In 2022, Forum Virium Helsinki developed the competitiveness, digitalisation and smart carbon-neutral services of the City of Helsinki.
The year was challenging for all of Europe. The rise in interest rates and sanctions against Russia, which invaded Ukraine, posed an enormous leadership challenge for the European Union. However, the economy did not collapse, despite many predicting it. The majority of the EU Member States have strongly set out to support Ukraine. The war brought with it an energy crisis, which led to the EU seeking to become energy self-sufficient in the future and strongly investing in the green transition.
Investments are being made in European innovation and the development of competitiveness despite the crisis. The rotating chairmanship of the European Union was taken over by Sweden at the beginning of 2023. Together with Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership applications, the chairmanship brings significant visibility to Nordic cooperation and the entire Baltic Sea region. The Nordic countries have solid research and product development expertise.
Finland’s international competitiveness must be raised. The national goal is to increase R&D expenditure to approximately four per cent of the gross domestic product. In Uusimaa, this goal should be at least five per cent.
We brought EUR 5.8 million in EU innovation funding to Helsinki
Forum Virium Helsinki has resolutely increased Helsinki’s EU expertise and EU-funded project portfolio. We have carried out development and testbed activities, and in 2022 we successfully invited 74 companies to join these activities. In total, the companies received EUR 2.8 million in funding for product development and piloting through Forum Virium Helsinki’s projects.
Data capabilities and cooperation with the City of Helsinki’s divisions were promoted successfully. The company has been successful in its applications for project funding. In 2022, our project portfolio totalled EUR 8.9 million. Of this, EUR 5.8 million was innovation funding sought from the European Union.
The development of the City of Helsinki’s competitiveness and digitalisation is the focus
The Data programme has continued the development of the City of Helsinki’s data capabilities through data pilots that make use of the development of the City’s common data pool. Particular areas invested in over the course of 2022 included the processing of data flows, data integration methods and the development of data quality. The data pool efforts have supported the progress of the LIDO project, which promotes the City of Helsinki’s smart mobility strategy. The data pool efforts also promote Helsinki’s carbon neutrality goal, as they allow targets such as the energy efficiency of the City’s properties to be monitored better with the help of data.
The customer satisfaction of our projects remained high in 2022. Our media coverage remained at a good level and our social media channels continued to steadily increase in popularity. Job satisfaction at Forum Virium was at a good level with a rating of 4.2/5. The number of projects in 2022 was 36 and we employed 58 staff. As the Managing Director of Forum Virium Helsinki, I would like to conclude by thanking our committed and expert staff for the past year and their great work.