Interreg Europe Programme 2014-2020 aimed to help regional and local governments across Europe to develop and deliver better policy. 

Inno Provement

  • Funder: Interreg Europe
  • Budget: 1 767 677 €
  • Implementation Period: 1.6.2018-31.5.2023
  • Project Manager Markus Leinonen

Project Partners:

Ministry of Finance, HU
ICT Association of Hungary, HU
Ministry of Industry and Trade CR, CZ
Region of Thessaly, EL
Marche Region, IT
COMPETE 2020 Man. Authority for the Competitiveness and Internacionality Operational Programme, PT
LODZKIE REGION, PL
Regional Council of Kainuu, FI

The project is still on-going, follow the link to project website!

Industry 4.0 is a vision of how production will in the future work more customer-centrally, more automatically, more flexibly and also faster. The intelligence of systems drives automation and people digitally. The INNO PROVEMENT project aims to disseminate related solutions, ie good practices, in partner regions.

7 thematic issues will be explored by partners through intense experience exchange:

  1. Innovation in software Development
  2. Effectiveness of public money used to support industrial R&D under I4.0
  3. Introducing I4.0 to traditional industries
  4. Definition of I4.0 public policy initiatives
  5. Adjusting calls to I4.0 requirements
  6. Market price assessment methodologies
  7. Definition of an I4.0 maturity evaluation matrix

Kainuu is responsible for organising, leading, generating results and reporting on the 3rd GP theme, ”Introducing I4.0 to traditional industries”.

BRIDGES

  • Funder: Interreg Europe
  • Budget: 2 022 455 €
  • Implementation Period: 1.4.2016 – 31.3.2021
  • Extension Period: 01.10.2021-31.03.2023
  • Project Manager Jouni Ponnikas

Project Partners:

Kainuun Etu Ltd, FI
Regional Council of Kainuu, FI
Lubelskie Voivodeship, PL
Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council, Regional Development, FI
Regional Development Agency ANKO  (EL)
Soča Valley Development Centre (SI)
Pannon Business Network Association (HU)
European Business and Innovation Centre of Burgos (ES)
Centre for Research & Technology-Hellas/Institute for Research & Technology-Thessaly (EL)

The project is still on-going, follow the link to project website!

The Interreg Europe funded project “Bridges” focuses on the development of bio-economy through cooperation between research and business and the effectiveness of the intelligent specialization strategies of the regions involved. In Kainuu, the project focuses on the development of forest bio economy. For the development of the sectors, an action plan is drawn up, evaluated and implemented.

Originally, the project was coordinated by Kainuu Etu Ltd and the Regional Council of Kainuu was participating as a partner. The project was scheduled for five years during 1.4.2016- 31.03.2021. The total budget of the project was over two million, of which slightly over € 500,000 was targeted to Kainuu. As the operations of Kainuun Etu Ltd were run down, the Regional Council of Kainuu became the Lead Partner of this project. BRIDGES project also participated the fifth call of Interreg Europe, targeted for proposals of additional activities linked to the COVID-19 recovery. The project was then granted an extension period for 01.10.2021-31.03.2023.

STOB Regions

  • Funder: Interreg Europe
  • Budget: 2 146 758 €
  • Implementation Period: 01.01.2017 – 31.12.2022
  • Project Manager Markus Leinonen
  • Project on Interreg Europe Website

Project Partners:

IHK Projektgesellschaft mbH (DE)
Regional Development Agency with Business Support Centre for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (BG)
Berlin School of Economics and Law (DE)
Business Development Centre Vaeksthus Southern Denmark (DK)
Official Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Shipping of Seville (ES)
Regional Council of Kainuu (FI)
Malopolska Region (PL)
Ilfov County Council (RO)
BSC, Business support centre Ltd., Kranj (SI)

The project is still on-going, follow the link to project website!

STOB regions improves regional policies to create attractive conditions for small and medium-sized enterprises in the process of transferring the business to new owners and ensure a successful transfer which saves jobs and has a high economic value for regions.

e-Mopoli

  • Funder: Interreg Europe
  • Budget: 1 792 053 €
  • Implementation Period: 1.6.2018-30.11.2022
  • Project Manager Markus Leinonen

Project Partners

Province of Brescia, IT
Calabria Region – Infrastructure department, IT
Regional Devel. Agency of Gorenjska, BSC Regional Devel. Agency Ltd. Kranj, SI
Region of Attica, EL
Flemish government Department Environment, BE
Regional Council of Kainuu, FI
Rogaland County Council, NO
Bucharest-Ilfov Regional Development Agency, RO
Zemgale Planning Region, LV

The project is still on-going, follow the link to project website!

