strength of the Helsinki Region innovation ecosystem has been demonstrated. Helsinki region is well positioned as a pioneering region in implementing the Europe 2020 Strategy and as an attractive partner for collaboration with other cities and regions. This paper will be extended and further refined using the results of the EDUC conference of 25-26 April 2013 in Espoo, as well as the collaboration of the actors in the Helsinki Region. Sources and References Aalto University: Research Plan for a part in the EUE/RIE Program for the year 2013. City of Helsinki Espoo Vantaa (2013): Application of Helsinki Metropolitan Area to the Finnish National Innovative Cities Programme. Committee of the Region (2013): Closing the Innovation Divide. Draft Opinion of the Commission for Education, Youth, Culture and Research, Committee of the Regions, Prepared for Commission meeting 25 th April 2013. Culminatum Innovation Ltd (2013): Digital Smart Cities EU Regional Policy, Smart Specialisation Platform, RIS3 Guide 12.12.2011 European Commission, Europe 2020 strategy: http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/index_en.htm European Commission, Digital Agenda for Europe: http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/ European Commission, Smart Specialisation Platform: http://s3platform.jrc.ec.europa.eu/home European Commission (2012): Smart Cities and Communities – European Innovation Partnership. C(2012) 4701 final, 10.07.2012. EIT ICT Labs, Helsinki node: http://www.eitictlabs.eu/about-us/nodes-co-location-centres/helsinki/ Helsinki Region (2012): Elinvoimainen Metropoli tulevaisuuden tekijät 2025. Helsinki-Uusimaa Region, Application for the European Entrepreneurial Region Award, January 2010. Hoyer, Bruno (Ed.) (2012): Helsinki Region Local digital Agenda – Work in Progress. Working Paper. Komninos, Nicos, Mark Pallot, Hans Schaffers (2013): Open Innovation Towards Smarter Cities. In: European Commission, Open Innovation Yearbook 2013. Lappalainen, Pia and MarkkuMarkkula(Eds.) (2013): The Knowledge Triangle. Re-Inventing the Future. Markkula, Markku and Hank Kune (2013): Horizon 2020: Regional Innovation Ecosystems: from theory to practice. In: European Commission, Open Innovation Yearbook 2013. RYM Ltd (2012): Energizing Urban Ecosystems Programme. Research Plan 2012. Schaffers, Hans, Nicos Komninos and Marc Pallot (Eds.) (2012): Smart Cities as Innovation Ecosystems Sustained by the Future Internet. White Paper of the FIREBALL project.Download at:www.fireball4smartcities.eu. Urban Europe Joint Programming Initiative: http://www.jpi-urbaneurope.eu/ Urban Mill – Building IntenCity! http://urbanmill.org VTT (2012): InnoCity. Scaling Up Urban Innovations. Wallin, Johan (Ed.) (2012): Eco Urban Living. Espoo as an Innovation Hub in 2020.