The project aims to promote alternative fuel and e-mobility represent as ways to reduce the carbon footprint of economic activities in urban and extra-urban areas. To improve the implementation of regional development policies and programmes, in particular programmes for Investment for Growth and Jobs and, where relevant, ETC programmes, addressing the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The project, in order to effectively reach its goal, will be soundly structured on following steps:

  • e-MOPOLI methodology
  • Partners’ local and regional territorial context analysis
  • Good Practices selected for exchange of experience and transfer of lesson learnt
  • 9 Regional Action plans
  • Monitoring of 9 Action Plans
  • e-MOPOLI recommendations on business, governance and RIS3 level for Regional and Local Authorities

ecoRIS3

  • Funder: Interreg Europe
  • Budget: 1 755 870 €
  • Implementation Period: 01.01.2017 – 31.12.2021
  • Project Manager Markus Leinonen

Project Partners:

Fomento de San Sebastián (ES)
Cork Institute of Technology (IE)
Intermunicipal do Ave (PT)
Sunrise Valley (LT)
Kainuun Etu ltd (FI)
Metropolitan City of Turin (IT)
Vidzeme Planning Region (LV)
Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities (FR)

More Information:

Your Contact for Further Information:

Regional Development Director Jouni Ponnikas

The transfer of innovation and knowledge produced by the RTOs (Research and Technological Organisations) and higher education to the local & regional businesses was seen as one of the most important gaps and difficulties in terms of Innovation & Growth. It was therefore seen as the key to generate economic exploitation of the R&D results and particularly important in local & regional areas of Smart Specialisation (RIS3) and innovation opportunity. Also, there was a clear need to improve and connect regional Challenges and Opportunities of RIS3, to local innovation policies and stakeholders, highlighting the role of the “territory” as the place where inter-linkages happen and knowledge flows. For such purpose, regional & local authorities should play a key role of inter-mediation and, in accordance to ecoRIS3 objectives, promote better policies and measures to generate solid interactions between key stakeholders, to orchestrate sustainable innovation ecosystems within RIS3 strategies responding to the existing challenges and gaps.

Among the key activities, further to a series of exchange of experience and learning though inter-regional events (4 thematic workshops, 3 horizontal Seminars and 9 Study Visits), the partners of the project produced a peer review document on “The role private and public stakeholders play in the local ecosystem in order to absorb innovation”, 7 SWOT analysises and 7 Action Plans and identify 64 Good Practices, that will benefit the key actors of the quadruple helix (Public sector, Civil Society, RTO & High Education, SMEs & Industry).

SKILLS+

  • Funder: Interreg Europe
  • Budget: 2 462 041 €
  • Implementation Period: 1.4.2016 – 31.3.2021
  • Project Manager Ninetta Chaniotou

Project Partners:

Ministry for Infrastructure and Digital Affairs of Saxony-Anhalt (DE)
Kainuun Etu Ltd (later: Regional Council of Kainuu (FI)
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia (LV)
Research Committee4 – University of Western Macedonia (GR)
Malopolska Regional Development Agency (PL)
Trøndelag County Council (NO)
Zadar County Rural Development Agency (HR)
Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BG)
Castilla y Leon Regional Government – Regional Ministry for Culture and Tourism (ES)
Pannon Novum West-Transdanubian Regional Innovation Non-profit Ltd. (HU)
University of Latvia (LV)
Technical University of Ostrava (CZ)

More Information:

Project on Interreg Europe Website
SKILLS+ Poster

Your Contact for Further Information:

Regional Development Director Jouni Ponnikas

Throughout Europe, a digital gap exists between urban conglomerations and the rural regions as there are challenges to the provision of broadband services in rural and remote areas. This has resulted in a significant backlog in the digital activities of small companies active in rural areas, jeopardising their opportunities for competition and therefore crucially needed work places in areas often affected by demographic change. Today’s programmes to promote small businesses’ ICT uptake are often unable to overcome this digital gap as they are designed on regional or national levels, not matching the specific needs of rural areas’ SMEs.

The overall objective of the project was to enhance the ambition of rural SMEs by promoting the uptake and integration of modern ICT tools in daily business routines. Its aim was to optimise existing policy instruments by either giving more priority to the specific needs in rural areas or by proposing complimentary measures to increase the share of available funding for rural areas in order to overcome the digital gap between urban agglomerations and the periphery.

The project addressed public policies on national, regional and sub-regional levels, including EU (ERDF, ESF, EAFRD), aiming at promoting ICT skills in rural areas.

Karelia CBC was a  a cross-border cooperation programme financed by the European Union, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Finland. Aim of the programme was to create an attractive region for people and business.

The programme core region consists of the regions of Kainuu, North Karelia and Oulu in Finland and the Republic of Karelia in Russia. The adjoining regions are Lapland, South Karelia, North Savo and South Savo in Finland and Leningrad, Murmansk and Arkhangelsk in Russia. The Council of Oulu Region acted as the Managing Authority for the Programme.

In February 2022, as Russia attacked Ukraine, the European Commission suspended the Financing Agreements between the EC and the Russian Federation concerning the European Neighbourhood Instrument cross-border cooperation programmes . This meant that project funds could not be directed to Russia anymore and the Finnish partners were to conclude the planned activities on the EU side and close the projects properly.

LOGOKA

  • Funded by: Karelia CBC 2014-2020
  • Budget: 448 485 €
  • Implementation Period: 17.1.2020 – 30.6.2022
  • Project Manager Markus Leinonen

Project Partners:

Oulu Business School, University of Oulu (FI)
Port of Oulu Ltd (FI)
Herman Andersson Ltd (FI)
Port of Raahe Ltd (FI)
Regional Council of Kainuu (FI)
SKAL Northern Finland ry. (FI)
Corporation of Development of the Republic of Karelia (RU)
Autonomous non-profit organization «Professional growth centre»
«JSC Gavan» (RU)

More Information:

Project Website
Pro Gradu Thesis: Cross-border e-commerce package deliveries between Northern Finland and Russia (2021)

The LOGOKA-project aimed to increase the logistics and trade options knowledge among manufacturing, wholesale, export logistics companies and other stakeholders and to facilitate and boost cross-border cooperation between Oulu-Kainuu region and Karelia. The main outputs of the project are collected and disseminated knowledge about current transportation and potential cargo among companies, new options to cross-border package delivery and disseminated knowledge of possibilities in cross-border logistics and its regulations among manufacturing companies, wholesalers and logistics companies.

The project was targeted at logistics service providers, ports and stevedore companies dealing with transportation of cargo; business intermediaries, wholesalers, large export companies and SMEs interested in cross-border business and need logistics services in North Ostrobothnia, Kainuu and Karelia region.

The project analysed the trade and logistics regulations and practices in cross-border trade, studied new logistics options to deliver small orders direct from Oulu-Kainuu region to Karelia and tested practical solutions, organized joint workshops, training sessions and company visits on both side of the border as well as disseminated information about trade and logistics regulations and practices.

CINNAMON

  • Funded by Karelia CBC 2014-2020
  • Budget: 529 115
  • Implementation Period: 01.10.2018 – 30.9.202
  • Project Manager Tuomo Tahvanainen

Project Partners:

Karelian regional institute of continuing professional education at Petrozavodsk state university – Lead partner (RU)
Regional Council of Kainuu (FI)
University of Eastern Finland (FI)
JSC “Corporation for the Development of the Republic of Karelia” (RU)

More information:

Project Website
Best practices and State-of-the-art approaches in industrial diversification CINNAMON project 2021

Your Contact for Further Information:

Regional Development Director Jouni Ponnikas

Throughout peripheral regions in Finland and the Republic of Karelia, single-industry cities (mono-cities) have been economically and socially dependent on key traditional manufacturing industries such as timber processing, machine building, food, fuel and metal. Following shrinking international demand for these products, the companies (major employees in the pointed cities) had announced plans to reduce production, and to cut down jobs, or in certain scenarios de-localize from the region entirely. The leaders of mono-cities, also regional and local authorities had been urged to prepare a comprehensive investment and diversification plans reducing cities’ dependence on a single employer, and also creating conditions for the application of people’s capabilities in more diverse sectors, and incentives for private investment.

The overall objective of the project was to increase the cross-border economic interaction and trade between the Kainuu region and Republic of Karelia. Specifically, the project aimed to reinforce cross-border investment opportunities resulting from the diversification of mono-cities in addition to global industrial modernisation trends.

The project goals were pursued through a confluence of coherent activities, leading also to investment offers. The objectives of the project included (1) reinforcing cross-border investment opportunities resulting from the diversification of monocities and global industrial modernisation trends; (2) creation of a cross-border support mechanism encouraging entrepreneurs to enter Priority Social and Economic Development Areas (PSEDAs); and (3) increase of the investment attractiveness of the region by running joint branding efforts promoting Kainuu and the Republic of Karelia.

The attached report presents the results of Activity 3.1. (Collecting the best practices and state-of-the-art approaches in industrial diversification) of the project. The report consists of an introduction, a methodological approach for determining the relevant Good Practices (GP) in industrial diversification for the Karelian monocities, and the main component of this report comprising the Good Practices and state-of-the-art approaches in industrial diversification.

The Kolarctic  CBC 2014-2020 Programme granted funding for cooperation projects between the North Calotte area and the Northern  areas of Russia. Core regions of the programme included Lapland from Finland, Norrbotten from Sweden, Finnmark, Troms and Nordland from Norway as well as Murmansk Region, Arkhangelsk Region and Nenets Autonomous District from Russia. The adjoining regions included Oulu Region from Finland, Västerbotten from Sweden as well as Republic of Karelia and Republic of Komi from Russia. Regional Council of Lapland acted as the Managing Authority for the Programme. As the projects dealt with Barents cooperation, the programme accepted partners also from the Kainuu region. 

In February 2022, as Russia attacked Ukraine, the European Commission suspended the Financing Agreements between the EC and the Russian Federation concerning the European Neighbourhood Instrument cross-border cooperation programmes . This meant that project funds could not be directed to Russia anymore and the Finnish partners were to conclude the planned activities on the EU side and close the projects properly.

SafeWind (Environmental Safety and Sustainability of Wind Energy Projects at Remote Territories of Arctic Region)

  • Funded by Kolarctic CBC 2014-2020
  • Budget: 99 750
  • Implementation Period: 21.06.2021 – 30.06.2022
  • Project Manager Mari Isojärvi

Project Partners

Autonomous nonprofit organization «Center of management projects for social and economy, scientific and technological, innovative development and staff provision for regions», RU
UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, NO
Regional Council of Kainuu, FI
Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov, RU

More information:

Safe Wind on Kolarctic Site

Your Contact for Further Information:

Planning Director Sanna Schroderus

Development of the Arctic zone is leading to increasing demand for up-to-date and sustainable energy supply systems. Modernization of energy-supply grids, local energy generating infrastructure, and expanding the usage of renewable sources of energy, are responding to the modern trends. Wind power plays an important role in the development of energy supply systems in remote territories, and the increasing number of wind power farms will have an increasing impact on the environment.

SafeWind project objective was to address the above mentioned trends by finding cross-border, common approaches for minimizing wind farms’ negative environmental impact in the future. The project developed recommendations on optimizing Environmental Impact Assessment requirements for wind power generation and distribution at remote and hard-to-reach territories along the international transport corridors Northern Axis, Barents Link and further along the Northern Sea Route. The project aimed at mutual learning and unification of the requirements and approaches to the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) process in the participating regions in Norway, the European Union and Russia, where preliminary EIA’s were carried out. By comparative analysis of the assessment processes, the project compiled and promoted a jointly developed list of common requirements for the wind power farm EIA in both on-shore and off-shore areas of the Barents/Euro-Arctic region.

Northern Axis -Barents Link (NABL)

  • Funded by Kolarctic CBC 2014-2020
  • Budget 1 239 653 €
  • Implementation Period 04.11.2019 – 31.5.2022
  • Project Manager Tatiana Petrova

 

Project Partners:

Regional Council of Kainuu, FI
Futurum AS, NO
Northern (Arctic) Federal University, RU
The Local Federation of East Lapland, FI
North-West Strategic Partnership, RU
Luleå University of Technology, SE
Arkhangelsk Regional Road Administration, RU
JSC Nenets Oil Company, RU
Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, Oulu, FI
UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, NO

More information:

NABL on Kolarctic Pages
Barents Euro-Arctic Transport Group BEATA
NABL Studies and Reports

 

Your Contact for Further Information:

Planning Director Sanna Schroderus

NABL project aimed to develop the east -west transport corridor and cross-border mobility in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region. The Northern Axis alone as well as Barents Link with Northern Sea Route as continuation runs through all the four Barents Region countries. Thus, the development of a viable regional economy can be achieved more efficiently and easily through cross-border cooperation rather than by regions acting on their own. The impacts of the transport project implemented in one of the Barents countries will influence the transport of the other Barents countries, and this project analysed the cross-border transport impacts.

The main project target groups were public administrations, business companies, educational and research communities. However, the final beneficiaries of the better connectivity are the people of the Barents Region who will benefit of improved opportunities of fluent mobility of people, goods and knowledge. The project team consisted of experts from four countries, including representatives of the Arctic University of Norway (the UiT), the Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU), Russia and the Luleå University of Technology, Sweden.

The project activities explored the potential of the main transport infrastructure in the border areas alongside the Northern Axis – Barents Link transport corridor. The project identified the bottlenecks of the transport corridor to further harmonize the development of Northern Axis – Barents Link . The project activities aimed to increase understanding and define the impacts of several initiatives to Kolarctic area east-west transport corridors and networks, including economic viability. The work packages of the Project Action Plan also contributed to the Joint Barents Transport Plan (JBTP) implementation by developing evaluation instruments, infrastructure solutions and creating materials for further research work. Summary of the reports and evaluation of the results highlight the periphery’s possibilities and challenges. In addition, the results of the project studies should be integrated into the educational process to provide the expertise transfer to the students.

Barents Region Transport and Logistics (BRTL)

  • Funder: Kolarctic CBC 2014-2020
  • Budget 1 492 426 €
  • Implementation Period: 1.11.2018 – 30.4.2022
  • Project Manager Jussi Huotari

Project Partners:

Regional Council of Kainuu, FI
Regional Council of Northern Ostrobothnia, FI
Regional Council of North Karelia, FI
Regional Council of Lapland, FI
Arkhangelsk Regional Road Administration, RU
Ministry of Roads, Transport and Communications of the Republic of Karelia, RU
Autonomous noncommercial organization
“Strategic Partnership on Economic and Social Development of the North-West Federal District”, RU
Finnmark Fylke, NO
Troms Fylke, NO
Nordland Fylke, NO
Norway Public Roads Adm., NO
Norrbotten County, NO
Västerbotten County, NO

More information:

BRTL on Kolarctic Site
Barents Euro-Arctic Transport Group BEATA
BRTL Publications

Your Contact for Further Information:

Planning Director Sanna Schroderus

The project application founded on the viewpoint that decisions of transport and logistics in the Barents Regions had too often been based on national plans only. The national transport strategies have been made and the Regional Transport Plans implemented, being not so much aware of the neighboring regions´ (countries´) strategies/ plans in this field. The BRTL project aimed to implement the Joint Barents Transport Plan (JBTP)  in the regional level.

The project facilitated a platform where the authorities responsible for of coordinating the regional development in the Barents Region could agree upon implementation  of the Joint Barents Transport Plan. The target groups were the regional authorities of the Barents Region who are responsible for regional development and especially transport and logistics questions. The beneficiaries were people of the project area who were suffering from timely non-accessible and other ways limited border crossings and transport networks and who would benefit of improved opportunities of fluent mobility of people, goods and knowledge. In addition, the beneficiaries included the transport modes serving the Barents Region and business benefiting of the lower transport costs.

NPA -ohjelman logot

The Northern Periphery and Arctic 2014-2020 was a cooperation are between 9 programme partner countries; the Member States of Finland, Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom (Scotland and Northern Ireland) in cooperation with the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Norway. This means that the programme area encompassed the Euro-Arctic zone, parts of the Atlantic zone and parts of the Barents region, neighbouring on Canada in the West and Russia in the East.

N-lite (Literary Tourism Immersive Technology Acceleration)

  • Funder: NPA 2014-2020
  • Budget: 60 000 €
  • Implementation Period: 1.1.-30.6.2022
  • Project Manager Minna Komulainen

Project Partners:

Western Development Commission WDC, IE
Regional Council of Kainuu, FI
Irish Central Border Area Network Ltd. ICBAN, GB

Your Contact for Further Information:

Regional Development Specialist Minna Komulainen

Post COVID, innovation capacity as a means to adapt, manage and respond to unforeseen circumstances is critical for micro  enterprises and SMEs in the NPA region to survive, advance and grow. There was an abundance of literary, cultural and natural resources, as well as existing and advanced technologies that may be used to exploit, further develop and market those assets and thereby grow sustainable LT businesses. The goal of N-Lite project was to investigate the possible technical solutions and to assess the potential of SMEs to uptake those, and to prepare a larger application for a development project.

The goal was, by adapting existing and emergent immersive digital technologies, to the creative capital and stories of the partner regions, to accelerate the sectors SMEs to growth in the coming years. Specifically, this was done through assessing suitable digital and associated technologies to develop immersive visitor experiences in the regions literary tourism sector. These technologies include Augmented and Virtual reality, mobile volumetric imaging, and marketing technologies, etc.

Blitz (Spot-lit)

  • Spot-lit is a brand name chosen for project “Business of Literature Zones” (BLITZ in short)
  • Budget 1 952 669 €
  • Implementation Period 1.10.2018-31.3.2022
  • Project Manager Minna Komulainen

 

Project Partners:

Irish Central Border Area Network Ltd. ICBAN, GB
Western Development Commission WDC, IE
Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, FI
Lapland University of Applied Sciences, FI
Regional Council of Kainuu, FI
Wigtown Festival Company WFC, GB
Arts Over Borders AOB, GB

More information:

Project Website

 

Your Contact for Further Information:

Regional Development Specialist Minna Komulainen

The Northern Periphery and Arctic region is culturally rich, and literary tourism is a growing market and places with related literary heritage may offer meaningful contents and experiences for tourists. These may include both contents related to the authors or the literature itself and be produced in cooperation between several kinds of organisations like bookshops, festivals, tourism routes etc. The NPA region is home to world-class literary icons and landscapes. The previously low levels of joined-up literary tourism activity in the NPA region make it a sector that is ripe for development.

Spot-lit aimed to grow the literary tourism sector in the Northern Periphery and Arctic region by supporting the organisations and businesses in this culturally-rich region to grow collaborate and better engage audiences together.  Spot-lit project activities included workshops that support product development and cross-regional clustering, launching of total 20 literature tourism products or services, joint learning and international marketing.

The project included partners from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Finland. In addition to official project partners, Spot-lit has two associate partners; Reykjavik UNESCO City of Literature in Iceland and Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust in Scotland.

CRR-COVID19

 

  • Funded by NPA 2014-2020
  • Budget 45 000 €
  • Implementation Period 1.9.2020-31.12.2020
  • Project Manager Ninetta Chaniotou

Project Partners:

Regional Council of Kainuu, FI
Oulu University, FI
Rural Area Partnership in Derry Ltd (RAPID), GB
NHS Western Isles, GB
Comhairle Chontae Liatroma (LCC), IE
British Red Cross, GB
BSCDC, DK

Your Contact for Further Information:

Regional Development Director Jouni Ponnikas

The project aimed to examine the impact, resilience, and responses to COVID19 in the NPA area on a community level.

The CRR -COVID19 project was structured into 4 community groups:

  • Citizens’ responses including human rights considerations.
  • Families and schooling, their readiness for tele-solutions.
  • Health-care providers and user readiness for tele-solutions and practical arrangement to secure safe healthcare.
  • Regional – county authorities assessing the impact of COVID19 and policy responses aiming at sustainable recovery.

The four community groups explored through tailored community questionnaires leading to insights, best practices utilized during the Covid-19 pandemic in the NPA area and made recommendations for future NPA.

EU_lippu_ja_Vipuvoimaa_logo_800px

The Finnish Operational Programme “Sustainable growth and jobs 2014-2020 – Finland’s structural funds programme” received a combined amount of EUR 1,299,461,095 from the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund under the Investment Package for growth and jobs in Finland. The  programme contributed to Finland reaching the key EU and national development priorities along with the “Europe2020” objectives.

ELMO 2 Kainuu

 

  • Funder: Structural Funds Programme 2014-2020
  • Budget: 152 620 €
  • Implementation Period: 1.5.2019 – 31.12.2021
  • East and North Finland in Industrial Transition

 

More information:

Your Contact for Further Information:

Regional Development Director Jouni Ponnikas

The regions of East and North Finland (ENF) form an 0fficial pilot area to develop new approaches based on smart specialisation. The pilot was named East and North Finland in Industrial Transition, or as we like to call it, ELMO.  In a nutshell, ELMO co-operation is about supervision of common interests and development work based on the identification of common strengths and complementary competencies. At the heart of the cooperation is smart specialization, the choices based on which we support the growth sectors of the regions. The aim is to develop new practices that will enable companies to take advantage of the expertise of the entire ENF area and the diverse network of innovation platforms we have.

The first phase of the ELMO collaboration produced the East and North Finland in industrial transition -smart specialisation strategy 2019-2023. In the second phase, we put the strategy to use in order to support industries, growth and employment in the ENF regions, and this is where also  ELMO 2 Kainuu project came in. Direct target groups of the ELMO 2 Kainuu project included the experts and organisations in Kainuu with expertise and activities related to selected key areas of Kainuu’s smart specialization strategy. These groups consisted of Kainuu’s higher education sector, research institutes and units, educational institutions, companies and regional development organizations. The indirect target groups of the project were Kainuu companies, municipalities, educational institutions and the entire province (employment, know-how, GDP).

Developing Air Traffic in Northern Finland 2020

 

  • Funder: Structural Funds Programme 2014-2020
  • Budget: 455 100 €
  • Implementation Period: 1.10.2018 – 31.12.2020
  • Project Manager Rauno Kurtti

 

Your Contact for Further Information:

Planning Director Sanna Schroderus

The project aimed at developing international accessibility of Northern Finland  from the business life point of view. Good regional accessibility will enhance the operational preconditions for export companies, contribute to the internationalization of businesses and boost the growth of regional export and tourism revenues. The  efficiency and fluency of travel chains as well as the price of travelling often affect the choice  of transport mode and/ or the airport used.  Travel chains and feeder services are a crucial part of services needed. Along with regional accessibility,  availability of products and services needs to be addressed, and for this purpose, effective utilization of digital solutions available is important.

Network cooperation was an important aspect in the project.  The project aimed at keeping up interaction and cooperation in the network formed by different kinds of actors, their interest groups  and other projects and work groups. By tightening and creating connections, the aim was to increase both the trust between the parties and the commitment to the joint cooperation.

The project aimed to find out the measures by which the project regions may increase their air traffic capacity and open new connections in cooperation with the airlines already operating in the regions.  In addition, new operators and solutions for opening new flight connections to Northern Finland were investigated. Cooperation possibilities between the airport locations participating the project; possibilities for tours, feeder services and travel chains were explored. New solutions for developing travel and service chains, utilizing different modes of transport and digital services, were actively sought.

The understanding of operational principles and the importance of air traffic in general, as well as the know-how on the topic in the regions must be increased to swiftly react to any changes in air traffic and its operational environment. Flight products must be taken care of in the long term: the amount and destinations of flights, suitability of time tables and the prices are all crucial factors for the business life, inhabitants and the tourists interested in the region as they make their travel choices and choose their routes and services.  The resources of regional development and marketing agencies have to be secured, in order to develop the travel product offering in the long term.

A regional work group has started their activities in each of the  the regional airports’ sphere of influence. The regional work groups shall choose the priorities of developing air transport in their area and  the measures targeting  the goals. Additionally, the groups shall define the responsibilities and resources, as well as long term activities in their regions.

Cooperation will be done with Finnish airport operator Finavia  and the development- and investment needs in the regional airports raised, to maintain the presently good service level also in the future. Also the cooperation between regions and Visit Finland will be developed. Visit Finland has been actively opening the doors and helping to attract more tourists and develop air connections to the regions.

Thematic events related to air traffic were organised during the project, handling the various factors affecting the demand and supply related. Thereby, the understanding and dialogue between the regions and air operators was enhanced.

ClimateWise and Environmentally Responsible Kainuu 2040

 

  • Funder: Structural Funds Programme 2014-2020
  • Budget: 139 376€
  • Implementation Period: 1.2.2020 – 9.4.2021
  • Project Manager Heidi Karppinen

 

 

Your Contact for Further Information:

Regional Development Director Jouni Ponnikas

 

EU and Finnish national level legislation, agreements and decisions to diminish climate change impacts and environmentally sustainable development were the basis and the motive to this project. Project goals were to recognize what kind of actions and steps we must take in Kainuu, and what kind of operational models and goals the region needs. These operational models and goals can be used in regional development. The project also created a plan on how to manage and monitor these goals. The project was carried out through an extensive participatory process (workshops etc.).

One of the goals in this project was to develop tools to integrate climate and environmental responsibility goals to Kainuu regional program and its long term action plan. Climate and environmental questions were linked as cross-sectoral goals to regional developmental projects and programs. Municipalities and other regional operators will take these into account in their program goals and execution.

Interreg Nord 2014-2020 was a EU-program supporting cross-border cooperation in order to strengthen the economic and social development. Areas included in the program were north Norway, north Finland, north Sweden and Sápmi (which spreads over all three countries). Kainuu was not in the programme area but partners from Kainuu could participate in certain terms.

VekuVaku

  • Funder: Interreg Nord
  • Budget: 994 677 €
  • Implementation Period: 1.1.2019-30.6.2022
  • Our Contact Person Sanna Schroderus

 

Project Partners:

Council of Oulu Region
Region Norrbotten

More Information:

VEKU VAKU on the site of Council of Oulu Region

 

Your Contact for Further Information:

Planning Director Sanna Schroderus

The joint project for Northern Ostrobothnia, Kainuu and Region Norrbotten highlighted the power plants and their communities in the Oulujoki and Luulajajoki watersheds as cultural heritage and diverse resources. The main goal of the project was that the residents and operators of the built riversheds would in the future recognize the values ​​and utilize them as an attraction factor. Cross-border co-operation was utilized to make the cultural heritage of power plant construction in the northern rivers known and to strengthen the identity of local communities.

The Regional Council of Northern Ostrobothnia was the main partner of the project and Region Norrbotten was responsible for project implementation in Sweden.  Regional Council of Kainuu was involved in the project as a partner and also contributed a part of the project co-financing. The project received national funding from the Regional Council of Lapland. Council of Oulu Region, Regional council of Kainuu and the energy companies Oulun Energia, Fortum Power and Heat Oy, Kainuun Voima Oy, Loiste Oy and UPM-Kymmene Oyj  together provided the necessary co-financing contribution.

The project was implemented in extensive cooperation with energy companies in the area, municipalities, regional councils, educational institutions, museums, the university, village and resident associations, and local heritage associations.

Projects were also carried out by means of national funds. 

Kainuu Investment Strategy 2022–2025

 

  • Funded by Regional Council of Kainuu, national funds
  • Budget: 45 178 €
  • Implementation Period: 1.12.2021 – 30.4.2022
  • Project Manager Tuomo Tahvanainen

More Information:

Arctic Investment Platform

InvestEU

 

Your Contact for Further Information:

Regional Development Director Jouni Ponnikas

At the moment of drafting the project application, there was no clearly defined, joint investment strategy for the Kainuu region available. Evaluation of (financial) resources, capable (development) organisations as well as the courage and ability to make critical choices (prioritization of development targets) are often seen as the most important challenges for the regional development in Kainuu. The same challenges are seen both in the fields of business development and regional development. In addition, the availability of risk finance for companies has been identified as a regional challenge.

For about ten years beginning from 2009, the regional development company Kainuun Etu Ltd took active measures to attract investments to the Kainuu region, especially from abroad (FDI). Based on the previous experience, systematic work in activating investments will bear fruit with a rather long time span. As a result, making strategic choices early on in the process, along with an active and systematic cooperation with actors across all industries in the region, will provide a good basis for the activities.

An investment strategy of good quality will take into account municipal and state investment policies, local accessibility infrastructure, top investments related to the knowledge infrastructure (in Kainuu those include for example CSC, Kajaani University Consortium and Kajaani University of Applied Sciences) and investments in knowledge infrastructure and intangible investments (R & D & I). An important part of the investment strategy is, of course, taking good care of the region’s reputation and communications, as well as the active Invest In -activities linked to those.

After the COVID crisis, Kainuu region has proven to be interesting in the eyes of companies that already operate in the region, but also in the eyes of new companies. This is partly reflecting in the strong demand for skilled labor in the region. The current attractiveness of Kainuu region should be utilized by strengthening the measures through which the investments made in Kainuu would bring more value to the investors compared to investing elsewhere (KaiCell Fibers, Terrafame and Sotkamo Silver may be mentioned as good examples). The role of a regional investment strategy is therefore important. The strategy is needed to strengthen the co-operation of various actors in the region and to highlight the most important facts for attracting investments. Also a method for monitoring the measures taken must be planned, to verify the effectiveness of activities.

The project goal was to process the Kainuu Investment Strategy for years 2022-2025, identifying a joint approach, key measures and a method for monitoring the effectiveness of the measures taken. The strategy would define how the public organisations (municipalities, public financers), development organizations and the educational and research institutions in the region may together ensure the future sustainable growth in Kainuu. The strategy should examine the positioning of Kainuu for example related to the InvestEU and Arctic Investment Platform funding opportunities, and the possible impacts of EU investment guidelines (sustainability criteria) on Kainuu. The project goals also included updating the recommendations of the study/ development project carried out by Kainuun Etu Ltd in 2018 on the establishment of a regional private equity fund and drafting recommendations for action that were appropriate in the current situation.

The most important target group of Kainuu Investment Strategy 2022-2025 development project were all the municipalities of Kainuu, as well as the most significant companies and development organizations across industries, whose role in the regional business life and especially in employment is the most central and influential. In addition, the target groups of the co-operation included the financial organizations operating in the region and also the possible new funding channels.

Traffic in Northern Finland 2021

 

  • Funded by Regional Council of Kainuu, national funds
  • Budget: 53 400 €
  • Implementation Period: 1.8.2021 – 31.12.2021
  • Project Manager: Rauno Kurtti

 

 

Your Contact for Further Information:

Planning Director Sanna Schroderus

Distances are long in Finland and this puts pressure on developing fast and reliable traffic connections. Good connections are vital to all fields of business and the society. Attracting investments, increasing and preserving jobs, regional development activities, people feeling at home in their respective region etc. all rely on good traffic connections/ accessibility, and so do recruiting skilled labour and developing job diversity, as well. Flight connections guarantee the security of supply and is in a central role regarding health care in the regions.

We are in the middle of transition regarding all forms of traffic. Important changes have occurred in air traffic, rail traffic and bus traffic, as well. The supply has been reduced by closing down routes, reducing shifts and also by using smaller transportation equipment. With Covid-19 spreading into a global pandemic in early 2020, both international and domestic air traffic came to a near halt. The situation regarding domestic flights took a serious turn, when Finnair announced that it would stop operating flights to Kajaani, Kemi-Tornio, Joensuu, Jyväskylä and Kokkola-Pietarsaari airports. Air traffic to those airports was agreed to be purchased with 100% state support until the end of year 2021. From the beginning of year 2022, the situation was estimated to be very challenging. The return to market-based traffic seemed uncertain, and no decisions had been made on the continuation of flights with state support. Based on all the above mentioned facts, it was agreed to start a new project, “Traffic in Northern Finland 2021”.

Two airports in Northern Finland remained totally without traffic for some time at the beginning of the pandemic. All the eight airport locations in Northern Finland; Ivalo, Enontekiö, Kittilä, Rovaniemi, Kemi-Tornio, Kuusamo, Oulu and Kajaani faced the challenge to be able to convince air transport operators that there was sufficient attractiveness in the respective areas and that good co-operation could maintain air connections and build business profitable for all parties. This challenge was to be met through strong cooperation between tourism areas, companies, municipalities and development organisations.

With the introduction of teleworking and other new working models, the need for work-related travel will decrease and air traffic will have to seek growth from new customer groups. The focus has been on leisure tourists, and especially from the perspective of Northern Finland, getting international tourists back as customers would help regions recover from the COVID crisis faster. However, the return of international tourists requires fast and flexible transport connections.

Different modes of transport have partly different markets and operating environments. Nevertheless, there is a need to improve cooperation and develop overall accessibility of the regions in Northern Finland. The project aimed to find suitable forms of dialogue for different modes of transport and to investigate, whether Northern Finland could be a leader in the comprehensive development of mobility and a pioneer in responsible accessibility solutions.

Digital Support in Kainuu

  • Funder: Ministry of Finance, Finland
  • Budget 189 680 €
  • Implementation period 1.11.2019-31.10.2020
  • Project Manager Seija Kemppainen

 

Project Partners:

Regional Council of Kainuu
Kainuu Social and Welfare Organisation (Kainuun Sote)
City of Kajaani

More Information:

Digital and Population Data Services Agency
Suomidigi
Kansalaisneuvonta julkisten palvelujen käyttäjille

 

Your Contact for Further Information:

Regional Development Manager Paula Karppinen

Public services go more and more online and new ways of running errands pop up, as the technology keeps developing with speed. By digital support, we mean any support in using digital services and smart devices and taking care of your pressing matters digitally. The digital support for citizens aims at helping the citizens/ customers to use smart devices and digital services independently and safely. Digital support may be offered as a remote service (by chat, phone, video support etc.), local support (service points, peer support, home service) or in form of training (for example online, at community colleges and on courses).

Ministry of Finance has funded regional digital support projects around Finland and the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (The Finnish Digital Agency) supports the actions of digital support networks put together by regional councils and acts as the advocate for digital support. Kainuu became one of the coordinators of digital support in Finland in the end of year 2019. The project implementation period in Kainuu ran until the 31st October 2020, with the Regional Council of Kainuu acting as the responsible partner. Other organisations involved in the Project application were the Kainuu Social and Welfare Organisation (Kainuun Sote) and City of Kajaani, also involving the other municipalities in the region.

Activities of the “Digital Support in Kainuu” Project:

  • Mapping the needs for and supply of digital support (needs of the citizens and the organisations providing support/ offering digital services)
  • Building the regional digital support network, developing cooperation so that the digital support is flexible, effective, and evolving.
  • Developing the availability and accessibility of digital support to match the regional needs.
  • Developing the visibility and awareness of digital support so that a person needing such services will find the information of those easily.
  • Developing stability and continuity: drafting a plan for regional coordination of digital support and the network activities to follow.